What is a Hangover?
According to James M. Schaefer, PhD, an alcohol metabolism researcher, when you over indulge “Your body is toxic and unable to remove the main culprits, which are high levels of ethanol [alcohol] and it’s first metabolite, acetaldehyde,” he says. Basically, your body is taking in the toxins from your alcoholic drinks and can’t detoxify fast enough. By the time you stop drinking, your body has absorbed much of the alcohol and hasn’t been able to fully dilute it within your system. “During the hangover, your body gets the signal to rid the stomach of it’s contents, thus vomiting and dry heaving ensues,” Schaefer explains. Although there is no magic cure for a hangover, there are a few things you can do to get on with your life the next morning and alleviate some of the suffering.
Firstly, sleep as much of it off as you can. According to Schaefer, rest and time are the only ways to really cure a hangover. “[Sleep] is the most natural way to get rid of hangover,” says Schaefer. “And it is what the body is telling us—to rest. The high BAC [Blood Alcohol Content] leaves at the rate of about a drink an hour, so if the BAC is screaming up around 15 percent, it will take eight to 10 hours to return to zero.” Sleeping also helps you to avoid the pain of hangovers.
Secondly drink the right stuff. Water ( boring and a bit obvious ) will rehydrate a seriously dehydrated body it will also flush out the alcohol in your system. We need water for every part of our body to function properly, including our natural ability to recover from a heavy night out! There are a couple of other choices that can boost recovery rates, you can pick an isotonic sports drink, such as Lucozade to help replenish lost electrolytes and rebalance your system or try Coconut water. Coconut water is a natural isotonic drink, it has more postassium than regular sports drinks and has a similar electrolyte level to human blood, restoring balance more rapidly. According to Schaefer, coconut water helps to replenish your liquids but it might offer something extra. “The coconut water probably helps to settle an acidic stomach,” he says.
Thirdly eat the right things. Your body is suffering from low potassium levels so one of the best things to eat is a Banana, if you can’t face food make a smoothie, get a dose of fresh fruit packed with vitamins and minerals, your body will rapidly absorb what it needs. You can also eat a light salty carbohydrate snack, like salty crisps. The snacks will stabilise your stomach and get your body craving more water, which helps to flush away the toxins in your system.
For the evil headache take anti inflammatory tablets like Ibuprofen and apply a little peppermint oil or tiger balm to your temples, it increases blood flow and decreases the ache a little! Peppermint oil will also ease any feelings of sickness.
Have a bath. Soak yourself in Epsom salts, they are packed full of minerals that your body needs, including high levels of magnesium. Soak away the aches, restore your body and calm the mind. Add essential oils to invigorate or restore. Geranium, Lavender and Peppermint all work well on hangovers. The extra bonus about Epsom salt is that besides restoring minerals it detoxifies incredibly well, you can really lower the levels of toxins in your system with an Epsom salt soak. If you can’t have a bath try soaking just your feet for 15 minutes, it will reduce toxins that way too, although not as efficiently as a full body soak.
So there you are, you know what to eat, drink and do before you put on your clean pjs and fall back into bed for an extra couple of hours, or lie on the sofa watching old films and moaning quietly! Enjoy your party season, always keep a banana handy and drink lots of water, sound advice not to be ignored 🙂