Whether you’re making it out to a party or kicking it at home with some board games for New Year’s Eve, your night will probably include some drinks. We all set out with the best intentions when we enjoy alcohol, but can easily lose track of our drink count when having fun. If you’ve ever woken up after a night of drinking with a nasty headache, dry mouth, queasy stomach, and other…unmentionable…symptoms, then you are familiar with a hangover. While the ultimate hangover cure is to drink less alcohol, there are some remedies you can try to mitigate (not cure) your symptoms if the night gets away from you. Here are Red Leaf’s 5 tips for how to cure a hangover.
How to Cure a Hangover
Before we give away all our not-so-secret secrets of how to cure a hangover, let’s chat about what actually causes the symptoms we know as a hangover. The first thing to consider when choosing to drink alcohol is that our bodies process alcohol as a toxin. Alcohol is the fourth macronutrient at 7 calories per gram, but it isn’t bucketed with protein, fats, and carbohydrates because it does not have any nutritional value. While some studies find health benefits associated with drinking red wine in moderation (thanks to antioxidants), the science remains the same: alcohol is processed as a toxin. This means that when your body breaks down alcohol, other integral body process have to press pause while the liver works extra hard to rid your body of the toxin. It’s no wonder our bodies feel like garbage after we overindulge, huh? Here’s what to do if, despite your best efforts, you find yourself hurting in the morning.
Did you know one of the reasons you get a headache after a night of heavy drinking is because you’re dehydrated? Our brains produce a hormone called vasopressin, which sends the signal to our kidneys to essentially “hold it.” When we drink alcohol, vasopressin isn’t released so we find ourselves going to the bathroom more often, and can easily become dehydrated. So that saying, “don’t break the seal,” should be more like, “take a break from the beer and have some water.” Another pro tip to cure a hangover? Don’t forget to have electrolytes!
Add Electrolytes to Your Water
Water is the most essential nutrient to life, but when we have too much water and too few electrolytes, we can become overhydrated. It’s important to adequately hydrate your body and to do that you need electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals found in our body that help regulate our bodily functions, one of the most important being fluid balance. On the morning after a social evening, mix one scoop of Red Leaf Immunity with 10-12 ounces of water first thing after you wake up. With 170 milligrams of electrolytes per serving, including potassium, sodium, magnesium, and chloride, Red Leaf Immunity drink will help you hydrate effectively and efficiently. Another great benefit of Immunity? It has caffeine!
Have a Little Caffeine
One of the biggest mistakes people make when hungover is having too much caffeine. Coffee is wonderful, but despite popular opinion, it doesn’t cure a hangover. But a little caffeine can be helpful! We already talked about how alcohol suppresses vasopressin, but we didn’t talk about the many ramifications of that. Vasopressin also helps regulate our circadian rhythm so when its release is interrupted, our sleep can suffer. Additionally, alcohol consumption interferes with restful sleep, which can result in next day fatigue and loss in productivity. If you’ve had a little too much to drink the night before, don’t overcaffeinate the next morning. Instead, have a small dose of caffeine from a single coffee or Red Leaf Immunity (80 milligrams per serving) and get on with your day. P.S. we hear a midday nap works miracles, too!
Resist the Urge to Stay in Bed
A little movement goes a long way when you’re feeling hungover. While it’s definitely tempting to stay in bed all day and binge your favorite Netflix show, it’s important to get your blood pumping after an evening of indulgence. Our bodies excrete alcohol byproducts through urine, waste, and sweat. Your body takes care of two of the three processes, and the last one falls on you. Take a moderate walk for 30 minutes to an hour, do a light circuit workout at the gym, or pump out some evenly-paced bodyweight movements for half an hour. When you come home, shower and get into some jammies. You’ll be happy you went to the effort!
Ditch the Hair of the Dog
It’s tempting to head straight to brunch and grab a mimosa when the hangover hits, but the old adage doesn’t tell the whole truth. While having a drink or two may help alleviate the symptoms of your hangover momentarily, all it’s really doing is prolonging alcohol’s effects on your body. Instead of grabbing for a cold one the morning after a night of drinking, reach for a tall glass of room temperature water and an espresso.
We are a company who prioritizes living your healthiest life, so we always recommend enjoying treats and alcohol in moderation. That said, life happens. If you happen to find yourself worse for wear come New Year’s Day, take our advice and drink water, have some Red Leaf Immunity to replenish electrolytes and B Vitamins, give you a quick energy boost, and get outside for a little exercise. Oh, and beware the hair of the dog…it bites!