HANGOVERS. The head-pounding, temporarily life-shattering blight of the student experience. Here at Student Hut we feel your pain (literally), so we’ve come up with a list of a few obvious and some obscure tricks that may help you deal with your hangover!
1. Water (Ground-breaking, we know…)
Most students will know what it feels like to wake up after a night of heavy drinking with a mouth that feels like a cross between a leather shoe and a cotton ball.
SCIENCE STUFF: When you drink alcohol, it triggers the brain to stop producing vasopressin. Without this, the kidneys send water directly to the bladder instead of reabsorbing it into the body – hence why everyone starts peeing like racehorses once the drinks start flowing. Studies have found that you expel four times more liquid than you drink - that’s 800-1000ml of water expelled for every 250ml of alcoholic beverage ingested.
Drinking water is essential to replenish the liquids lost, and your dry mouth is your body’s way of letting you know that you need some h two o.
Dioralyte is a rehydration treatment intended for use by people who’ve lost fluids through diarrhoea.
SCIENCE STUFF: All that wee you release once you have started drinking is full of potassium and mineral salts which are necessary for proper nerve and muscle function – the loss of these contributes the nausea, headaches and fatigue commonly associated with a hangover.
Dioralyte is packed full of electrolytes (mineral salts) and glucose to help with the quick reabsorption of water, and is available to buy in most supermarkets and pharmacies. Although the box doesn’t *actually* say it’ll help with a hangover, we’ve tested it first hand and found that it really does. (But remember to always read the label!)
3. Bacon Sandwich
It isn’t just a myth – a bacon sandwich will actually help relieve the symptoms of a hangover!
SCIENCE STUFF: Researchers claim that bread and bacon are the perfect carbohydrate + protein hangover combo. Once broken down, the amino acids in the bacon will help replenish the neurotransmitters lost in all the fluids you expelled, which will help your head feel a little clearer. The bread will provide you with a much needed energy boost and kick your metabolism into gear, allowing your body to digest any remaining booze a little quicker.
Some other foods which help with hangovers:
- Eggs (Contain cysteine, a substance which helps break down residual toxins left behind by alcohol)
- Bananas (High in potassium and other electrolytes)
4. Avoid annoying people
There are certain kinds of people who are just too annoying to be around when you’re hungover:
- People who don’t get hangovers
You’re going to want to give these people a wide berth. They usually love telling those suffering through hangovers about how not hungover they are and how they never get them and how they haven’t had one ever, not even once. Tell them to fluff off.
- People who might tell you about the things you did last night
Mix humans with alcohol and, more often than not, impaired judgement and questionable life choices result. You don’t need to know exactly what you got up to last night just yet – not while you’re still nauseated and curled up in the foetal position. Wait ‘til you’re better.
Alcohol affects the GABA receptors in our brains, which can result in feelings of anxiety and general crappiness.
Got the booze blues? Get cosy, put a film on and have a great big old cry.
(But remember to drink lots of water because you’re losing even more fluids and electrolytes through your eyes when you cry…)
The only sure-fire hangover cure out there is time! Be patient and give your body time to take care of itself.
7. Prevention is the best remedy
There are lots of things you can do before and during your night out to ensure that your hangover isn’t as bad as it could be:
- Eating ISN’T cheating: having a meal before you start drinking will give your body a little more time to absorb the alcohol and deal with all the toxins.
- Drink water: Have a glass or two before and during your night out to help counteract the diuretic effect of alcohol and keep you hydrated.
- Multivitamins: Prepare your body for the loss of vitamins with a pre-emptive multi-vitamin strike, and top yourself up the next day.
- Drink less: Shock horror! People who drink less suffer less the next day.
- Choose your drinks wisely: Certain drinks contain higher volumes of congeners, which are toxins produced during the fermenting process and affect how bad a hangover will be. The more congeners a drink contains, the worse the hangover; red wine and dark liquors (e.g. whisky, bourbon, brandy, tequila) contain the highest amounts of these toxins, while white wine and transparent spirits (e.g. vodka, gin, rum, sambuca) contain the least. The carbon in fizzy alcoholic drinks and mixers speeds up the absorption of alcohol, so be wary of drinking a lot in a short amount of time!
Mixing drinks = a variety of different congeners for your body to process = worse hangover.
- Drink more water: Have a glass or two before bed, and keep a bottle nearby so you don’t have to trek to the sink in the middle of the night – you will thank yourself.
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