Hangovers hurt. For most people, they cause discomfort, in some cases sickness and weakness, but reasons remain a mystery.
When a group of people drink, and eat the same amount and same drinks, some experience hangover, others don’t.
Pounding of temples, ringing of ears, extreme sensitivity to bright light and sound, disorientation, and losing of prohibitions are some of the hangover symptoms.
Alcohol dilates blood vessels, that decreases blood pressure resulting in headaches.
Also, alcohol interferes with brain’s communication pathways (neurons) and that impairs logical thinking, which in turn leads to mood changes.
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep eludes hangover individuals. Their sleep is “shallow”. Dry mouth is an indication of dehydration, therefore drinking a lot of water before going to bed helps to some extent, but not completely. Drinking water between drinks is highly recommended to prevent dehydration.
The liver breaks down alcohol to vinegar and water at a rate of approximately seven grams of pure alcohol per hour pending on many other physical and health conditions.
Alcohol inflames the stomach lining delaying digestion, and producing gastric acid that cause vomiting and nausea mostly attributed to acetaldehydes. Acetaldehyde is the most toxic component of alcohol.
In addition to all of the above, alcohol hampers sexual performance, and continuous abuse may lead to infertility.
You can avoid all of the hangover symptoms and associated discomforts by limiting your alcohol intake(per hour to seven grams of pure alcohol equaling to 25 ml. of spirit at 40 per cent ABV; half-a-bottle (150 ml) of beer at 5 per cent ABV; or 80 ml of wine at 12 per cent ABV). Always stick to “dry” alcoholic beverages that contain very little or no residual sugar. Eat fatty foods before you drink, and continue to nibble while drinking. Avoid soft drinks mixed with spirits. Alcohol affects females faster and more than males, due to their muscle structure and fat. You can try the follow remedies if you suffer a hangover, but they may or may not work. Eating bananas to replenish potassium, eggs to replace protein, and freshly squeezed fruit juices to replenish vitamins may help. In Australia, people try to cure hangovers by eating vegemite; in China, strong green tea and lemon juice mixed with water; in Germany pickled herring fillets wrapped around onion and gherkin; in England bacon, sausage, baked eggs, toast and fried green tomatoes; in Italy strong espresso; in Japan pickled plums and green tea; in Mexico seafood salad, in Poland sour pickle juice; in Romania and Turkey tripe soup; in Russia, salted cucumber juice, and in North America Prairie oyster. Remember, restraint and moderate consumption are the best ways to prevent hangovers.
Note: The alcohol tolerance of First Nations in North America and aboriginals in Australia and elsewhere in the world is less than that of Europeans.