While alcohol can be welcome (in limited quantities, right?) in various situations, parties and other social gatherings, it also comes with its bad short-term side, the hangover.
We’ve all been there: headache, dizziness, lack of energy and focus and overall “not in the mood” shape. This is because alcohol changes the way that methanol, a chemical found in small amounts in alcoholic beverages, is processed in the body.
After you drink alcohol, methanol is converted into formaldehyde, a toxic compound that could be the cause of some hangover symptoms (study 1, study 2).
So what I decided to do is to compile a list of top 3 things you should be doing after a night of excess. Here it goes:
Anti-hangover hack #1: Get hydrated
That’s right. Alcohol gets the body in a dehydration state, simply because excretion goes at full-throttle, to eliminate all toxins that come with it. That means you’re also losing a lot of fluids and essential minerals. Hence, having water or, better, Pedialyte with electrolytes and probiotics [find on Amazon here] or some equivalent is an excellent idea. This will bring you back in shape to the point you can focus on other things.
Anti-hangover hack #2: Eat well and drink a juice
I am with you: you’re not in the mood of eating, especially a consistent breakfast but, trust me, you’ll thank me. Your body needs energy to recover from the hangover and the best way to exit that downwards spiral is to eat. Go with easy to digest stuff, an oatmeal or an egg omelette are good starters. A juice will replenish you with vitamins an minerals your body needs.
Anti-hangover hack #3: Take a supplement
Though research is limited, some studies have found that certain supplements could ease hangover symptoms. One of the supplements I actually tried and had excellent results on me is one that I have initially found at Whole Foods but you can also buy on Amazon [link here]. I always keep the bottle close after I return from a party and pop-in a pill when I reach home just to make sure the next morning I am in good shape.
Bonus tip: Avoid drinks with congeners
Through the process of ethanol fermentation, sugars are converted into carbon dioxide and ethanol, also known as alcohol.
Congeners are toxic chemical by-products that are also formed in small amounts during this process, with different alcoholic beverages contain varying amounts (study link here).
Some studies have found that consuming drinks with a high amount of congeners could increase the frequency and severity of a hangover. Congeners may also slow the metabolism of alcohol and cause prolonged symptoms.
Drinks that are low in congeners include vodka, gin and rum, with vodka containing almost no congeners at all.
Meanwhile, tequila, whiskey and cognac are all high in congeners, with bourbon whiskey containing the highest amount – hence, you should be staying away from drinking too much of these types of alcohol.