Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hangover Cure List?

"How many Irish does it take to change a light bulb?
Twenty One. One to hold the bulb and twenty to drink until the room spins."

You wake up in the morning irritable, and depressed with a headache, and dry, gritty eyes. It's another freaking hangover on the weekend, and a miserable way to start the day. You might call it another variant of the weekend warrior syndrome if you never drink during the week. You get up, and look in the mirror then say "Alright you miserable sot this time you're going to kill this malaise, so let's see what's out there in hangover cure land." A few hours later, and a little research gives you some hope for salvaging the day...

Well, there is probably no such thing as a hangover "cure", but there are a few things that can alleviate the toxic symptoms we endure after a bout of drinking.

First a disclaimer: Although there is sporadic scientific evidence for some of the remedies suggested here it would be prudent to consult with the appropriate health care experts before adhering to some of these methods.

I will stake claim to one of the suggestions listed here, and that would be a proscription for some mild exercise after you've hydrated yourself. For me this works as good, or better than anything else, and yet I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere.

Here is the Hangover busting list:

  • Drink lots of water before and after sleep (unless you are on
    medically proscribed fluid restriction). Sports drinks may
    be a good alternative as well since they contain sugars, needed minerals, and electrolytes such as potassium.
  • Take a shower or bath.
  • Ingest sweet foods that contain fructose (helps the body
    metabolize alcohol).
  • Do some mild exercise, or take a brisk walk (stimulates the
    circulation etc).
  • Vitamin B complex tablet (within recommended daily dose).
  • Cysteine (within recommended dose) as it counteracts
    acetaldehyde a toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism.
  • Vitamin C for its antioxidant effects.
  • Be wary of headache pills as some (acetaminophen), can
    increase the risk of liver damage in conjunction with alcohol,
    and some (ibuprofen, aspirin) can cause gastric irritation.
  • PRAY.

  • Here are tips on preventing a hangover:

  • Drink clear alcohol. Dark alcohol tends to contain a substance called cogeners, and these types of alcohols are more likely to cause hangover symptoms. White wine, vodkas, and light rum are examples of clear alcohols. Red wine, dark rum, sherry, and brandy are high in cogeners. Beer is somewhere in between.
  • Drink slowly, and have some food in your stomach. If you are a small person the same amount of alcohol will affect you more than it would someone larger.
  • Try to drink in moderation. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that women have no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day. One drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer; a 4-ounce glass of wine; or a 1 1/2-ounce shot of liquor.
  • Drink some water in between your alcohol containing drinks as that will decrease your alcohol consumption, and help prevent dehydration
  • Of course, hangovers can be prevented altogether if you avoid alcohol completely, but that's not for everyone either.

  • If you are concerned about alcohol abuse here is a list of complications that can occur with excess drinking.
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