A hangover is the unpleasant feeling that can develop after drinking too much alcohol. A general rule of thumb is that consumption is directly proportional to the hangover, i.e. more booze you consume, more likely you are to experience hangover you are going to feel the following day. But there is no magic formula to tell how much you can safely drink and not have a hangover. Alcohol seems to be the obvious culprit here, rather its diuretic effects are. Congeners are responsible for more intensive hangovers. Congeners are substances other than desired alcohol, ethanol, produced during fermentation. Congeners include a small amount of undesired substances like methanol, acetone, acetaldehyde, esters, and aldehydes. They are responsible for the taste and odor of distilled alcoholic beverages. Whiskey, tequila has a high amount of congeners whereas colorless drinks like vodka, gin rum have low levels of congeners. Bourbon whiskey has an exceptionally high amount of congeners preset while vodka contains almost none. Alcohol contributes to hangovers through following ways-
- Diuretic- Alcohol is diuretic and therefore makes you pee often, thus getting dehydrated after a drink is highly likely. Dehydration is the reason behind dizziness, headaches.
- Electrolyte imbalance- ALcohol causes an imbalance of electrolytes in the body due to excess fluid loss causing headaches, irritability, weakness.
- Hypoglycemia- Alcohol limits the production of glucose production in the body, causing fatigue, dizziness, and irritability.
- Difficulty sleeping- Although alcohol induces sleeping but hinders high-quality sleep and thus making you drowsier the following day.
These symptoms differ from person to person. Most hangovers go on their own within 24 hours no matter how unpleasant they may seem. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do nothing to alleviate yourself from the post-party symptoms.
- Eggs- Eggs are a 5-star brunch for some reason. Full of Vitamin B-12 and amino acids like cysteine and taurine. Cysteine helps flush acetaldehyde from the body, one of the congener. While taurin helps bolster your liver keeping you energized.
- Potassium- Foods rich in potassium help you get energized since potassium is a vulnerable electrolyte when you are getting a booze. Bananas, avocados, dates are rich source of potassium.
- Carbs- Need instant energy? What’s good than carbs. They raise blood sugar without roiling up your stomach helping relieve hangover.
- Cereals- Packed with essential nutrients like VitaminsB, calcium, magnesium that help you perk you up.
- Water- Since alcohol is diuretic, therefore replenishing the water before bed or in the morning can prevent hangover. Take slow sips or nibble an ice cube.
- Tea- Ginger or Peppermint along with herbal tea could help your stomach to soothe.
- Soda- Grab a soda as soda breaks down acetaldehyde and other nausea causing byproducts formed after liver metabolizes ethanol.
Unfortunately no scientific cure is present to cure hangover. But some foods might certainly help you mitigate its effects. Also since every person is unique and therefore cures too. Use your intuition and hear your gut.
Image by rawpixel.com