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Truth about hangovers

Perhaps you just had some alcoholic drinks at a bar during a casual meet-up with your close friends. Or you may be soaking in the festive atmosphere by engaging in binge drinking with your family and relatives. Whatever the case is, as long as you have imbibed some alcohol, the risk of a hangover is there. And the greater the alcohol content entering your body, the greater is the risk.

Drinking alcohol results in an excretion of essential vitamins and minerals from our system. As our blood sugar levels drop and blood vessels dilate, some of us experience what is known as a hangover effect. We may vomit; have nausea, headaches and/or dizziness. The lack of hydration and production of acetaldehyde in the body also causes our muscles to be sore. In addition, we will experience fatigue, dehydration and a deteriorated immune system. The good news is that these symptoms usually resolve by themselves after 1 or 2 days. However, for the minority of us who are unlucky, we suffer from these effects for a prolonged period of time. We introduce the most common myths and truths on how to prevent or cure a hangover below.

Before drinking:

Myth: The order of the type of alcohol drunk can prevent a hangover. There is a common saying to those who intend to drink a few alcoholic drinks: ‘Beer before liquor, never sicker.’ Truth: This is false. To all hard-core drinkers who always drink several types of alcoholic drinks, you cannot prevent a hangover by drinking one before another. As mentioned earlier, the risk merely increases with the more alcohol you are pumping into your system. So theoretically speaking, drinking more types of alcohol only serves to heighten your chance of developing the nasty hangover feelings!

Truth: To prevent a hangover, abstain from drinking or at least drink in moderation. It is a bitter truth to accept: but abstinence from alcohol means that you will never stand a chance of developing a hangover. Perhaps you can decide if there are other drinks which you can consider like juices for the occasion. Nevertheless, we know that alcohol is a drink that one enjoys on special occasions; after all, it is a perennial favourite especially during the festive season.

Then again, you can choose to drink in moderation. And you will be glad to know that drinking alcohol in moderation has its benefits: studies have shown how drinking alcohol in moderation can improve heart health and even reduce the risks of developing specific cancers. The key word here: moderation. Once you drink alcohol excessively, the negative effects kick in, with virtually no benefits to you. These include deleterious effects on many parts of our body like our brain, liver, endocrine system. Liver cirrhosis is a scary reality of alcohol abuse. Mental health is also adversely affected by excessive alcohol drinking since alcohol is a powerful CNS depressant that suppresses our inhibitions. So there is little excuse for you not to drink it in moderation.

Myth: Diet cocktails/alcoholic drinks are useful in preventing a hangover. Truth: They do not prevent a hangover. Diet cocktails can prevent you from consuming too many calories if you are watching your weight, but instead of preventing a hangover, diet cocktails may even hasten a hangover. The reason is diet cocktails allow alcohol to be absorbed into your bloodstream at a faster rate and hence those effects ensue faster when alcohol is metabolised into acetaldehyde.

Myth: Eating before you sleep prevents a hangover.

Truth: This is a prevalent misconception. To prevent a hangover, you have to eat before you drink. Alcohol lovers, this means that you should drink only on a full stomach if you are keen in preventing a hangover. The rationale is that food reduces the rate at which alcohol enters and gets absorbed into the bloodstream. Another useful tip is to consume foods that are high in fats before drinking alcohol. Fatty food has been shown to augment the rate of reduction of alcohol absorption into the bloodstream. So if you are not health-conscious, do not ditch that steak or pizza before you drink – it would be of great use in preventing a hangover.

After drinking:

Myth: Consuming more alcohol the next morning prevents a hangover. This is known as the popular ‘hair of the dog’ theory.

Truth: Having an alcoholic drink when you wake up only delays your misery. Your blood sugar levels continue to plummet over time until eventually reaching zero. When that occurs, the unpleasant effects of a hangover are likely to afflict you.

Myth: Coffee cures a hangover after you have had one.

Truth: Coffee, in fact, could exacerbate your hangover symptoms. Being a diuretic, coffee intensifies the dehydration you are currently having.

Truth: Instead of drinking coffee, have some fruit juices or honey. Fruit juices are excellent sources of hydration and vitamins. They are good for replacing the lost electrolytes that result from the consumption of alcohol. However, avoid having citrus/acidic juices like orange and grapefruit juice. A hangover will likely leave your stomach queasy and the above juices will only irritate or upset your stomach further.

Honey is also a good alternative drink. Honey is high in fructose which speeds up oxidation of alcohol by the liver. The main by-product of alcohol is acetaldehyde, a substance that induces nausea and headaches. However, the fructose in honey converts the acetaldehyde to less harmful substances during metabolism. In fact, if you intend to consume honey, why not spread it on some toast? This provides you with the additional benefits of replacing lost sodium and potassium from eating bread.

