No one enjoys having to deal with a hangover. After a night of heavy drinking, you awake with a pounding headache, dry throat, and an upset stomach. These are all telltale signs of a common hangover. Luckily, there are ways to help you quickly recover from the symptoms of a hangover and methods for reducing the chances that you will wake up with one.
In order to deal with a hangover, you will need to learn what causes a hangover, how to treat a hangover, and how to prevent a hangover. Each of these steps goes hand in hand and can keep you from having to go through the pain associated with a hangover ever again.
What are the Common Causes of a Hangover?
Obviously, the most common cause of a hangover is drinking alcohol, but there is more to it than that. Instead, you should ask – why does drinking alcohol often lead to a hangover? Drinking alcohol can lead to a hangover for a variety of reasons and not everyone will experience the same symptoms.
It will help to look at how alcohol affects your body. Some of the causes for a hangover-related to drinking alcohol include:
- Increased production of stomach acid
- An inflammatory response
- Lowered blood sugar levels
- Lack of quality sleep
Alcohol affects your body in many ways. As you drink alcohol, your body produces more urine. This increase in urination can lead to dehydration – one of the most common causes of a headache related to a hangover.
Alcohol can irritate the lining of your stomach. As this occurs, your body will increase the production of stomach acid, resulting in stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Drinking alcohol can also trigger an inflammatory response. As your immune system attempts to fight what it perceives as a threat, you may experience difficulty concentrating and a lack of appetite.
The fatigue and shakiness that you experience as the result of a headache are often due to a drop in blood sugar levels. Drinking alcohol can cause your blood sugar levels to drop. This is one of the most common explanations for typical hangover symptoms.
The combined effect of these symptoms can make it hard to fall asleep or get a good night’s rest. This lack of sleep can contribute to the impact of your hangover.
How Can You Treat a Hangover?
The best way to deal with a hangover is to treat each symptom separately. If you have a headache and a dry throat, you may want to start by quenching your thirst. If you feel nauseated, you should put something in your stomach. Here are some tips for treating your hangover symptoms:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Have a light breakfast
- Perform some moderate exercise
Staying hydrated will help shorten the duration of your hangover. Make sure that you continue drinking fluids throughout the day. Alcohol can lead to dehydration. You may also be experiencing a drop in blood sugar levels. To combat this problem, drink orange juice or apple juice, both of which will help keep you hydrated while feeding your body much-needed sugar.
Along with sugar from fruit juice, have a light breakfast. Toast, a couple of eggs, or a bowl of oatmeal should provide enough nourishment to help fill your stomach. If you are not feeling very nauseous, you should consider having a larger breakfast. As the day progresses, continue eating as you long as your stomach can handle it.
Studies show that your body expels the toxins from alcohol through your sweat glands. This adds to the discomfort of your hangover but is a necessary part of your recovery. To help the process along, get up and perform some moderate exercise. Get your body moving and sweat out some of the alcohol.
In addition to these tips for treating a hangover, you should try to relax and rest. By the end of the day, you should be feeling much better. Followed by a good night’s rest, you should be able to put your hangover behind you.
How Can You Prevent a Hangover?
The only foolproof way to prevent a hangover is to abstain from drinking alcohol. This may not be an option that everyone wants to use, so here are some further recommendations for preventing a hangover:
- Drink in moderation
- Drink one glass of water between alcoholic beverages
- Eat a filling meal an hour before you start drinking
- Do not mix different types of alcohol
- Stop drinking two hours before bedtime
- Drink a glass of lemon water before you go to bed
Drinking in moderation should help you avoid a hangover. If you should know your own limits, so if you typically experience a hangover after drinking six beers, limit yourself to four. Along with drinking in moderation, slow your rate of drinking by having a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. This will fill your stomach and keep you from drinking too much.
Eat a filling meal before you start drinking. If you drink on an empty stomach, your body will process the alcohol quicker, which may irritate your stomach and increase the likelihood of a hangover. Have dinner about an hour before you plan on drinking.
You should also try to avoid mixing different types of alcohol. This may lead to additional stomach irritation and nausea. If you are drinking beer, stick to beer.
About two hours before you plan on going to bed, stop drinking. This will give your body time to begin digesting and processing the alcohol before your go to bed. Drink a glass of water during this time, followed by a glass of lemon water. The sugar from the lemon may help prevent a drop in blood sugar levels.
A hangover is never a fun experience. By using some of the suggestions provided, you should be able to manage your hangover or prevent it from occurring in the first place. Keep these tips in mind the next time you plan on having a few alcoholic beverages.