New Year’s Hangover Remedies

hangoverA New Year’s Eve celebration can leave a person searching for hangover remedies come New Year’s morning. Some cures can do more harm than good and others might be a waste of time. Here a few simple tips on preventing and surviving the worst of New Year’s hangovers.

The night of the festivities, it is wise to drink beverages with a lower alcohol content or ones which are lighter in color as they contain less congeners, a compound that gets broken down into a toxin once inside the body. Avoiding heavy or greasy foods can help decrease any abdominal symptoms.

It is always important to drink water, but it is even more important to replenish the fluids lost due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol. The rule of thumb is to drink at least one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage consumed. It will make for more trips to the bathroom, but will leave the drinker with less negative aftereffects and back on the road to a quick recovery.

In addition to drinking water before, during, and after consuming alcohol, one should consider a sports drink or two. The added electrolytes and sugar can help a hangover sufferer to rehydrate more quickly and keep blood sugar from bottoming out. This super speedy electrolyte restoration is useful for anyone who’s lost their stomach in the New Year’s excitement. It will not cure a New Year’s hangover but it will help decrease the severity of symptoms.

Drinking alcohol leaches B vitamins from the body and B vitamin levels are related to energy and fatigue. It is a good idea to take a sublingual B complex vitamin supplement the day the drinking will begin and the next day. A sublingual liquid is absorbed into the bloodstream much more quickly than a capsule, which will have to be broken down by the digestive system. The B vitamins will help decrease the fatigue that a partygoer might suffer post-party.

After staying up late, one should preserve as much opportunity for quality sleep as possible. If using a vitamin B supplement, it should not be taken too close to bedtime as it can make falling asleep more difficult. Even though people can typically fall asleep easily after drinking, extra rest is necessary since the depth of sleep is altered by alcohol consumption. If sleeping in is not an option, taking a nap at some point later in the day is a good idea.

In addition to getting enough rest, some exercise helps to boost mood and energy. It is also important to try to schedule in some moderate exercise, being extra careful to drink plenty of water. If exercise is too much to ask, a hangover sufferer can relax with some stomach soothing teas and ingest a little bit of caffeine to get an energy boost. Caffeine can help to minimize headaches, but too much can cause vasoconstriction and increase blood pressure, making a headache worse.

Ginger and peppermint teas are helpful in alleviating unpleasant digestive symptoms and peach tea helps to detoxify the body. Taking a bath in apple cider vinegar, or a bath with mustard, or a wasabi infusion can draw toxins from the body. A bath including mineral salts, camphor, or eucalyptus can increase the bath’s detoxifying power. A detoxifying bath taken after drinking a peach (detox) tea and using a soft brush to open the pores can help remove toxins. A soak for at least 10 minutes should be followed by a cool or cold water rinse. This combination is said to draw toxins out through the skin letting the bather rinse the toxins down the drain.

Drinking more alcohol the morning after is a bad idea. This tactic is still promoted by many, but it has proven to be ineffective. What may happen is the inevitable hangover will be prolonged or temporarily postponed. Alcohol, which is a toxin, has to be cleared from the body before a hangover will subside. Adding alcohol can sometimes fool a person into thinking they feel better when they are really just putting off the inevitable.

Over the counter pain relievers can be useful, but may just need filtering from the body or have potentially dangerous blood thinning effects when combined with those of alcohol. They should be ingested carefully. If a medication is necessary using one that contains caffeine lends maximum headache battling ability.

If the hangover is beyond that of a headache, fatigue, and general malaise, eating should be done with caution. It is important to focus on foods that are light, rather than greasy, and simple to digest. Starting with soup or broth, fruit juices, and simple carbohydrates such as crackers, toast, or pasta is best. All dairy products should be avoided until intestinal symptoms subside.

A person should drink plenty of fruit juice or eat fresh fruit that contains a lot of vitamin C. This can help to reduce the free radical damage that results from drinking. Other treatments such as hangover relief pills are not effective, but very likely have some placebo effects. It might not hurt to enlist the help of the powerful mind to battle that hangover, but spending money to do so is not necessary.

This year anyone planning to drink can be prepared to battle the New Year’s hangover with these simple remedies. The only way to prevent a hangover completely is to avoid drinking altogether, but it is okay to leave personal growth and health resolutions until next year. Everyone should have a safe and happy New Year’s.

By Lara Stielow

The Globe and Mail

Discovery Health

Men’s Health

One Response to "New Year’s Hangover Remedies"

  1. Jake   July 7, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    hey Lara, your article about avoiding a hangover reminded me of a popular post I came across on our site Wall Street Oasis (one of the largest online finance communities with over 4 million page views/month).

    Our post supports what you’ve written, but from the perspective of an investment banker instead.

    I thought you’d find the article and some of the follow-up comments interesting.

    If you’d like me to forward it your way let me know and I’ll gladly send it over.

    Wall Street Oasis


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