Q: My 21st birthday was yesterday. I went out drinking with my friends and now I have a horrible hangover. What kind of things can I do to get rid of it?
A: First things first… BuckMD does not support binge drinking in any way. Its advers effects on the body are numerous, and it can lead to poor decisions that have serious consequences for your future.
Now that the mini-lecture is out of the way, let’s talk about hangovers. They are not completely understood by the medical community. We have a pretty good idea that they come from a combination of dehydration, low blood sugar, and buildup of alcohol breakdown products in your system. Despite all the dubious home remedies out there – I’ve heard everything from more beer in the morning (a little hair of the dog that bit you) to those bogus pills sold in gas stations to McDonald’s fish sandwiches – nothing has been scientifically proven to cure hangovers. However, a few things can help.
The first thing you can do is keep hydrated. Next time you’re at the bar, try to drink a glass of water on the rocks in between drinks. Also remember to drink a nice big glass before you go to bed. This will help counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
The best thing to do on the morning after is replace the glucose and electrolytes that you have lost. This can be done with a glass of orange juice or Powerade (yes, BuckMD also has to support Coca-Cola products). Another thing to do is exercise. Some studies have shown that increasing tissue oxygenation through exercise has a beneficial effect on curing hangovers. It will also help you shed those extra pounds you’re gaining through drinking.
While these steps can help with a hangover, the only proven way to prevent one is to abstain or at least drink in moderation. More information about responsible drinking, the effects of alcohol and the local laws governing its use can be found at http://partysmart.osu.edu/.