How to cure (or prevent) a hangover


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It’s eggnog, mulled wine, champagne and hangover season. So what can you do to prevent misfortune the next morning while enjoying the end of the year festival?

Hangover remedies abound online, from herbal pills and supplements to home remedies like pickle juice and poached eggs.

There is little evidence that hangovers can be cured, and there is no surefire way to avoid them other than avoiding alcohol altogether. But there are a few things you can do before, during, and after drinking to lower your hangover risk.

A hangover can occur for many reasons. Alcohol suppresses vasopressin, a hormone that encourages the kidneys to retain fluid.This can lead to increased peeing and dehydration, which can cause pounding. Headache, thirst, fatigue. Alcohol can also irritate the stomach lining, causing nausea and stomach pain, and disturb sleep, causing fatigue and irritability. may be the cause.

Some people are more prone to hangovers than others because of how their bodies metabolize alcohol. When you drink alcohol, liver enzymes break down alcohol into acetaldehyde. This acetaldehyde is a toxic by-product and a known carcinogen. Some evidence indicates that acetaldehyde may be the cause of hangovers. , has been shown to be particularly prone to severe hangovers, even after drinking relatively small amounts of alcohol.

Many dietary supplements marketed as hangover remedies claim to work by improving the body’s ability to eliminate acetaldehyde. A 2021 study evaluating dietary supplements found that they frequently contained excessively high doses of vitamins with no evidence of efficacy. Many products also contained his N-acetylcysteine, which is technically a prescription drug.

Some studies have found that the severity of hangover symptoms depends on how much your blood alcohol level rises during drinking (the higher the hangover, the worse it gets) and how quickly your body converts alcohol into byproducts. known to be likely to be Researchers have found that the faster your body breaks down alcohol, the lighter your hangover will be.

never drink on an empty stomach

If you plan to drink, always eat a meal or a hearty snack. This slows the rate at which alcohol enters the bloodstream, which may make a hangover less likely, says Julia Zumpano, a registered dietitian at the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic.

In a small study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, scientists looked at what happened when a group of men were given alcoholic beverages on separate occasions. meal. They found that eating before drinking “significantly” lowered participants’ blood alcohol levels compared to drinking on an empty stomach. Also faster. The researchers found that diets high in protein tended to have lower blood alcohol levels than diets high in fat and carbohydrates, but ultimately the difference was minimal. , helps with any large meal, whether high in protein or not.

They tend to contain high amounts of congeners, which are byproducts of the fermentation process that can make hangovers worse. is suggested. For example, studies have found that bourbon, one of the most congener-rich liquors, causes a worse hangover than essentially congener-free vodka. Of course, drinking vodka instead of bourbon won’t prevent you from getting a hangover, but it may increase your chances of getting one.

Drink a glass of water every time you drink an alcoholic beverage. Alternating alcohol with water helps prevent blood alcohol levels from rising too quickly and keeps you hydrated.

“Alcohol is a diuretic,” said Zumpano of the Cleveland Clinic. “It dehydrates you naturally. Many hangover symptoms are due to dehydration. Drinking plenty of fluids can help alleviate some of these symptoms.”

It stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. This meal was originally conceived for children with an upset stomach. If you’re feeling nauseous in the morning after a night out, it may be best to start with bland foods rather than heavy meals.

“The BRAT diet is very easy to digest and helps keep food in check,” Zumpano said. It can make you feel sick.”

Many studies have shown that ginger can reduce nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy, cancer treatment, motion sickness, and other conditions. You can add fresh ginger to your diet or buy ginger supplements. . But for a hangover, it’s probably best to drink ginger tea or eat ginger chews.To make ginger his tea, add fresh ginger slices to a pot of water, bring to a boil, and boil for a few minutes. simmer. Pour into a cup and add a teaspoon of honey or a slice of lemon for extra flavor.

replenish electrolytes

Alcohol drains electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphate from the body. You can replenish them by consuming mineral-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. I’m here. If you prefer liquids, try electrolyte-fortified water or sugar-free Gatorade and Powerade.

It might be best to start drinking as soon as you get home from the party, rather than waiting until the morning. In other words, “When the party is over,” Zumpano said.

Try One Of These Hangover Cures – It Might Work

Recently, a team of British researchers scoured the medical literature to find a rigorous clinical trial testing various hangover remedies. discovered Evidence that it can reduce hangover symptoms when compared to a placebo. Among them was a supplement made with clove extract. Tolfenamic acid, an anti-inflammatory drug. A form of vitamin B6 called pyritinol.herbal supplements containing extracts of sweet candy, also known as the Japanese raisin tree. products containing the amino acid L-cysteine; and finally, Korean pear juice and red ginseng.

However, the researchers cautioned that most studies are usually small and include mostly men and people under the age of 40.

Emmert Roberts, author of the study and visiting fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, said: “There were some very small, low-quality studies that showed some things that could be helpful.”

Roberts said he and his co-authors didn’t find much evidence that any of the products they highlighted were harmful, so that doesn’t deter people from trying them.

“You can try, but it won’t be a miracle cure,” he added. “There are a lot of products out there that are marketed as hangover cures or hangover cures and they say there is science behind them, but that’s not true. There are a lot of snake oil salesmen in the hangover world.” is.”

Questions about healthy eating? Email EatingLab@washpost.com I may answer your question in a future column.

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