There are a lot of things in life that are worse than a hangover, but when you've got one, it certainly doesn't feel that way. Hangovers are painful - in so many ways.
Every individual has their own tactics for defeating or preventing a hangover, but have you ever thought about whether these rituals actually work? Sadly enough for you (and for me) the chances are, these 'hangover cures' actually provide very little benefit at all - and in some instances, they can even be counter-productive.
We asked Dr. Pedram Kordrostami, founder of AfterDrink, to go right ahead and debunk the hangover cure myths that won't help, so we can save ourselves a whole lot of bother this festive season.
1. Drinking milk to "line your stomach"
"This one is a bit of a myth I’m afraid, although there is some truth behind it. It’s important, if you’re planning on having a night on the drink, that you eat a good meal beforehand. This is because alcohol is absorbed from the stomach directly into the blood stream, and is done so much quicker on an empty stomach. Eating before going out slows down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed, which will eventually lead to a less severe hangover. But drinking milk will leave your stomach quickly, and will therefore not have much of an effect on how quickly the alcohol is absorbed."
2. Hair of the dog
"Beer for breakfast anyone? Drinking again the morning after on a hangover is a method that some swear by, but even those will probably tell you that they know deep down it’s an unhealthy practice. You see, hangover symptoms begin when the concentration of alcohol in your body starts dropping off significantly, and reaches its worst point when the concentration is at zero. Therefore, drinking another alcoholic beverage will do nothing except delay the worst of your hangover temporarily, where it will come back with a vengeance."
3. Eating stodgy food
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but stodgy food (while potentially delicious) can be detrimental to your body, particularly when it comes to a hangover. Stodgy foods that are full of fat are tough for your stomach to digest which, after a session of drinking, is already in a delicate state. That takeaway will cause you to feel bloated well into the next day. Opt for some fruit instead, as it could help replenish lost nutrients and clear alcohol from your system."
4. Making yourself throw up
"Making yourself throw up isn’t advisable for a few reasons. Firstly, you’ll lose a lot of fluid and electrolytes making yourself more dehydrated. Secondly, strong forcible wrenching can cause internal injury to your already delicate digestive system. If you’ve been drinking all night and are already drunk, you won’t gain any benefit from vomiting out what’s left in your stomach."
5. Taking painkillers before bed
"Painkillers like paracetamol take at least half an hour to kick in, and last for around four to six hours, meaning that you’ll be asleep for the duration of any pain relief you might get. Furthermore, as alcohol and paracetamol are metabolised by the liver, you’re just giving it more work to do. Also, anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen reduce the mucus lining of your stomach making it more vulnerable to irritation from stomach acid."
6. Working out
"Doing heavy exercise on a hangover can result in you doing more harm to yourself than good. For starters, dehydration is one of the primary causes of a hangover, and working out will cause you to lose more fluid and push your heart rate higher than it already is. Feeling rough and lacking concentration can also increase the risk injury and strains. Best just to stay in!"
7. Drinking coffee
"Although it seems like the right thing to do, coffee will only make things worse. It's a stimulant that increases your heart rate which is already beating faster than usual because you’re dehydrated. Caffeine will also make you sweatier, worsen any shakes you may have and exacerbate anxiety leaving you feeling on edge. It’s true coffee will make you feel more alert and awake, but are the side effects worth it?"
All in all, it seems like the best thing to do on a hangover is to have a duvet day with the accompaniment of Netflix's finest original rom-coms. Works for me.
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