With freshers’ week upon us, anything to help avoid that dreaded hangover is surely worth the read. Most of us have heard the normal drinking myths: have a cold shower to get rid of that hangover, eat before you go to bed… but where do these well-known drinking tactics come from, and is there really any truth behind their reasoning?
Perhaps you were under the illusion that preventing that morning hangover is as easy as eating carbs before you go to bed. While a worthy excuse to justify 3am cheesy chips, don’t expect it to magically soak up those tequila shots and reduce your chances of a hangover. At this point in the night the alcohol will already have been absorbed and the damage done.
Another common method employed is taking an aspirin or ibuprofen before you start drinking to prevent developing a hangover the next morning. Not only will the medication have worn off by the next morning, but this combination of aspirin/ibuprofen and alcohol can be dangerous, leading to liver inflammation and potential damage. It is a better idea to take these medications the next morning when you wake up with a hangover.
Let’s discuss the tactical chunder, it will not make you less drunk.
You may have a friend, like me, who swears that a cold shower, or a cup of coffee, as soon as you wake up will prevent you getting a hangover. It makes some sense why your friend may think this as both the cold shower and coffee will wake you up and thus treat the symptoms of fatigue brought on by both the late night and the alcohol. Despite this, it won’t have any effect on the speed of the alcohol leaving your system. You are just going to be a very wide awake drunk/hungover person. But, hey, if you are one of those people who believes wholeheartedly that this works, keep doing it! The placebo effect is definitely working for you, and who am I to fight against that?
Let’s discuss the tactical chunder, and end the myths surrounding it once and for all. Alcohol enters your bloodstream almost immediately after consumption so when you vomit and empty out the contents of your stomach, you are removing very small amounts of alcohol from your system. It will not make you less drunk at the time nor reduce your hangover the next day.
However, after listing all the things that will not help your hangover, it is only fair that I give you some hope.
Although eating before bed is not particularly helpful, eating before you start drinking will slow down the alcohol being absorbed into your bloodstream. It will not prevent you from getting drunk, but it will slow down the process. Maybe go and find those cheesy chips earlier on in the night, because eating particularly fatty and greasy foods before drinking is the best type of food for lining the stomach, which is what slows the absorption.
Most of the symptoms of a hangover such as that awful headache are the result of dehydration caused by the last night’s drinking. This can easily be fixed by making sure you drink water throughout the evening along with your other drinks. Taking a bottle of water to bed with you is another good idea.
Now that you know the ins and outs of drinking, I wish you luck in your future attempts to avoid those dreaded hangovers!
If you want to read more about sorting yourself and getting yourself to together how about moving on to this article where Hannah, explains why you may not be getting the sleep that you need!
If you want something a little lighter, then try this where Tash Ebbutt describes why we love the taste of tea!