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Top 8 Hangover Cures Exposed: Facts and myths about drinking wisely

With shudder and a shake, we awake on our couch in a mass of messy hair and a pounding migraine

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/THE ARBITER

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/THE ARBITER

With shudder and a shake, we awake on our couch in a mass of messy hair and a pounding migraine. As the memories (or lack thereof) of the previous night’s alcohol-induced shenanigans begin to flood hazily into an aching cranium, our first act of the day is to find a cure as quickly as possible for the resulting hangover from a night of silly fun.

“A hangover is really the symptoms of acute withdrawal, in which your body reacts to not having a drug in its system anymore,” said Krista Medina, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Cincinnati. For most in the college demographic, this drug is alcohol.

Although there is no official immediate or instant cure for a hangover, there are plenty of aides to assist in the recovery process. Some may be sure fire remedies to getting you back on your feet, while others can only make the pain a little bit worse.

Here are the top eight hangover cures exposed in which to make an educated decision the next time a hangover comes knocking.

1). Coffee: Myth! Although there is a general consensus that a nice cup of joe can serve as the best reliever in the battle between a hangover and a speedy recovery process, this is in fact one of the worst things to do. Coffee is loaded with caffeine, and although it can perk the senses, it dehydrates the body. This in turn makes the symptoms brought on by a hangover more intense because when there is a high alcohol concentrate in the body, the body dehydrates. The body needs to rehydrate, so medical science recommends to stay away from caffeine and drink water or sports drinks.

“The release of an antiduretic hormone, meaning the kidneys don’t conserve water as well, and you urinate more,” assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Emory University Sharon Berguist said on the CNNHealth website.

2.) Water, Sports Drinks: Fact! This is a major weapon in the fight to regain a sober self. Both of these products administer to the rehydration process and replenishment of the body, expunging the poisonous effects caused by alcohol. Although sports drinks are loaded with sugar, there are also full of electrolytes. Electrolytes have natural salts which help the body retain water.

3.) Pain Medication: Myth! Taking an Aspirin, Tylenol, or Excedrin sounds like a safe bet to stifle that pesky migraine, right? Wrong! Over-the-counter pain medications serve headaches and migraines not caused by alcohol well enough. But the truth is that when you are hungover, these medications can be quite toxic. WebMD states over-the-counter meds contain a substance called acetaminophen, which is the main combatant used to soothe headaches. But when mixed with alcohol, the blood system creates a toxin that severely damages the liver, and if you abuse alcohol for a long time, the liver can begin to fail. Wait at least five hours after waking and eating a good meal before you take a pill.

4.) Hot Showers: Fact! Marinating in a hot shower, while letting the full force of the water massage the back of your neck, is great way to relax the muscles that actually adhere to headaches and migraines. Headaches are caused by constricted blood vessels and tense neck muscles.

“Being hung over makes you feel like you are under the weather,” BSU senior art history major Rachel Vannote said. “I think a hot shower could help reinvigorate someone. Wake them up a bit.”

5.) Exercise: Fact! Although this is a bit of a double-edged sword and most likely not the most popular cure, it is effective. Alcohol is a poison that infiltrates the blood stream when too much is added. You don’t have to go and have full-blown, hardcore workout, but it is good to exercise and perspire. Poisons are excreted through sweat. So, next time you wake up from a night of drinking, a nice walk or light jog will do you some good.

6.) Eating Eggs: Fact! There is a non-essential amino acid called cysteine in eggs which counteracts poisonous effects of acetaminophen, a major product in alcohol. If there is an issue figuring out what your stomach can take after a night of heavy drinking, eggs are the best choice. Eggs are light, and whether they are scrambled, sunny-side up, or in an omelet, they can be a tasty way to curb that hangover.

7.) Drink More: Myth! There has been a common misconception that a hangover is the body craving more alcohol, thus, drinking the rest of your margarita or taking a shot to oblige these cravings is the best possible method of recovery. This is not true. Although it will postpone the hangover and possibly take away a migraine, this relief is only temporary. Regularly drinking through a hangover can eventually lead to alcoholism. Stick to water or sports drinks to rehydrate the body and gut out the pain. It’s not worth the future problems alcoholism can bring.

8.) Prevention: Let’s be honest, college drinking will continue to be a reality for many parties and bar-hopping nights to come. But the best way to cure a hangover is to take precautions to prevent it. Eat a hearty meal at least a few hours before drinking. Also, drink water before and throughout the night to keep you hydrated. As cliché as it may sound, drinking must be done responsibly. Be safe, and of course, have a good time as well.

