It’s that time of year again and no doubt you’ve been invited to a holiday party or two. From holiday parties to New Year’s Eve, we’re much more likely to overindulge and drink alcohol at this time of the year. Of course, the holiday spirit can get the best of us sometimes, leading to a dreaded hangover. You know the feeling: headache, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, dry mouth and aches. Generally, the more alcohol a person drinks, the more likely they are to experience a hangover the following day. However, some people are able to drink heavily without suffering any hangover symptoms, while others develop symptoms after having consumed only a small amount of alcoholic drink.
Hangovers usually pass after 24 hours, although they can last longer. If you are planning to drink alcohol, doing so responsibly can decrease the risk of a hangover.
While the best way to treat a hangover is to avoid drinking too much in the first place, there are some things you can do to mitigate the damage.
Did you know that alcohol suppresses the secretion of an anti-diuretic hormone called vasopressin that is responsible for telling the kidneys to conserve and recycle body water? Since the hormone is suppressed, our bodies don’t get the signal, and this vital water is lost. That’s why you tend to visit the bathroom more often when you drink and why you feel so dreadful the next day. Too much alcohol in the system can also affect the body in other ways such as:
Immune system response: Alcohol may trigger an inflammatory response from the immune system. This can affect appetite, concentration, and memory.
Stomach irritation: Alcohol consumption raises the production of stomach acids; it also slows down the rate at which the stomach empties itself – this combination can lead to nausea,vomiting, or stomachache.
Drop in bloodsugar: Some people’s blood sugar levels can fall steeply when they consume alcohol, resulting in shakiness, moodiness, tiredness, general weakness, and even seizures in somecases.
Dilation of blood vessels: Alcohol consumption can cause the blood vessels to dilate, which can cause headaches.
Sleep quality: Although sleeping when drunk is common, the quality of that sleep will often be poor. The individual may wake up tired and still sleepy.
Congeners: These are substances that are produced during fermentation and are responsible for most of the taste and aroma in distilled drinks (whisky or gin,for example). They are known to contribute to symptoms of a hangover. Examples of congeners include esters and aldehydes.
Toxic by products: Alcohol metabolism produces toxic substances that can cause many of the symptoms of hangovers.
Drink and drive
So you went a bit overboard at the holiday office party and lost track of the number of drinks you had. Luckily you had the smarts beforehand to take a cab to the party so you didn’t risk driving inebriated. Although drinking and driving was always a bad idea, changes to impaired driving laws that came into force in December will provide an even greater deterrent and will reduce the number of people who die in crashes caused by drunk drivers, predicts the head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada.
Under changes to the Criminal Code police will be able to carry out what is called mandatory alcohol screening, which means officers can demand a breath sample at the roadside fromany driver who has been lawfully stopped. Previously, officers had to have “reasonable suspicion” that a driver had alcohol in his or her body to demand a breath sample.
Countries that have introduced mandatory screening have seen a drop in roadside deaths caused by impaired driving. In Ireland, forexample, mandatory screening has been given credit for lowering the number of roadside deaths by about 40 per cent in the first four years after it becamelaw.
Do not go for a “hair of the dog” – an alcoholic drink to get rid of a hangover. This is a myth,and will likely just prolong hangover symptoms.
When to seek medical help
Although in most cases drinking too much has short-term negative impact,sometimes too much alcohol can be more serious. If the individual has the following more severe signs and symptoms when or after drinking, they may have alcoholpoisoning. This is a medical emergency. Seek medical help as soon as possible if any of the following occur:
- breathing loses its regular rhythm
- breathing slows down to less than eight inhalations per minute
- confusion or stupor – the drinker is in a daze
- the body temperature drops
- passing out
- the skin becomes pale, or takes on a blue tinge
- vomiting continues and does not stop
The symptoms vary in severity, and some people may experience some more strongly than others.
Studies have shown that drinking additional water helped diminish alcohol’s dehydrating effect. In a recent test, participants drank a liter and a half of water after drinking the alcohol. The result? Alcohol’s dehydrating factor was cut in half. Therefore, it’s clear that drinking water whenever possible can help you to avoid dehydration after a night of binging.
And it’s also important to choose what kind of water you’re drinking. Clean, filtered water is a good choice but H2 water is even more hydrating than ordinary filtered water. Each molecule of H2 “neutralizes” 2 hydroxyl radicals into simple H20, which then becomes a source of hydration to your body’s cells turning a negative situation in the body into a positive one. Hydrogen water with a concentration of 1.6 mg/L contains more antioxidant potential than 100 mg of vitamin C.
That means you’ll be able to drink less water and still rehydrate your body with fewer trips to the bathroom. Chances are you’ll have a better sleep and feel a lot better the next day. But don’t forget to keep hydrating your body with H2 water in the morning to help flush out your kidneys.
So this holiday season raise a glass (or two) and then make sure to follow with plenty of clean, filtered H2 water as a chaser.
To ensure you’re drinking H2 water on the go, check out the new Hydrogen Water Bottle: https://www.waterionizer.org/product/h2-water-technology/hydrogen-water-bottle-aok-808