The coronavirus pandemic and the recent winter storms have played a major role in the increase of alcohol consumption in the United States as well as Texas. The actual increase in the numbers of 'alcohol consumption' differs from study to study and state to state (from as low as 16% to as high as 73%.) The fact remains, we are drinking more. That stated, many of us struggle with the day after effects, the infamous "hangover."

Have you been out drinking? Have you had "one too many?" Get ready for a headache, foggy brain, cotton mouth and either diarrhea and or nausea not to mention fatigue and lack of concentration. Say hello to Mr. Hangover.

Hangover cures are either simple and or scientific. Others may be one persons hangover ritual. I asked friends and coworkers to share their "hangover hacks." I also looked up what researchers and doctors recommend to eliminate the dreaded hangover. I'll start with what friends shared and then I'll share what I found on the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and WebMD.

A hangover has many symptoms as alcohol disrupts sleep and leaves you groggy. Drinking swells your blood vessels, which can trigger headaches. Alcohol also irritates the stomach's lining, leading to nausea and sometimes diarrhea and or both. For as long as humans have have been drinking booze we have been coming up with hangover cures like these from my friends and coworkers:

  • Chaz: "Water and Ibuprofen before bed, pickle juice and lots of water in the morning/afternoon or whenever you get up.
  • Chris: "Use Pedialyte and a BC Powder to take off the edge"
  • Staci: "Hair of the dog" (this refers to drinking alcohol after waking up to lessen the effects of the hangover)
  • Sarah: "Menudo and Gatorade the morning after"
  • Regina: "A good not so spicy Bloody Mary or drink a Blowfish packet" (Blowfish are hangover effervescent tablets found in drugstores)

As for me, I always drink at least 20 ounces of water before going to bed. Then I will drink 40 ounces of water the morning after within the first hour of getting up, add a hot shower and at least a three egg omelet and a bottle of Gatorade. Boom my hangover is gone.

As for what doctors recommend, here are a few hangover remedies can bring you relief from at least some of the hangover symptoms. These are from both the JAMA and WebMD:

A big glass of water is the best hangover solution. Alcohol dehydrates and by increasing your water intake will also increase the amount of urine your kidneys produce . You also lose fluid when you sweat, vomit, or have diarrhea after a night of bingeing. Dehydration causes symptoms like a dry mouth and headaches

Pain Relievers
Pain reliever that are over the counter ease headaches. Be careful how much you take though. Ibuprofen and aspirin also irritate the stomach walls, which will make your nausea worse. Avoid acetaminophen when you have a hangover. It's bad for your liver and you've already weakened it.

Alcohol lowers your blood sugar. Now your brain needs carbs for fuel. Have a couple of slices of wheat toast or a few whole-grain crackers to bring those blood sugar levels back up to normal again. It will give you an energy boost.

Hair of the Dog
This hangover hack reveals that having yet another drink will relieve the effects. The name comes from old folk lore that says the way to treat a dog bite is to cover the wound with hair from the dog that bit you.

Asian Pear Juice
Korean/Asian pear juice is a hangover remedy that's been around since the turn of time. Doctors and scientists prove that drinking about 7-1/2 ounces helps lower blood alcohol levels plus, you need to drink it before you have any alcohol.

Is a root fruit that's been around for centrist featuring of Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Herbalists use it to treat ailments ranging from stress to asthma. In one small study, a drink made from red ginseng cuts down on hangover symptoms.

Phyllanthus Amarus
This is an herb that grows along coastal areas. It known to treat liver, kidney, and stomach ailments. In a medical study, taking Phyllanthus amarus at least twice a day for up to 10 days helps lower blood alcohol levels, ease hangover symptoms, and improve your mood.

Nothing treats a hangover better than sleep. Time and rest may be the best medicine. Alcohol interrupts sleep. Even if you go to sleep for a few hours after a night of heavy drinking and it won’t be so stressful. Once you've had a glass of water and a pain reliever, slip back under the covers and catch up on some badly needed sleep.

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