After a night of heavy drinking, there may come a time when no hangover cure seems too outlandish. People often go to great lengths to ease the side effects of a severe hangover, but very few of these treatments have any basis in science. Here is a quick look at six hangover cures you might want to avoid next time you find yourself queasy, groggy, and in pain.
Drinking some “hair of the dog” is one of the most common hangover cure myths in the world. While more alcohol can alleviate some of the side effects for a short period of time, this only delays the hangover. Once your blood-alcohol level begins to plummet, you will once again feel the hangover. As an alternative, you should try a sports drink to replenish your electrolytes.
Reaching for a cup of coffee the day after drinking can help you wake up, but it will not cure your hangover. In fact, coffee could actually make the symptoms much worse. That is because coffee is considered a diuretic, and consuming more than a few ounces at a time can result in even worse dehydration. Those who absolutely need coffee in the morning should drink as little as possible if they are hungover.
Not only are over-the-counter painkillers ineffective at curing hangovers, but they can also be dangerous. When you do not have alcohol in your system, your body breaks painkillers down into harmless compounds before sending them to your bloodstream. After a night of heavy drinking, however, your liver will be busy attempting to metabolize the alcohol. Overloading your liver with painkillers after drinking can cause permanent damage.
Many people get hunger pangs after having a few drinks, but a greasy meal just before bed will not cure a hangover. In order for food to ease a hangover, it must be consumed before the alcohol. When your digestive system is busy metabolizing the food, it takes the alcohol much longer to get into your bloodstream.
While it is true that some drinks cause worse hangovers, the order in which you consume the drinks matters very little. The only bit of truth in this myth is the fact that shots of liquor are often much easier to drink at the end of the night. No matter what you are drinking, it is always a good idea to have one glass of water between every alcoholic beverage.
Much like a cup of coffee, a cold shower will most likely only ease the symptoms for a few minutes. This is because your body produces an incredible amount of adrenaline when it comes into contact with cold water, and adrenaline naturally increases your pain threshold. Unfortunately, the fatigue that takes place after an adrenaline rush can worsen your headache and nausea.
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