About Lance Moore (107 Articles)
Lance Moore is a Communication major with an emphasis in Media Studies, as well as a Minor in Political Science. He started at The Arbiter as a writer for the A&E section one year ago. After a year off, he came back this time as the big dog, Arts and Entertainment Editor, with big ideas and a great vision for his section. A jack of all trades, Lance is not only a talented writer/editor, but he is a recipient of the prestigious Coca Cola National Scholarship for Academics and Community Service. Lance spends his free time wooing the ladies with his ballroom dancing skills and also enjoys playing soccer and going to the Rec. Bringing him to a whole another level of awesome, Lance has dual citizenship in the United States and in Argentina, where he lived for a short time as a child. His Argentinian roots sparked his love of soccer and his curiosity towards other cultures. Catch him on air at BSUPulse.com for his international music hour "Culture Grooves" and for his soccer talk show with Michael Steen called, "The Set Piece". Follow him on the Twitter @Lancemoore07

12 Comments on Top 8 Hangover Cures Exposed: Facts and myths about drinking wisely

  1. The best cure is prevention – Cheerz IntelliShot

  2. Tesla Plates India helps you out in controlling drinks too

  3. Hey Lance,

    Just so you know this article if horribly flawed, please have a competent medical professional review it.

  4. There is no acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) in alcohol or its breakdown products (#6). Perhaps you mean something else? Cysteine is an interesting idea.

    Also, not all pain relievers contain acetaminophen (#3) and so are not toxic. NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen can reduce pain and swelling without risking your liver. Read the label.

    And remember — YMMV.

  5. Wait a second…acetaminophen is Tylenol. While it is indeed bad mojo for the liver, there's no Tylenol in aspirin or ibuprofen. And acetaminophen is certainly not a main component of alcohol, as it says in number 6.
    My recent post HAP-PY NEW YEAR!

  6. …..people nowadays don't know that acetaminophen is Tylenol?

  7. Junk-science writing at its worst!

    Internal contradiction:
    A-“A hangover is really the symptoms of acute withdrawal, in which your body reacts to not having a drug in its system anymore,”
    B-"There has been a common misconception that a hangover is the body craving more alcohol, thus, drinking the rest of your margarita or taking a shot to oblige these cravings is the best possible method of recovery. This is not true." Hmm I wonder where that preconception came from?

    uhhhh….

    Just plain wrong:
    A- as clavius points out, #3 is crap.
    B-#4 "to relax the muscles that actually adhere to headaches and migraines." Muscles adhere to headaches, eh?
    C-#5 "Alcohol is a poison that infiltrates the blood stream when too much is added."
    D-#5 "Poisons are excreted through sweat." Alcohol is metabolized by the liver.
    E-#6 "…which counteracts poisonous effects of acetaminophen, a major product in alcohol." Sigh.

    Grammar: “The release of an antiduretic hormone, meaning the kidneys don’t conserve water as well, and you urinate more,” assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Emory University Sharon Berguist said on the CNNHealth website."

    Sheesh….

    Maybe you expected all your readers to be drunk?

    As I understand it, most of the symptoms of what people call a hangover are caused by acute/severe dehydration. Forcing yourself to drink a quart or two of water before you pass out and whenever you wake to urinate has always worked for me.

  8. Aspirin(acetylsalicylic acid) doesn't contain acetaminophen. It contains aspirin, something completely different chemically. Acetaminophen is an anti-inflammatory agent, which amplifies the effects of acetaldehyde which is a toxin, when alcohol is breaking down. The base of acetaldehyde is…dun…dun…dun. The same stuff as in vinigar(acetic acid). This can lead to acidosis(blood becoming hyper-acidic and your body begins to shut down), very dangerous.

    ASA itself doesn't react with acetaldehyde, but it can cause stomach and upper GI tract bleeding(read ulcer), because drinking causes the stomach to produce more acid. Now if you're following along, you'd know that ASA being a blood thinner works fine if you take it in the morning. Dehydration is what causes that lovely thrumbing pain. Thinning the blood helps reduce this.

    Oh and you forgot oxygen(medical), which does work as well.

  9. A hangover is dehydration. Keep water on your nightstand and sip it all night.

  10. Truly horrible writing. My niece is 9 years old and writes better than this. And no, alcohol does not produce acetaminophen (WTF??). Drink water, electrolytes and/or consume salty foods and take some ibuprofen. Never tried oxygen, but it makes sense.

    Are you in college? Scary. At first, I thought this was a Chinese robot-generated article.

  11. getridofahangover7 // Jul 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm //

    Oi! OK for sure, water is good for your body, your are 70% H2O. Drinking alcohol gets rid of a lot of it. Having a glass of water between each adult beverage helps keep you from dehydrating – and also can help you from assing out as quickly :-b Water befoer bed, water in the AM, with something like a wheat toast with peanut butter, banana slices and honey. there's plenty of advice out there on how to Get Rid of a Hangover , you might just have to try around, until you find what works for you.

  12. getridofahangover7 // Jul 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm //

    Oi! OK for sure, water is good for your body, your are 70% H2O. Drinking alcohol gets rid of a lot of it. Having a glass of water between each adult beverage helps keep you from dehydrating – and also can help you from assing out as quickly :-b Water befoer bed, water in the AM, with something like a wheat toast with peanut butter, banana slices and honey. there's plenty of advice out there on how to Get Rid of a Hangover , you might just have to try around, until you find what works for you.

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