5 Ways to Handle Your Hangover
Covid is slowing down and that means a lot more going out - and for some of us a lot more hangovers.
We’ve all been there. Waking up convincing ourselves the night before wasn’t worth it - the throbbing headache, the nausea, the exhaustion. No one feels good about losing another sunny Saturday to a day in bed (or with your head in the toilet.) While there isn’t a secret cure to fix that hangover fog, there are some tried and true tricks that will help you feel more like yourself.
What Causes a Hangover?
Knowing what causes a hangover is the first step in creating a good recovery plan and can help you prevent them from happening.
- Congeners are nasty by-products found in alcohol that can contribute to hangovers. These sneaky jerks are found in larger amounts in darker booze such as bourbon and red wine. Sticking to clear liquors, such as vodka and gin, will lower your consumption of congeners and potentially decrease the possibility or severity of a hangover.
- Dehydration is a big culprit and leads to dizziness and lightheadedness. Alcohol actually makes the body create more urine than normal. So while you might think that a strong urge to go means that you are getting rid of some of the booze in your system, you are actually dehydrating your body.
- Low blood sugar can leave you feeling weak, shaky, and anxious. You may even get hit with nausea and vomiting. Alcohol increases insulin secretion, which causes your blood sugar to plummet and your mood to fall along with it.
- Sleep disruption happens frequently after a night of drinking. Alcohol increases the production of glutamine which is a stimulant. Great if you want to stay up late, not so much if you have to function in the morning.
How to avoid a hangover in the first place
Plan ahead. If you know you are going to be hitting the booze start by loading up on water. This will increase circulation and oxygen to your muscles and help counteract the fluid loss caused by drinking alcohol.
Give yourself a nutrient bump. Drinking a wellness shot rich in B vitamins will give you a brain boost. Natural supplements that load your body up on vitamin C can also pack a hangover-fighting punch
Food is important! Eat a meal that combines carbs and protein and takes longer to digest. Skip the simple carbohydrates which quickly turn into sugar. If you skip that pre-drinking meal, opt to grab a midnight snack as you head home from the bar in lieu of waiting until the morning. If you are already feeling queasy when you get to your front door, carb load on simple foods like crackers or toast. Plain carbs will help soak up any alcohol in your stomach meaning whatever is left in there is less likely to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Avoid dark liquors and alcohol. Skip the bourbon, brandy, and red wine if you have multiple drinks. Choosing clear liquor like gin and vodka is the best way to lower your consumption of congeners and minimize negative effects from drinking. However; there are exceptions to that rule. While champagne and prosecco are light in color and low in congeners, the carbonation in these drinks speed up the rate alcohol is absorbed in your bloodstream and cause that head pounding in the morning.
I messed up and I am already hungover
Uh oh. Don’t worry. There are still steps that you can take to minimize your pain and get your energy back.
5 Ways to Handle Your Hangover
- Make sure you eat.
Getting back on track starts with filling your body with energizing and hydrating foods. Eggs are a good call if you find yourself going out for bruch. Eggs contain amino acids that help to prevent or alleviate nausea, headaches, stress, and anxiety.
Bananas are full of potassium which helps counteract dehydration. If you can tolerate the sound of the blender, make a smoothie with bananas, blueberries and coconut water. The antioxidants from the blueberries and hydrating properties from the coconut water will speed up the healing process. A smoothie is also much easier on the stomach than a full breakfast or cold, leftover pizza. If a smoothie seems like too much to handle, just eat a banana.
Whatever you eat, chasing it with a glass of orange juice will give your blood sugar a spike and will help alleviate the shakiness and anxiety you may be feeling. Just don’t be tempted to turn that OJ into a mimosa.
2. Exercise (if you're able to).
After you fill your tank with some food, getting mild to moderate exercise can kick start your metabolism and start clearing out the toxins from the night before. Exercise also boosts circulation which will increase oxygen flow to your muscles. All things that will help you feel more like yourself. But always listen to your body. If you're dizzy, vomiting, and sensitive to light, forcing yourself to work out is probably not a good idea. Skip the workout and head straight to the shower instead. A cold shower increases blood flow and helps spike your heart rate.
You’ve eaten, sweated out the toxins, and showered. Now it’s time to hydrate. Drinking water first thing in the morning is a habit we all can benefit from – even when we haven’t had drinks the night before. Adding lemon to you water can give you an added boost of vitamin C. If you’re feeling nauseous, ginger tea will rehydrate you while soothing the lining of your stomach. Ice chips can also be a good source of hydration while being easy on the stomach and a great hangover cure.
Replacing electrolytes helps too. Reach for a sports drink, electrolyte drink powder, or children’s popsicle. If you do pick a sports drink or powder, skip the caffeine versions. Chances are it will make you shaky before you are solid and interfere with getting a good night of post-hangover recovery sleep.
- Get some rest
Because alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle it is rare to wake up feeling rested after an evening of drinking. If you can, take a power nap and plan to get to bed on time. Sleeping is nature’s cure, and the best part is that it doesn’t cost a thing.
Drink a Wellness Shot and take your vitamins. While breakfast will help you with a nutrient boost, chances are it won't check all the boxes. The best way to get the boost you need is by drinking a wellness shot or taking a natural supplement that will give your brain a solid B vitamin boost.
Forget the hair-of-the-dog and half-pound burritos, our hangover shot is way more legit than some old wives’ tale. Every two-ounce bottle is packed with simple, clean, organic ingredients. Refreshing mint, juicy pear, and ginger, plus an expert blend of fruits, B vitamins, and herbs will help you feel hydrated, soothe a rowdy stomach, and ward off that shaky feeling.