You just opened your eyes and find yourself in a crumbled mess. Hopefully you are somewhere safe, in somewhat familiar surroundings, with your phone, wallet and keys still with you. Your mind slowly attempts to reconstruct portions of what happened the previous night. You wish you were still asleep but you are awake. You go through the proverbial, “That’s the last time I drink for a while…” routine that lasts only as long as the symptoms of the hangover. But all the remorse will do you no good. You need help, and need it quickly. You don’t have time for the “I told you so…” or the “Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve…” lectures. What you need to do is simple:
- Hydrate yourself quickly. The ethanol in alcohol causes your body to dehydrate, causing headaches, dry mouth and fatigue. This effect can be lessened by drinking plenty of water before and throughout your night of drinking. So instead of reaching for that last beer, order a scotch and water instead. Your liver breaks this ethanol down and the resulting chemical reactions impair the liver’s ability to supply glucose to tissues, in particular to the brain. Glucose is responsible for the brain’s energy and the lack thereof results in fatigue, weakness, moodiness and decreased attention. It is best to drink water before, during and after drinking alcohol. But it you didn’t do that, drinking plenty of H20 will yield quick relief.
- Replenish the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that the alcohol and fluids flushed from your storage reserves. According to the National Institute of Health, alcohol depletes the body of many essential nutrients such as all the B vitamins, especially B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folic acid, vitamins C and K, zinc, magnesium and potassium. Alcohol inhibits the breakdown of nutrients into usable molecules by decreasing secretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Alcohol impairs nutrient absorption by damaging the cells lining the stomach and intestines and disabling transport of some nutrients into the blood. In addition, nutritional deficiencies themselves may lead to further absorption problems. For example, folate deficiency alters the cells lining the small intestine, which in turn impairs absorption of water and nutrients including glucose, sodium, and additional folate. Chronic heavy drinking is associated with deficiencies in many vitamins because of decreased food ingestion and, in some cases, impaired absorption, metabolism, and utilization. For example, alcohol inhibits fat absorption and thereby impairs absorption of the vitamins A, E, and D that are normally absorbed along with dietary fats. Deficiencies of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc are common in alcoholics, although alcohol itself does not seem to affect the absorption of these minerals. Rather, deficiencies seem to occur secondary to other alcohol-related problems: decreased calcium absorption due to fat malabsorption; magnesium deficiency due to decreased intake, increased urinary excretion, vomiting, and diarrhea; iron deficiency related to gastrointestinal bleeding; and zinc malabsorption or losses related to other nutrient deficiencies.
- You need to minimize the amount of nerve stimulation to your body. Your body is in a nervous shock as it is coming off the effects of a depressant. Your body is reacting by becoming hypersensitive. You need rest until your body is able to regain its equilibrium.
Vitamin B Complex: Take the vitamins before you go to bed and let them work their magic while you sleep. If you forget, take them immediately upon arising. B-Vitamins are important in aiding the carbohydrate (alcohol) metabolizing process and in dilating blood vessels. B-vitamins will help restore your energy level. You will need to take a high-potency B-complex supplement for this remedy to work (50-75 mg of B-complex twice a day, hopefully once before bed after indulging).
Vitamin C stimulates the liver to break down the alcohol. An excess of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, and since you probably have stomach distress already too much C may cause a problem.
Bananas: When you consume high amounts of alcohol, you body becomes depleted of potassium. This exhausting of potassium levels makes up one of the reasons you feel so awful when you’ve got a hangover. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium (second only to the avocado) with over 450 mg. per one banana serving, and help to replenish the potassium you’ve lost. Bananas are likewise high in magnesium which will relax your blood vessels and can relieve you from a thumping headache. Bananas are also full of the vitamin B6, that has been proven to subdue hangover symptoms. In addition, bananas are a natural remedy for heartburn because they are full of natural antacid.
Fruit Juices: Fruit juice contains fructose, a form of sugar that helps the body burn alcohol faster that helps accelerate the removal of remaining alcohol in your body. So drinking a large glass of apple juice or tomato juice flushes out alcohol from your body thus helping you recover from a hangover faster. In addition, fruit juices contain high levels of vitamins and nutrients that help to replace the body’s energy and expel alcohol toxins from the body faster. Drink as much cantaloupe and watermelon juice as you can. Being diuretic fruits, these really help to flush out the toxicity from your system.
Cucumbers: Eat a few cucumber slices with a dash of sea salt before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B-vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost during drinking, maintaining equilibrium, and avoiding a hangover and headache. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours. People in Germany have been eating pickles and drinking its juice to cure hangovers. A very effective remedy is brine. Any brine will help. Try sauerkraut, tomato or pickle brine. You can drink it plain.
Tomatoes: In addition to being a prevention remedy, tomato juice contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps your body metabolize alcohol more quickly. This is probably why the morning-after Bloody Mary seems to work. Tomato sauces can be an alternative to the juices like V8.
Persimmons: Persimmon is considered a hangover cure in Japan. According to Metropolis magazine, their “combo of fructose, vitamins A and C and minerals help metabolize the booze and break down the nasty toxins. Chomp on a persimmon in the morning, and it will have the same effect as spinach has on Popeye.
Eggs – Egg yolks contain large amounts of cysteine, which breaks down acetaldehyde, one of the culprits behind a hangover. Eggs are also a good choice if you don’t feel like eating much due to the high amount of energy they provide. It’s also believed that the high nutrient and fat content delays hunger.
The Flex4Fitness Hangover Solution:
Banana Honey Grapefruit Milkshake: One of the quickest hangover solutions is to make a banana milkshake with added honey and fruit juice. The banana helps calm the stomach, and the honey builds up the depleted blood sugar levels. It is considered that honey neutralizes alcohol considerably and so a couple of teaspoonfuls of honey will do you good. The milk soothes the stomach and re-hydrates your body. Bananas contain important electrolytes which are severely depleted during heavy alcohol consumption. The bitterness in grapefruits make them beneficial in the treatment of hangovers. They are excellent in the cleansing, repairing and nourishing of the liver that are affected from too much consumption of alcohol. The high content of vitamin C in grapefruit and continues the necessary detoxifying work.
- 2 bananas;
- 1 cup grapefruit juice;
- 1 cup of milk;
- 2-4 spoons of honey (raw honey is best);
- Additional fruits
Remember to ingest it slowly. Your metabolism is in a fragile state so treat it with the appropriate care.