Most of us have been there at one point or another – we had a little too much to drink the night before and wake up with a pounding head, dry mouth, and general tiredness. It may even feel like the room is spinning thanks to a little nausea or dizziness. Any of these symptoms could have you reaching for your phone to try and find the best hangover cures, but sadly the idea of magically curing a hangover is a little bit of a myth. When it comes to figuring out how to get rid of a hangover, the best option is often just time!
In saying that, there are a few hangover remedies that can be employed to try and speed the recovery process along a little.
1. Water, water, water
Government-funded service healthdirect has a few tips to ease hangover symptoms, one being to drink plenty of water. A large part of a hangover can often be attributed to dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes your body to lose water via the renal system. This can leave you feeling dried out, tired, and of course contribute to that tell-tale headache. So, as such, the first hangover remedy is to drink plenty of water to try and replace fluids lost during the time spent drinking.
2. Pain relief
If you have a pounding headache, you may like to take pain relief to alleviate the symptoms. Alcohol causes blood vessels to expand, and this combined with dehydration can mean bad news for your head the morning after. Taking a paracetamol or other pain relief may also allow you to get to sleep easier, letting you snooze off the hangover symptoms. However, Harvard recommends that you do not take Tylenol (acetaminophen), as any alcohol still in your system may accentuate the drug’s effects on the liver.
3. Get something into your stomach
While the best hangover food may differ from person to person, it’s a good idea to try and eat something if you’re experiencing hangover symptoms. One option is to choose simple foods that help to settle a stomach. This can include crackers, nuts, bananas, juice, eggs, or toast. It might be an idea to experiment with different types of foods to see what works best for you.
Preventative steps to avoid a hangover
When you’re sitting there wondering ‘how do I stop feeling sick from a hangover?’, you’d do anything to never feel so awful again. Unfortunately, as hangovers have no simple cure, it’s best to avoid them where possible. There are a few methods that can be undertaken to try and avoid future hangovers, including:
4. Don’t drink to excess
The number one way to avoid a hangover is to drink less. In Australia, it’s recommended that both men and women consume no more than four standard drinks in a day. A standard drink doesn’t necessarily mean a can of beer, it relates to the amount of pure alcohol found in a drink. One standard drink is the equivalent of 10g of pure alcohol. Familiarising yourself with the standards in a drink can help you manage your drinking sessions and know how much alcohol you’re consuming. Check the side of your beer, cider, or pre-mixed beverage to see how many standards are contained within the drink.
5. Eat before you drink
Drinking on an empty stomach can exacerbate the effects of alcohol. Before heading off for a night out, make sure you eat a full meal of fats or carbohydrates to help your body. This might be fried rice or a pasta dish. Eating before drinking alcohol is a good habit to get into, and can help to line your stomach for the night ahead.
6. Drink slowly
Drinking slowly can give your body time to process the alcohol you’re consuming. Having five shots in quick succession can be bad news as your body may struggle to process the alcohol being consumed. It’s recommended that people drink no more than one alcoholic drink each hour, so as to give yourself time to process the alcohol.
7. Consume plenty of water
One method to try and avoid a hangover is to drink a full glass of water for every standard drink you consume. Drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic one can not only water-down the alcohol in your stomach, but may also lessen the dehydration effects of the alcohol. Another good tip is to try and remember to have one full glass of water when you get home, before heading to bed.
8. Zinc and B Vitamins
A study published in The Journal of Clinical Medicine showed that those who consumed higher amounts of B vitamins and zinc in the 24 hours prior to excessive drinking had less-severe hangovers. As such, having a diet with greater amounts of zinc and B vitamins may lead to easier hangovers.
How venues can help
While it’s not a venue’s responsibility to ensure patrons wake up the next morning hangover-free, they should implement steps that limit excessive drinking and encourage smart consumption practices. Being well-educated is important and invaluable.
In Australia, a valid RSA certificate must be held by all persons serving alcohol in a licensed premises. Completing an RSA course from an accredited provider such as Express Online Training can help you learn more about standard drink sizes, plus how to serve alcohol responsibly.