Friday, 10 February 2012

Hangover Remedies and Quick Fixes

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Hangover Remedies

People who enjoy drinking parties always have one problem to deal with - a hangover the next morning. The hangover is an inevitable consequence of heavy drinking. People often wake up with a pounding head, dryness in the mouth, nausea and fatigue after a heavy night's drinking. These symptoms would be more intense if one drinks on an empty stomach, has sleep deprivation, does more activity while drinking, is already dehydrated before drinking or has poor general health.

What causes a hangover?

When people drink, the alcohol contained in the drink enters the blood stream and influences the brain to suppress the synthesis of vasopressin which is an anti-diuretic hormone. This makes drinkers urinate more frequently while drinking which gives rise to dehydration. Usually, about four times the volume of drinks consumed is expelled from the body while drinking, leaving the body in a dehydrated state all night long. That is why people wake up with extreme dryness in the mouth the next morning.

The body tries to extract as much water as possible from the different organs, especially the brain, literally shrinking it in size. This makes the brain pull on the membranes which connect it to the skull, resulting in a throbbing headache. Frequent urination also expels potassium and other salts that are needed for muscle and nerve functions, resulting in nausea and fatigue. Different types of alcohol can also produce different kinds of hangovers.

Hangover Remedies

1. Drinking more alcohol can delay the onset of hangover. However, this is only a temporary fix as the body will eventually have to deal with the effects sooner or later. This remedy will only postpone the arrival of the hangover.

2. Black coffee can help deal with the pounding headache that are a major part of hangovers. The high amount of caffeine, which is a stimulant, can alleviate the headache for the time being. But once the effect of the coffee wears off, the symptoms might return. Moreover, like alcohol, coffee is also a diuretic which can further dehydrate the person, making the hangover even more severe.

3. Eating fried or fatty foods before drinking can reduce the effects of a hangover considerably. These foods stick to the stomach lining and slow down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. It also gives the body more time to process the byproducts that result from heavy drinking.

4. The Mediterranean folk tactic of taking a spoonful of olive oil before drinking is based on the same principle. The oil sticking to the stomach lining would slow down alcohol absorption and reduce hangover symptoms.

5. One of the latest remedies to hangover is Pep 2, a chewable tablet. Just taking two tablets half an hour before and two tablet after drinking helps prevent hangover.

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