Let's face it: sometimes, hangovers happen. They're a combination of symptoms (fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, headaches, shakiness, vomiting, dizziness, etc.) that occurs when you've had too much to drink.
Whether you've been celebrating or drowning your sorrows after the game, here's what you need to know to feel better faster.
Why are you feeling under the weather?
Well, too much alcohol causes some biochemical reactions in the body.
Once those floodgates open, it seems that you constantly need to go, right? Increased urination occurs because alcohol inhibits the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. Basically, the alcohol tells the body to stop holding onto fluid and sends water and electrolytes to the bladder.
Dehydration sets in. Most of our body is made of water and now we're behind the eight ball from all the highballs!
Alcohol affects the liver by building up acetaldehyde, a very toxic compound. Women generally have less ability to break down acetaldehyde than men and, therefore, can have a more severe reaction and hangover. Word to the wise: don't try to keep up with him.
Luckily, the following natural remedies really can help.
1. Drink water. Rule #1 is to replenish the water you've lost.
2. Drink something with electrolytes. Coconut water works great.
3. Drink broth, which provides electrolytes and minerals.
4. Exercise. This may be the furthest thing from your mind, but breaking a sweat with some brief intense activity can really help. Be careful, though; keeping it brief is the key.
5. Eat eggs. They're high in cysteine, which helps the liver detoxify.
6. Take an Epsom salt soak. This is a Dr. Foschi special! Epsom salt baths are a wonderful way to restore Magnesium, which is depleted by alcohol, and can make those horrible headaches go away.
7. Eat Magnesium-rich foods, such as dark leafy vegetables, nuts, brown rice, fish, avocados, beans, lentils and dark chocolate.
8. Try ginger. Steep ginger and make your own tea. Slice some fresh ginger and place it in a saucepan of water, then sip some, hot or cold.
9. Coffee. A small amount of black coffee can help constrict the blood vessels and reduce the headache. Be careful not to go overboard, though, as coffee is also a dehydrant and having too much can work against you.
10. Ice. Apply a cold pack to your head for a few minutes each hour. This will help rid the pain by reducing swelling and constricting blood vessels.
What not to do
Avoid drinking more. The hair of the dog just delays the inevitable.
And, don't load up on acetaminophen, which is a painkiller that can put lots of stress on the liver. Your liver has experienced enough for one day. Give it a break.
*Have a health or nutrition question for Dr. Debra Foschi that you'd like to see answered here? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.