Current events have some of us taking more swigs than usual. According to a recent survey by the non-profit research organization RTI, alcoholic beverage sales are up, and at-home alcohol consumption has increased by 20 to 40 percent across the nation.
Avoiding drinking during widening stay-at-home orders can be challenging. There is no last call for alcohol or real end to the dinner party. This means drinking should happen with caution and with conscience. But if that doesn’t happen, and you end up with a hangover, here are some ways to make it a little less painful.
There’s no exact hangover “cure”—nothing that magically wipes it away in moments. But these moves can bring you a lot closer to feeling back to normal. Here’s what to do.
Take a Breather
“Don’t have another drink,” advises George Koob, PhD, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. “You will just prolong the agony.” Likening hangovers to mini-withdrawal symptoms, Koob debunks the “hair of the dog” myth that suggests that a small bit of the same alcohol that exacerbated your condition is the antidote for your hangover. “It will backfire,” he says.
“Exercise helps clear a lot of the malaise,” says Dr. Koob. Get up and do something—at least take a walk. If you are already an avid exerciser, Lisa Dorfman, a Miami-based registered dietitian and author of Legally Lean, suggests you get moving in the morning. Your circulatory system will be better for it. “Remember to replace lost fluids so you don’t run the risk of dehydration,” adds Dorfman. Again, this won’t cure a hangover, but can leave you feeling a heck of a lot better.
“Take an ibuprofen like Aleve or Advil before bed because the anti-inflammatory aspects of the medication have shown the ability to reduce incidence of headache,” says Robert Glatter, MD, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Replenish your nutrients
Fruits high in water content, such as watermelon, can reintroduce fluids and hydrate the body. A glass of water infused with a vitamin supplement like Emergen-C can shorten the length of time you experience the worst hangover symptoms. “Dehydration and headaches have a direct relationship,” says Dorfman.
Cop some complex carbs
Whole grain toast, quinoa and oatmeal are a few complex carbohydrates that go easy on an upset stomach. “You don’t want something that will cause gas, “says Dr. Glatter. Alcohol reduces your blood sugar levels and slow-release carbs have a regulating effect on that blood sugar.
Drink tap or bottled water
And of course, the best cure for the debilitating effects of a hangover is a glass of plain old water.
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