Hangover Cures: Potassium, Carbs and Electrolytes
There are many ways to prevent a hangover. Number one is not drinking so much or spreading out your drinks over a longer period of time. Drinking water also helps, as does drinking on a full stomach. But sometimes, despite our best efforts (or any effort), a night of partying can end in a pounding headache, upset stomach, and dizziness.
The best cure for a hangover is time, but if you don’t want to suffer, here are some hangover cures that that can help:
Potassium: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases urination. Most drinkers know this, but what they may not know is that by increasing urination, alcohol consumption also flushes out some key vitamins and minerals. One of these is potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral. Your body needs it to function properly. It is necessary for your heart and muscles to contract normally. The lack of potassium can lead to the sore muscles that you feel after a night of hard drinking. It can also make you feel weak and dizzy. Fruits and veggies are a great source of potassium. Orange juice, prunes, bananas and potatoes are all foods that contain high levels of potassium.
Carbs: You know that burning, nauseous feeling that hits you the morning after drinking hard? Alcohol causes your stomach to overproduce acid, which can create a sick and sour tummy in the morning. Carbs are great because they not only give you a quick surge of energy, they can help counteract that sick feeling. Toast and rice are classic high carb hangover cures. Food is often the last thing you want to consider when recovering from a wicked hangover, but having something on your stomach can help settle it and combat some of that hangover fatigue. Rice and toast are simple and easy to ingest, so they are usually the go-to foods when you’re suffering from a sick stomach.
Electrolytes: Electrolytes are ions in the blood stream that regulate fluid flow across cell membranes. Dehydration is caused by an electrolyte imbalance in the body. The side effects of binge drinking alcohol like vomiting, diarrhea and increased urination can cause the body to rapidly lose electrolytes and become dehydrated. In extreme cases, this dehydration can lead to seizures and even death, which is why it is so important to keep hydrated while drinking. Most experts recommend having one glass of water for every drink you have.
Dehydration is also the main cause of hangover symptoms. You’re body loses a lot of fluids and other nutrients during a night of drinking. Drinking a lot of water, juice, or other sports drinks can help you replenish some of what you lost. Steer clear of acidic juices, like orange, as acidic juices can sometimes exacerbate a sour stomach. Sports drinks can help replenish electrolytes, as well as hydrating your body.
Unfortunately, once you have a hangover, none of these remedies is exactly a “hangover cure,” but they will help out with some of the worst symptoms. Other than that, get some rest, take some Tylenol, and stop drinking so much, you lush.
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