Buttered toast, cheesy burgers, sodas, cakes, gross green shakes, greasy biryani, sleep, sleep and more sleep...everyone has a ‘tried and tested’ hangover cure. And yet, brutal hangovers are never that easy. So we decided to ask a doctor (of internal medicine no less!) - Dr. Verinder Anand, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Moolchand Medcity, what it takes to solve the case of the debilitating morning afters. Here are his inputs and thoughts about the best home remedies for brutal hangovers...
A hangover can be described as the various not-so-pleasant effects on the mind and the body that occur due to an abundant consumption of alcoholic drinks. It is caused by excessive alcohol drinking at one time, and is dependent on each person’s tolerance level for the same. It can be based on the height, weight, and genetics.
Drinking slowly can significantly lower your chances of getting a hangover. The slower you drink, the less alcohol reaches your brain at one time. This way you could actually drink more over time without having to be carried home. The body burns alcohol at about an ounce an hour. If you give your body more time to burn the alcohol the less reaches your brain and blood. While there is no sure shot cure for hangovers, a few simple home remedies can make you feel much better the next day.
Best home remedies for hangovers
- Do not have an alcoholic drink in the morning as a cure for a hangover. Another drink does not help and may only make your hangover worse. If the vomiting persists, one can have Domstal as an anti-vomiting drug.
- Eat a high protein breakfast in the morning to replenish most of the damage done by alcohol the previous evening.
- Drink plenty of water or have oral rehydration fluids as alcohol causes dehydration. Try to alternate your alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic beverages such as water. Also drink lots of water before you go to bed.
- Drink fresh fruit juices like orange, tomato juice, if possible. Have some orange juice because vitamin C speeds up the metabolism of the alcohol by the liver and accelerates the burning of the alcohol still in your system that morning.
- Avoid coffees and any other caffeinated beverages as they can cause further dehydration. Some people think that drinking a cup of coffee will help to drive away the hangover which is not true at all.
- Lemon tea is known to be good for hangovers. Lemon tea will flush out the toxins from your stomach. You might also want to mix some fresh lemon juice in cold water to get relief from a hangover. This can even control the level of sugar in your blood.
- Take vitamin C, as it may increase the rate of alcohol breakdown in the body. Try lime juice with a teaspoon of sugar in some water and drink slowly. Taking some honey can also help in the breaking down of the alcohol.
- Alcohol consumption can irritate your stomach lining so avoid aspirin and ibuprofen since they may only serve to increase this irritation. Aspirin is not well tolerated by some people and may cause stomach bleeding.
- Never drink on an empty stomach. Food delays absorption of alcohol and aids the body in digesting it faster.
- Mixing drinks can cause hangovers, so avoid cocktails.
- Try to eat starchy foods to slow down the alcohol absorption and limit your self to less than 1 drink per hour.
- Stick to non-carbonated drinks as carbonation can speed up the alcohol absorption.
- Try to avoid sweet drinks (and sugary foods) while you drink. The sweet taste of the drink can make it difficult for you to judge how much alcohol you’re actually consuming.
- Be sure to choose drinks with low levels of cogeners (light drinks such as white wines, gin, and vodka)–these are additives that are found in alcohol that increase your risk of a hangover. Dark-colored drinks (such as red wine, bourbon, and rum) have higher levels of cogeners and should be avoided in case one is prone to severe hangovers.
- Drinking slowly can significantly lower your chances of getting a hangover.
- Take plenty of rest and sleep, this will make you recover normal body functions.
- On the morning after, one can take a hot water bath as this opens the skin pores to release the alcohol toxins.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos / Getty Images
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