Occasionally, I catch myself having a beer or two too much. Which of course can cause hangovers. I was wondering what one can do to prevent this? Or what can be done if it's already too late.
Drinking less is the obvious solution.
But you can also reduce the causes:
One cause for a hangover are the metabolic products of the fusel alcohols (unwanted alcohols) in your drinks. First your body metabolizes the ethanol and then the fusel alcohols. That's why drinking alcohol helps against a hangover as if gives the body some more ethanol to work on and thus reduces the toxins of the fusel alcohols. That's why a Bloody Mary is a well known hangover cure. So try reducing the amount of fusel alcohols you consume by choosing high quality drinks that have less of them.
Another cause is dehydration and lack of electrolytes. So start hydrating yourself before, while and after you consume alcohol. And to keep the water in your body, make sure, you add enough electrolytes to bind the water. In russia and other slavic countrys there is a culture of eating salty (electrolytes and increasing thirst), sour (helps making you thirsty) and fatty (proteins and delays alcohol absorbtion) food along with drinking. In a way it's like having a hangover breakfast while drinking.
All of this can be done when you wake up with a hangover: drinking some alcohol as "hair of the dog" (this will reduce the symtoms but increase the time you feel them but won't fix anything!), eating a rich breakfast, drinking lots of water (tea, juice, ...) and maybe pop a blood-thinner like ASS (Aspirin).
One time in the past an old friend of mine suggested something cleverly simple:
Drink lots of water before going to bed and you won't have as much of a hangover.
Really, it is that simple. It works for me since then.
To have an even smaller hangover, drink in between three drinks, one glass of water (here in Germany you can get tap water for free in pubs).
The effect is really impressive. I already experimented with spirits and beer and sometimes a mixed beer like "Radler" in between can help, too.
Try it out and tell me if it works for you too.
Hangover is the manifestation of poisoning by the intermediate product of alcohol decomposition : aldehydes.
Asian people as well as some blue eyed blond people have harder time decomposing those in harmless molecules. Aldehydes have also a link to the taste of the beverages as they contain some.
Producing the molecule that breaks down aldehydes require lots of water, but most alcoholic beverages are diuretics, meaning that drinking more water will make aldehyde deshydrogenase production a bit higher.
So drink water and have a balanced diet to lessen the effects of hangovers.
Also, smoking reduce the speed of action of aldehyde deshydrogenase since the reaction required oxygen.
Macgregor S., Lind P. A., Bucholz K. K., Hansell N. K., Madden P. A. F., Richter M. M., Montgomery G. W., Martin N. G., Heath A. C., Whitfield J. B. (2008.) "Associations of ADH and ALDH2 gene variation with self report alcohol reactions, consumption and dependence: an integrated analysis", Human Molecular Genetics, 18(3):580-93.
Xiao Q, Weiner H, Crabb DW (Nov 1996). "The mutation in the mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) gene responsible for alcohol-induced flushing increases turnover of the enzyme tetramers in a dominant fashion". The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 98 (9): 2027–32.
Isotonic sport drinks do it for me, hangovers have a lot to do with dehydration - it's a good way to rehydrate :) Vitamin C is good too, and lots of it - Berocca is amazing for hangovers. If it's a bad hangover, the best way is to drink loads of water, like 4 liters. Will soon go away after that! Bloody mary is the best way but that's a dangerous road to go down!
It basically counts on "how bad" your hangover is. But these are the things I usually do.
- Drink a glass of cold coke.
- Pure black coffee - If you can't drink it black, try to just add sugar to it.
- Milk/Tea with milk.
Some people don't suggest any Milk based/Cream based drink - but what can I say, these work for me. Give it a try though.
I am a thin girl so I should not be able to drink like I can but I have secrets to my success. I make sure to drink plenty of clear fluids the day of or before. Always drink beer before liquor. I don't like to eat a bunch before I start drinking but rather save the feasting for the end of the night.