Hangovers De-Mystified

Mar 022005
Authors: Anne Farrell

It might be from a party last weekend, a vacation in Cancun or those 21 shots taken on a 21st birthday, but many people have or will eventually experience hangover.

In South Africa they call it Babalaas, in Ireland it is known as being "As rough as a badger's arse," but here we simply call it a hangover, or the more technical medical term Veisalgia.

"It's that icky feeling when you wake up and pledge to never drink again," said John Hantsbarger, a junior history major.

Chaser pills may be used specifically according to the directions and do not often help those who are heavy drinkers. Generally a chaser pill is replenishing the body with things that are naturally found in food, water and Gatorade, said Pam McCracken, director of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Education at CSU.

While the only sure way to prevent a hangover is to abstain from drinking, there are several methods that might hold one off. First of all, it is important to remain hydrated with sugar liquids such as juice, and drinking more alcohol will not help retain hydration. Eating before drinking will help to dilute the alcohol in the stomach and allow the body to absorb it more slowly, according to www.hangover-cures.info.

"The only thing that really helps is time, sleep and getting re-hydrated. The best prevention is to not drink in the first place," McCracken said.

Most people have their own remedies for a hangover and many are simply old wives tales. Several true hangover remedies include drinking lots of water, eating items like bread to dilute the toxins in the stomach and getting lots of rest.

Breakout Box

True or False:

Drinking coffee cures hangovers – False: Coffee is a diuretic that causes the body to lose water.

Drinking a Bloody Mary the next morning cures hangovers – True: While a Bloody Mary can be helpful with recovering from a hangover, it is actually the tomato juice that the body craves. To cure that splitting headache it is generally better to push the vodka aside and go straight for the V8.

Drink some more, aka "Hair of the Dog" – False: The liver breaks down alcohol in a certain order and drinking more will only force the liver to process it later, therefore only postponing the hangover.

Eat a big greasy breakfast – True: Eating is always a good idea and eggs contain the amino acid cysteine that is used to manufacture glutathione. Glutathione is a natural element that helps to take care of chemicals called "free radicals" that contribute to a hangover.

Exercise – True: Increased oxygen flow raises the speed at which alcohol is broken down.

Take an Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) before going to bed – False: Mixing alcohol with painkillers is a bad idea. Both alcohol and acetaminophen damage the liver and to mix the two is bad news. Try waiting till morning and taking a painkiller made of Ibuprofen instead.

Take a Hot Shower – True: The heat of the water will both help sweat out the toxins in the body and do wonders for a headache.

Source: http://www.hangover-cures.info/

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