By far the most readily available drink, water is surprisingly beneficial in remedying a hangover if you are not keen in gaining calories form juices or honey. Alcohol undoubtedly causes you to feel very dehydrated if you have a hangover. Before you head to bed and when you wake up the next day, be sure to sip plenty of water. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink consumed. If you have been vomiting, be sure to drink more as that is a sign of dehydration.

Myth: Taking painkillers immediately after drinking helps to relieve certain hangover symptoms.

Truth: This depends on both the type of painkiller and when you take it. Overcoming the headaches from a hangover with acetaminophen (Tylenol) should be avoided at all costs. After drinking, acetaminophen is processed by the liver via a different metabolic pathway since the liver has a great deal of work in metabolising alcohol. This pathway is potentially toxic and can even cause permanent liver damage. If you really need to use a painkiller, always opt for aspirin or ibuprofen. There is however the timing of taking the painkiller to consider too. Many people think that taking aspirin or ibuprofen right after imbibing alcohol would relieve them of their headaches. However, the relief that one gets is while one is asleep when the therapeutic effects occur a few hours later. If you want more effective pain relief, take the painkiller when you get up the next morning. These painkillers also ameliorate inflammation in your body.

Other useful medications for relieving hangover symptoms: A hangover often comes with a queasy stomach and many over-the-counter drugs can treat gastrointestinal symptoms effectively. An antihistamine can prevent inflammation of the gastrointestinal lining while antacids are useful in relieving upset stomachs by neutralising gastric acid.

Other useful natural foods for relieving hangover symptoms: Consider having some eggs and/or asparagus to relieve hangover symptoms because they have been shown to raise the body’s levels of glutathione and alcohol dehydrogenase, both of which aid in breaking down alcohol.

Finally, you may to consider having some fruit to replenish lost nutrients and vitamins. The naturally-occurring sugars in fruit also stimulate the liver and help to stabilise blood sugar levels. Choosing banana as your fruit comes with the added benefit of replenishing lost potassium as a frequent urination after drinking.

Conclusion

Although there are numerous ways to “prevent” a hangover the only real proven and effective method is the revolutionary product that is Afterparty by HangoOver Killers.

Hangover Killers is a re-hydration powder which re-hydrates quicker then water does. Compared to drinking a pint of water in which most of it passes through and does not get absorbed into the bloodstream, with this powder, more water is absorbed into your bloodstream to cure the hangover.

Perhaps you just had some alcoholic drinks at a bar during a casual meet-up with your close friends. Or you may be soaking in the festive atmosphere by engaging in binge drinking with your family and relatives. Whatever the case is, as long as you have imbibed some alcohol, the risk of a hangover is there. And the greater the alcohol content entering your body, the greater is the risk.

Drinking alcohol results in an excretion of essential vitamins and minerals from our system. As our blood sugar levels drop and blood vessels dilate, some of us experience what is known as a hangover effect. We may vomit; have nausea, headaches and/or dizziness. The lack of hydration and production of acetaldehyde in the body also causes our muscles to be sore. In addition, we will experience fatigue, dehydration and a deteriorated immune system. The good news is that these symptoms usually resolve by themselves after 1 or 2 days. However, for the minority of us who are unlucky, we suffer from these effects for a prolonged period of time. We introduce the most common myths and truths on how to prevent or cure a hangover below.

Before drinking:

Myth: The order of the type of alcohol drunk can prevent a hangover. There is a common saying to those who intend to drink a few alcoholic drinks: ‘Beer before liquor, never sicker.’ Truth: This is false. To all hard-core drinkers who always drink several types of alcoholic drinks, you cannot prevent a hangover by drinking one before another. As mentioned earlier, the risk merely increases with the more alcohol you are pumping into your system. So theoretically speaking, drinking more types of alcohol only serves to heighten your chance of developing the nasty hangover feelings!

Truth: To prevent a hangover, abstain from drinking or at least drink in moderation. It is a bitter truth to accept: but abstinence from alcohol means that you will never stand a chance of developing a hangover. Perhaps you can decide if there are other drinks which you can consider like juices for the occasion. Nevertheless, we know that alcohol is a drink that one enjoys on special occasions; after all, it is a perennial favourite especially during the festive season.

Then again, you can choose to drink in moderation. And you will be glad to know that drinking alcohol in moderation has its benefits: studies have shown how drinking alcohol in moderation can improve heart health and even reduce the risks of developing specific cancers. The key word here: moderation. Once you drink alcohol excessively, the negative effects kick in, with virtually no benefits to you. These include deleterious effects on many parts of our body like our brain, liver, endocrine system. Liver cirrhosis is a scary reality of alcohol abuse. Mental health is also adversely affected by excessive alcohol drinking since alcohol is a powerful CNS depressant that suppresses our inhibitions. So there is little excuse for you not to drink it in moderation.

