How to Handle a Hangover

Using the logic of a sober mind, the best way to “cure” a hangover is to predict the approximate time when the drinking will occur, and prepare. Oh, it’s understandable if you’re caught off guard. So this article does address how to best live with a bad hangover after the more enjoyable aspects of heavy drinking are long gone. But if you truly want to minimize the negative results of alcoholic fun and frivolity, then do two things: 1) realize that you are probably going to drink, maybe quite a lot, since you’re not planning to drive, operate heavy machinery or head to work shortly thereafter; and 2) consume the proper herbs, vitamins and other recommended over-the-counter products before starting to imbibe. Even if you forget to take any preventive steps prior to your first drink, several things can be done to lessen the potential pain as you realize, “yeah, I’m sucking down more booze than my body can handle.” In fact, it’s almost never too late to ward off some of the forthcoming discomfort.

If you’re fairly new to recreational drinking, don’t make any assumptions. A bit of proper preparation goes a long way. On the other hand, if you’ve experienced bad hangovers, or tend to get sloshed on a more regular basis, use the self-knowledge already gained to better avoid the feeling of waking up with a sledge hammer pounding on the inside of your brain.

Every Body Reacts

Without getting too scientific here, understand that the result of alcohol consumption is different for everyone, depending on weight, genetics, experience, other drugs in the system, and so on. To over simplify even more, the characteristics of liquor that make us numb and dumb are the same ones which classify it as a depressant, a killer of brain cells, and a veritable poison when too much of it enters the bloodstream. The primary organ in the body that breaks it down and cleans it up is the liver. Drinking too much over the long haul can do it serious damage. Yet for anyone who drinks, be it occasional or otherwise, the best way to prepare is to strengthen liver function. The beauty of taking all the recommended vitamins and herbs is that they are good for you, and when taken in the proper dosage, will only assist in overall health.

Remember Some Basics

A lot of things people say are ridiculous when it comes to curing or avoiding a bad hangover, especially having a stiff drink once the pain sets in (“hair of the dog that bit you.”) From black coffee and burnt toast to cold showers, a lot of traditional remedies will only make things worse. But there are a few basics which most of us know about, and which are brought up here just in case you forgot (or have already started drinking while you read this.)

Eat a decent meal before or during the boozing. Drink lots of water before, during and after because alcohol will dehydrate the dickens out of you. If you can at all help it, drink a type of alcohol that is less concentrated, like beer or white wine. Some people react badly to wine in general, especially red wine, and the headaches can be murder, so again it’s wise to know yourself. The clear liquors like vodka are said to be less debilitating. But since they’re so strong, and their medicinal taste so easily disguised in a mixed drink, the chance you’ll cross the line from extra happy to stumbling, obnoxious, and sick-on-the-floor is a lot more likely. Finally, beware of mixing different types of booze, particularly in large quantities. While you may not get nauseous if you’re a person who can “hold” their liquor, doing shots with a lot of beer, or downing a few cocktails, then plentiful wine with a meal, plus some after-dinner liqueurs, your hangover is sure to be ‘killer.’

Of course a pain reliever is strongly advised, which should be taken beforehand, or before going to sleep, and certainly upon waking up if there’s a throbbing head. Due to it’s interaction with the liver, avoid acetaminophen, the main ingredient found in Tylenol Ã?© and a lot of other pain medications. Ibuprofen and aspirin are better, although they can contribute to stomach ailments, especially on an empty one.

Supplemental Protection

Now that you’ve got an idea of some general guidelines for lowering the bad hangover risk, it’s time to look at serious remedies. The source of this information is taken from a count of the ingredients used most in the numerous hangover cures on the market. A few other items have been included due to objective analyses of specialized cleansing features along with information found in product reviews.

Probably the ingredient that shows up most in all of the popular “cure” products is vitamin C. Being the best known antioxidant, and having been a significant health supplement for years, it’s an obvious choice. Other antioxidants are also important for reducing cell damage caused by any kind of modern day poisoning, including too much alcohol. The ones used most by the hangover product companies are vitamins B12, thiamine, B6, niacin, riboflavin, other B vitamins, potassium, selenium and more. Green tea leaf extract is a highly touted antioxidant, not to mention the tea itself. Someone should invent a mixed drink chock full of such curatives. If it’s an antioxidant, if it stops damage to the body caused by free radicals, then you won’t make a hangover worse by taking plenty of it. Be careful not to overdose on the fat soluble vitamins, and follow all dosing directions.

To bolster liver function several herbs and minerals are recommended, and again, this is for anyone, anytime, especially people who put their liver into an overly stressful state on a regular basis. These are Milk Thistle, choline, inositol, and phosphatidyl choline. Milk thistle is used in over a dozen of the products that are geared to abbreviate a hangover.

The website, www.hangoverreview.com has plenty of information to further support these conclusions. Their reviews of numerous cure products discuss which ones best deliver the nutrients that help neutralize toxins found in the body after hours of drinking. For example, some additional ingredients used by a handful of them are the amino acids cysteine and glutathione, and vitamin E. They also recommend the use of “100% pharmaceutical grade activated carbon” as a preventive, which will apparently absorb many of the lurking poisons that cause hangovers.

An added positive side-effect of ingesting all of these supplements before getting pie-eyed is the fact that they’re being swallowed with water. If you take herbs or supplements on a daily basis, increase the amount of water soluble ones before and while imbibing. Otherwise, take what you can when you have a pre-partying meal, and during the festivities. Sip lots of water before, during and after a bender. Not only does it reduce the dehydration affect, but slows down the absorption of booze into the bloodstream.

The Party’s Over

Alas, if your budget barely allows for the purchase of a twelve pack, much less a slew of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and herbs, and you find yourself with a major hangover, then take immediate survival action. First, be sure to reduce commitments and responsibilities for the next 12 hours, then have something good to eat, and certainly take whatever kind of pain relief your body can tolerate. The goal is to lay down in a dark and quiet room, watching old sitcoms or other silly stuff, and move toward further sleep. It’s a good idea to snooze as much as you can. If you have vitamin C, OJ, fruit, or any of the supplements mentioned above, swallow what you’re able. Don’t overdo it, and work on flushing out the poisons you can’t otherwise neutralize. And remember to drink plentyâÂ?¦âÂ?¦âÂ?¦ of water.

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