Hangovers. We’ve all been there. And maybe you can’t Sunday Funday like you used to, and today is a bit of an uphill jog. Local author and family physician, Jill Grimes shares some
expert tips just incase we drink a little too much.
If you wake up with a hangover, what can you do?
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Dehydration is a major cause of your headache, and only fluid replacement helps. Do NOT chug water or any other fluid, because your irritated stomach will likely reject that. The best rehydration plan is steadily sipping on an electrolyte drink like Pedialyte or a sports drink like Gatorade/Powerade.
TIP: Do NOT use a straw- that will introduce air into your stomach and make any nausea worse.
2. Do NOT start with drinking coffee!
Remember, caffeine is a diuretic, which means you will simply make yourself
MORE dehydrated and worsen the hangover.
TIP: For a quick pick-me-up, add a little lemon juice to a cup of warm water. Add ginger to help with nausea. This is one of the easiest and most effective restorative drinks you can make.
3. Eat a good breakfast
Eating a good breakfast can help maintain your blood sugar levels, provide important vitamins and minerals and reduce the symptoms of a hangover. Jill recommends eating/sipping on a broth-based (not creamy!) canned soup like Chicken-Noodle Soup; the salt content will help you to better retain the fluid.
What can you take to ease that headache & nausea?
Tylenol can irritate the liver (as does alcohol) and Advil (ibuprofen) can irritate the stomach (as does alcohol), so it’s a balance. Consider taking one of each (one Tylenol & one Advil) or the new combination product, Advil Dual Action.
Mild nausea may be helped with over-the-counter antacids like TUMS or Maalox. Severe nausea (you can’t stop puking for more than an hour) may require prescription anti-nausea medications or even IV fluids from your doctor.
Hangover Prevention Tips:
Hangovers obviously come from drinking too much alcohol, so on the front end:
1. Choose beer or wine (or perhaps a frozen margarita!) rather than shots, because most people will drink them more slowly (can’t chug a frozen marg without getting a brain freeze!) and it’s the total quantity of alcohol that matters most.
2. Don’t believe the whole “liquor before beer, you’re in the clear” myth! It’s true that darker liquors like bourbon or whisky may cause more severe hangovers (from a higher content of congeners, which are breakdown products of alcohol metabolism) but the order of drinks is irrelevant.
TIP: Don’t drink on an empty stomach; food will slow down the absorption of alcohol to some degree.
3. Dehydration is a huge part of hangovers (remember that alcohol is a diuretic- it makes you pee) so do NOT add in other diuretics like caffeine, and be sure to drink a glass of water or other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage in between every alcoholic drink that you consume.
4. Be aware that stimulant medications like ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) meds will blunt the “buzz” of alcohol, so it’s very easy to drink too much because you don’t FEEL like you are drinking, although your blood alcohol levels are rising you and your body will definitely feel the unpleasant side effects of drinking later.