Natural Hangover Remedy

A number of things can be done to prevent getting too drunk or developing a hangover. Our blood level of alcohol is affected by how much and how fast we drink. If we drink fast on an empty stomach, absorption is immediate. Ideally, it is best to have some food in the stomach unless we limit consumption to one drink and want a quick "buzz" before dinner.

Food definitely helps prevent us from getting sick. Drinking slowly is suggested. Women seem to be more quickly affected by alcohol than men and so get drunk more easily with less alcohol, even taking body weight into consideration. Foods to eat before drinking should be low-salt complex carbohydrates, such as bread, some crackers, or even vegetable sticks. Carbohydrates delay alcohol absorption. Fat-protein snacks, such as milk or cheese, will decrease alcohol absorption and thus help reduce drunkenness and hangovers. Some people drink a little olive oil before parties to coat their stomachs so that they can handle their drinking better. A few capsules of evening primrose oil will also help.

It does take a while for alcohol to clear from the blood after it gets in there. With heavy drinking, extra coffee and exercise, such as walking, do not really help, other than by making more active drunks; however, with mild intoxication they can increase alertness. Definitely avoid other psychoactive drugs with alcohol; these include tranquilizers, narcotics, sedatives, antihistamines, and marijuana, all of which may increase the alcohol effect.

Blood levels of alcohol have been studied to see varying effects of this drug. Legally this level can be determined through testing and used to clarify degrees of safety or drunkenness. Usually one or two drinks will keep most people in a safe range, but over that can create problems.

Hangovers are caused by the dehydrating effect of alcohol and some toxic effects of the chemical congeners that are created during fermentation or are added to the beverages before, during, or after processing. Allergies to some of the ingredients, such as corn, wheat, barley, or yeast, may intensify hangovers and withdrawal.

There are many old remedies for hangovers. The best is to prevent them by not overdrinking and taking supportive fluids and nutrients. Cream, coffee, oysters, chili peppers, and aspirin are common, occasionally helpful hangover remedies. Time is the best, along with rest and fluids. If alcohol intake has been excessive, drink two or three glasses of water before going to bed, along with vitamin C and a B complex vitamin which helps to clear alcohol from the blood. The vitamin C can be in the form of mineral ascorbates containing potassium, calcium, magnesium, and even zinc, or 15 mg. of zinc can be taken separately. Do this again upon awakening; it can really help. Further benefit may be obtained by taking evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil, which is a rich source of the essential fatty acids.

A morning-after plan suggested by Dr. Stuart Berger includes 100 mg. of thiamine, 100 mg. of riboflavin, 50 mg. of B6, 250 mcg. of B12, 1,000 mg. of vitamin C, and 50 mg. of zinc.

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