If you’re reading this, then our guess is that you don’t believe in hangover cures. Neither do we. Prevention is better than cure and that’s what Indulge is all about.
Hangover cures are generally a myth. There is no cure but there is much that can be done to avoid a hangover, or at the very least, ease the discomfort.
So how to cure a hangover? While there’s reams of ‘tried and tested’ hangover cures ranging from drinking a pint of raw eggs to eating Rollmops; a raw, pickled herring wrapped around pieces of gherkin and onion. Few hangover remedies are backed by science or sense, and here are a few.
Limit your alcohol intake
The easiest way to reduce hangover symptoms is to reduce your alcohol intake. Don't drink more than you know your body can cope with. Factors including body weight, gender (yes, unfortunately women suffer more than men), when you last ate, what type of alcohol you drink can affect your blood alcohol concentration.
Don't drink on an empty stomach
Eating is one of the most well-known hangover cures. Eat a meal including carbs before going out. The food will help slow down the body's absorption of alcohol and help maintain blood sugar levels. Excessive drinking can throw off the balance of the chemicals in your blood and cause metabolic acidosis, the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach, associated with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and tiredness. Eating healthily will also provide important vitamins and minerals which become depleted with excessive alcohol intake.
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Steer away from darker spirits
Darker spirits contain a higher concentration of congener. Congeners are well documented to exacerbate hangover symptoms. Congeners are a toxic by-product formed in fermentation. Congeners may also slow the metabolism of alcohol and cause prolonged symptoms. Drinks that are high in congeners are tequila, whiskey and cognac, with whisky and bourbon containing the highest amount. Drinks that are low in congeners include gin and rum, with vodka containing almost no congeners at all. Choosing drinks that are low in congeners may help reduce the incidence and severity of hangovers.
Not so much a hangover cure, this one is common sense. Alcohol had a diuretic effect causing dehydration through an increased production of urine. The loss of fluids and electrolytes stops the body functioning properly. Although dehydration is not the only cause of a hangover, it contributes to many of its symptoms, such as increased thirst, fatigue, headache and dizziness. Drink water or non-fizzy soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks. Fizzy drinks are known to speed up the absorption of alcohol within your system. Drinking a pint or so of water before going to bed will help.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Alcohol can cause sleep disturbances, decreased sleep quality and disrupted sleep patterns. While a lack of sleep does not cause a hangover, it can heighten symptoms; tiredness, headaches and irritability.
Hair of the dog
Though largely based on myth, drinking a Bloody Mary the next morning can lessen a hangover. This is because alcohol changes the way that methanol, a chemical found in alcoholic drinks is processed in the body. Methanol is converted into formaldehyde. Drinking more alcohol when you have a hangover can stop this conversion and prevent the formaldehyde from forming. Instead of forming formaldehyde, methanol is then excreted from the body.
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