You know the feeling – you went out last night with the intention of having a few drinks. But a few drinks turned into a few drinks too many. You made it home and fell straight into bed. But when you wake up, it’s with the mother of all hangovers and a headache that makes you feel like death warmed up. With a dry mouth and a pounding head, you get out of bed to find yourself dizzy and ready to throw up for the next 4 hours straight.
You lament, how did I get here? And you do it in silence because any sound, even the sound of your own voice will make you wince in pain. What was I thinking? You abandon that thought because thinking is too hard when you’re just trying to survive. Was it worth it? Well, of course, it was because I had an awesome time, but it also wasn’t because now I wish I’d never been born I feel so awful.
There’s nothing wrong with a night out on the town and a couple of drinks with friends. The key is to drink in moderation and not overdo it. But we’ve all had the experience of having a few drinks, and then a few more, and feeling on top of the world at the time. The realization of the consequences of those extra drinks only kicks in the next morning when we wake up to a world of hurt with the dreaded hangover.
Here are some tips and tricks on what do to before, during, and after drinking to prevent a hangover, or at least to make it less severe. Feel free to test them all! What to do before drinking? Let’s find out.
1. Double up on vitamins
A hangover is not caused by dehydration alone, but also by inflammation of the liver in particular, and the oxidative stress placed on the body as it processes the alcohol. So, to avoid a hangover or mitigate its severity, it’s advisable to take extra vitamin supplements. Look out for the following compounds in your multivitamin as they all have an impact on your hangover.
- L-theanine – increases the brains alpha (feel good) waves and stimulates the production of glutathione which our livers need when we drink alcohol.
- Vitamin D – boosts the immune system which is weakened by the by-product of alcohol called acetaldehyde.
After drinking, you should take some Vitamin C which catches and destroys free radicals because it is an antioxidant and raises glutathione levels. You can also take some curcumin (the yellow pigment associated with curry spice). It’s an anti-inflammatory and healthy for the gut which is also affected by alcohol consumption. Some preliminary inquiries have shown that curcumin increases superoxide dismutase which is an important antioxidant.
Before you go to bed, you might also consider activated charcoal as it seems able to absorb acetaldehyde and other toxins that are by-products of alcohol. This has not yet been proven unequivocally, but it’s worth a try. A word of caution: you cannot take activated charcoal within 2 hours of taking other supplements.
A Vitamin B supplement is crucial as well as it breaks down the alcohol in the system. Vitamin B compounds are water soluble. Consequently, their levels become depleted during the consumption of alcohol. So, you need extra Vitamin B to top up your lowered levels and break down the alcohol you’ve consumed. You can even include another dose of Vitamin B when you wake up. Whatever your body doesn’t need it will expel in the urine.