Hangover Myths – The Morning After

Hangover - The Morning AfterThere are many myths about cures and prevention of hangovers, ranging from ridiculous use of pasta to intake of prickly pear pills.

Since hangover is a common problem, the recommended hangover cures and common prevention techniques warrant serious review.

Here are some of the faulty hangover beliefs that you should dismiss.

It is better to look for better approach to hangover treatment than resort to these practices and false beliefs.

Myth 1: Hangovers do not warrant medical attention.

Hangover results when the body becomes intoxicated with alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol will disrupt the functions of the central nervous system. Alcohol can lead to headache, nausea, dizziness, and frequent urination, possibly causing dehydration. People with hangover pay the price of heavy drinking as they wake up in pain, suffering from extreme headache, cotton mouth, tumultuous stomach, fatigue and weaker immune system.

Myth 2: Men and women have the same susceptibility to hangover.

The truth is that women are more likely to suffer from hangover than men given the same amount of alcohol. Scientists have a good explanation. Men get more water in their body, that’s why they can easily dilute alcohol. The build-up of alcohol in the bloodstream is thus faster in women than in men.

Myth 3: Only heavy drinkers suffer from hangovers.

Binge drinking often leads to hangover, however, hangover also affects those who drink moderately. Susceptibility to hangover depends on one’s body composition, so some people are more predisposed to get hangovers even if they drink moderately. One way of preventing hangover among these people is to drink water or alcohol-free beverages after every shot so as to hydrate their body and dilute alcohol.

Myth 4: Wine is the least likely to cause hangover.

Red wine has tannins, which are compounds that can cause headaches in some drinkers. Malt liquors such as whiskey can lead to more intense hangover. If you want to prevent hangover, the best choices would be beer, vodka, gin and other clear liquors.

Myth 5: Diet cocktails do not cause hangover.

Diet drinks are a good choice if you want to limit your calorie intake, however, they have the same aftereffects as other alcoholic drinks. According to research, fruits and drinks with sugar can reduce the intensity of hangover.

Myth 6: Taking liquor before beer can prevent hangover.

It doesn’t matter which alcoholic drink you take first – the risk of hangover would be the same anyway. The amount of alcohol is the one that counts. Nevertheless, the order of your drinks may have influence on the amount of liquor you consume. If you get a cosmopolitan and then turn to beer until the end of the party, you can reduce your alcohol intake. However, if you turn to shots from beer, you would be getting yourself drunk faster. In the end, drinking too much can lead to hangover regardless of the order you drink your alcoholic beverages.

Myth 7: Eating pasta at bedtime has alcohol-diluting effect.

This is completely untrue for two reasons. Eating can prevent hangover if you do it before, not after, drinking. Moreover, although any food can delay the absorption of alcohol inside the body, fat is the best option. It is thus better to eat steak or pizza rather than pasta before taking your first shot if you want to prevent hangover. After the happy hours, do not forget to take a lot of water before going to bed. This will help you fight dehydration.

Myth 8: Take painkillers before going to sleep.

Over-the-counter pain medications take effect after four hours, so if you sleep late at night, the effects of these bedtime pills will hit you in the morning. The better time to take these pills is when you wake up. Refrain from using acetaminophen. Alcohol makes it difficult for liver to handle this substance properly. It may lead to the inflammation of the organ or even permanent damage.

Myth 9: Alcohol can give you a restful sleep.

Alcohol does the opposite –it ruins your sleep. Although being intoxicated helps you fall asleep easily, it doesn’t provide quality sleep. In terms of REM cycles, sleeping in an intoxicated state is not a good way to rest. Drunk people are likely to rise soon. Moreover, hangover may occur during your sleep, making it difficult for you to return to bed once you got awaken.

Myth 10: Drinking cocktail in the morning causes no hangovers.

Drinking a lot of alcohol in the morning would still lead to hangover. It doesn’t change the fact that alcohol has aftereffects regardless of the time you drink. Beware that the most dreadful symptoms would strike when the blood-alcohol level is zero. You would still experience hangover, but in the latter part of the day. If you cannot live a day without taking wake-up cocktail, you may be needing help from addiction specialists.

Myth 11: Coffee can remedy hangover.

Coffee does not improve the symptoms of hangover, rather it worsens dehydration and other symptoms. If you got drunk the night before, do not take any beverage with caffeine. It is better to drink water and sports beverages in order to hydrate your body and restore your electrolyte count to the normal level. Do this especially if you are vomiting.

Myth 12: Hangover is the worst thing than can happen.

Alcohol poisoning is different from and worse than hangover. It can be manifested by frequent vomiting and even deathly symptoms. If you see a drunk person showing extreme signs of alcohol reactions, call for medical assistance. Vomiting can be more than a hangover, especially if it is causing the victim to lose too much water in the body.

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1 Response

  1. Alcohol is something else. I’ve always managed to withstand getting a “hangover,” but sometimes it’s inevitable. I’ve heard all the myths on the list here, and agree that they don’t work. However, my mom who is a nurse, said that taking Vitamin B before you start drinking is a prevention aid. Is there any truth in that?

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