Myth: Diet cocktails/alcoholic drinks are useful in preventing a hangover. Truth: They do not prevent a hangover. Diet cocktails can prevent you from consuming too many calories if you are watching your weight, but instead of preventing a hangover, diet cocktails may even hasten a hangover. The reason is diet cocktails allow alcohol to be absorbed into your bloodstream at a faster rate and hence those effects ensue faster when alcohol is metabolised into acetaldehyde.

Myth: Eating before you sleep prevents a hangover.

Truth: This is a prevalent misconception. To prevent a hangover, you have to eat before you drink. Alcohol lovers, this means that you should drink only on a full stomach if you are keen in preventing a hangover. The rationale is that food reduces the rate at which alcohol enters and gets absorbed into the bloodstream. Another useful tip is to consume foods that are high in fats before drinking alcohol. Fatty food has been shown to augment the rate of reduction of alcohol absorption into the bloodstream. So if you are not health-conscious, do not ditch that steak or pizza before you drink – it would be of great use in preventing a hangover.

After drinking:

Myth: Consuming more alcohol the next morning prevents a hangover. This is known as the popular ‘hair of the dog’ theory.

Truth: Having an alcoholic drink when you wake up only delays your misery. Your blood sugar levels continue to plummet over time until eventually reaching zero. When that occurs, the unpleasant effects of a hangover are likely to afflict you.

Myth: Coffee cures a hangover after you have had one.

Truth: Coffee, in fact, could exacerbate your hangover symptoms. Being a diuretic, coffee intensifies the dehydration you are currently having.

Truth: Instead of drinking coffee, have some fruit juices or honey. Fruit juices are excellent sources of hydration and vitamins. They are good for replacing the lost electrolytes that result from the consumption of alcohol. However, avoid having citrus/acidic juices like orange and grapefruit juice. A hangover will likely leave your stomach queasy and the above juices will only irritate or upset your stomach further.

Honey is also a good alternative drink. Honey is high in fructose which speeds up oxidation of alcohol by the liver. The main by-product of alcohol is acetaldehyde, a substance that induces nausea and headaches. However, the fructose in honey converts the acetaldehyde to less harmful substances during metabolism. In fact, if you intend to consume honey, why not spread it on some toast? This provides you with the additional benefits of replacing lost sodium and potassium from eating bread.

By far the most readily available drink, water is surprisingly beneficial in remedying a hangover if you are not keen in gaining calories form juices or honey. Alcohol undoubtedly causes you to feel very dehydrated if you have a hangover. Before you head to bed and when you wake up the next day, be sure to sip plenty of water. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink consumed. If you have been vomiting, be sure to drink more as that is a sign of dehydration.

Myth: Taking painkillers immediately after drinking helps to relieve certain hangover symptoms.

Truth: This depends on both the type of painkiller and when you take it. Overcoming the headaches from a hangover with acetaminophen (Tylenol) should be avoided at all costs. After drinking, acetaminophen is processed by the liver via a different metabolic pathway since the liver has a great deal of work in metabolising alcohol. This pathway is potentially toxic and can even cause permanent liver damage. If you really need to use a painkiller, always opt for aspirin or ibuprofen. There is however the timing of taking the painkiller to consider too. Many people think that taking aspirin or ibuprofen right after imbibing alcohol would relieve them of their headaches. However, the relief that one gets is while one is asleep when the therapeutic effects occur a few hours later. If you want more effective pain relief, take the painkiller when you get up the next morning. These painkillers also ameliorate inflammation in your body.

Other useful medications for relieving hangover symptoms: A hangover often comes with a queasy stomach and many over-the-counter drugs can treat gastrointestinal symptoms effectively. An antihistamine can prevent inflammation of the gastrointestinal lining while antacids are useful in relieving upset stomachs by neutralising gastric acid.

Other useful natural foods for relieving hangover symptoms: Consider having some eggs and/or asparagus to relieve hangover symptoms because they have been shown to raise the body’s levels of glutathione and alcohol dehydrogenase, both of which aid in breaking down alcohol.

Finally, you may to consider having some fruit to replenish lost nutrients and vitamins. The naturally-occurring sugars in fruit also stimulate the liver and help to stabilise blood sugar levels. Choosing banana as your fruit comes with the added benefit of replenishing lost potassium as a frequent urination after drinking.

Conclusion

Although there are numerous ways to “prevent” a hangover the only real proven and effective method is the revolutionary product that is Afterparty by HangoOver Killers.

Hangover Killers is a re-hydration powder which re-hydrates quicker then water does. Compared to drinking a pint of water in which most of it passes through and does not get absorbed into the bloodstream, with this powder, more water is absorbed into your bloodstream to cure the hangover.