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Pattaya Daily News

03 April 2010 :: 16:04:37 pm 17434

Hangovers: Prevention & Management

A hangover is the result of a combination of toxic by products released in the body after the processing of alcohol. A hangover causes dehydration as well as a depletion of certain vital vitamins in the body due to the chemical action. The consumption of alcohol makes a person urinate a lot, reducing the amount of water in the body but the body needs this water so it can dilute and metabolize the alcohol. So having a hangover, means the effect of the alcohol has ‘hung over’ to the next day.
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Drinking should be a fun way of socializing, not something that makes you miss out whilst your friends are enjoying themselves, so avoiding the misery of a hangover after having a wild time would be a great end to the night of partying.

The best remedy for preventing a hangover is not to drink in the first place, however this remedy may not be welcomed by many of you especially at a party or social gathering.  There is nothing worse I think than to be the only sober person in a crowd of drunks.

Firstly, we need to be aware of our limits as not every one can consume the same amount of alcohol and still hold their ground. Hangovers are usually caused by dehydration of the body, so in order to prevent a hangover, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER BEFORE AND DURING your drinking session

Eating before your alcohol binge is a must in order to avoid your body absorbing to much alcohol too soon and avoid getting totally wasted before the end of the evening. Getting your stomach full is a must for avoiding a hangover.  It is best to have an early dinner consisting of starchy foods and essential vitamins and minerals which will help to absorb the alcohol and lessen its effects. Avoid greasy foods as you will regret it once the alcohol starts taking effect.  Consuming orange, grapefruit, and grape juice will help to keeping your body hydrated, reducing the effects of a hangover.

Light colored drinks are less likely to cause a hangover as opposed to the darker ones which are loaded with congeners, a chemical constituent that gives wine or liquor its distinctive character. The richer the color, the more congeners it has and so the worse your hangover will be. Have a glass of water between each alcohol beverage and munch on tit bits through out the evening as this will save the suffering the following day.

If you are in a good mood or frame of mind when going out, you will have control on your drinking and so are less likely to have a hangover. If, however you are unhappy or sad when drinking, you will end up on a depressed high, (a schizophrenic state) will drink more and suffer badly the following day.

Before going to bed, do not take medicines for headaches when hung over as they will do more harm than good. Instead, make an orange juice and squeeze some lemons in it. Have a glass of milk, it will not only hydrate your body, but will also help you sleep. Have boiled or poached eggs for breakfast or pasta or toasted brown bread.  Rubbing lemon into your armpits will help you stop sweating and prevent dehydration.

Ok, so you didn’t do all that was necessary to avoid that hangover and now you want to know how to get rid of it. The primary cause of a hangover is dehydration so drinking plenty of water is a must and if you have been throwing up then it is all the more reason to drink more water.

The easiest way to ease that hangover is to drink plenty of water and sleep through it, but we all know this is not always possible especially if you have to be up for work at the crack of dawn.  It may be that you will have to phone in sick and you will indeed sound sick. Sleeping helps by giving the body time to recover from the atrocities committed on it last night. If possible, have a sport’s drinks like Gatorade but not the carbonated or caffeinated ones. Coconuts water has electrolytes as well as potassium which will help re-hydrate you faster than water. Do not consume too much if any caffeine. If you must have coffee make it weak as caffeine will dehydrate your body all over again.


Once you have that hangover, a greasy meal can help, but it is probably better that you stick to something bland that is high in carbohydrates and protein such as poached eggs on toast. Try also to have some sugar in some form as your sugar levels will be at a low so have a fruit juice, doughnut or brownie.

If you feel you need medication, naproxen or ibuprofen are ok, but do not take acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Thinking about a bacon sandwich when you have a hangover isn’t exactly what you want when you are feeling queasy, but a news report once said that it was beneficial for a hangover as the bread is full of carbohydrate and the bacon is a good source of protein which helps to break down into amino acids which your body needs.

Eating bananas is beneficial, as they are full of potassium which balances out the body fluids and helps in relieving muscle pain, reduce headaches and normalizes blood pressure.

So, the main steps for avoiding a hangover are to eat before going out, do not drink on an empty stomach and drink plenty of water.

Sarah Goldman

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