Unfortunately hangovers are just one of those annoying side effects of having a good time and letting your hair down. They can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes with factors such as age, health status and even personality can influence your hangover. But what actually causes the dreaded morning after feeling and what are the best tricks and tips to avoid it?
Below we’ll talk you through the science of alcohol on the body and give you our top tips for being ahead of the hangover and wake up feeling fresh and fit to fight another day!
What does alcohol do to the brain?
The most obvious effects of alcohol can be seen when people are still consuming their drinks. The active drug in all alcoholic drinks is ethanol which once absorbed into the blood stream effects the central nervous system making people more confident and social whilst also slowing down physiological functions. Basically, alcohol effects the brain and makes people more upbeat and extravert but also slows down peoples movements and slur their words.
But how does this result in the dreaded hangover?
You may be thinking that’s all very interesting but why does it make me feel so rough the next day? Well alcohol also has a number of impacts on the body as well.
Firstly, alcohol is a diuretic which means it flushes water out of your body. This makes you need to pee more, in fact for each pint of beer you drink you will pee out about 1 and ½ pints. This is the main contributor of the dreaded hangover as the diuretic effect of alcohol causes your body to become dehydrated which leads to that stinging headache in the morning.
Secondly, alcohol effects the bodies blood sugar levels in a number of ways. Drinking small to moderate levels increase you blood sugar levels as alcoholic drinks contain large amounts of glucose. Over an extended period this can lead to weight gain as the excess sugar cannot be processed.
If you’ve committed to a big session and drink a large amount of alcohol (more likely if you’re worried about a hangover) then this can interrupt the body’s ability to process insulin and make glucose. In turn this can reduce your blood sugar levels. This is normally what causes the common symptoms of a hangover such as fatigue, dizziness, and irritability.
Finally, the consumption of alcohol has a significant effect on the body’s electrolyte levels. Electrolytes are required by the body in order to carry small electrical charges most commonly required by muscle cells and neurons. Drinking alcohol reduces your electrolyte levels which can contribute to many of the symptoms of hangovers such as, headaches, irritability, and feelings of weakness.
Top tips to combat these effects
Rehydrate – this is the most important tip as dehydration is the main cause of the hangover curse. Our top tip is for every few drinks you have on a night out have a small drink of water to counter the diuretic properties of alcohol. But the best tip is to be proactive, leave a glass of Vit Stix or Squash Stix by your bed so when you get home from a good night out you have a drink ready to go. Not only will that start the rehydration process but the natural sugars in Vit and Squash Stix will help to rebalance the low blood sugar and help to avoid the morning headache.
Eat a banana – one of the main electrolytes to leave your body when drinking is potassium. Bananas are a natural source of potassium and have the added bonus of being high in natural sugars such as fructose. Eating a banana as part of your hangover breakfast will help rebalance your blood sugar levels and help you feel great in no time.
Drink a Vit Stix – this helps to combat most of those pesky symptoms of a hangover. Drinking 500ml of water will help to rehydrate the body but more importantly Vit Stix include 0.35mg of vitamin B6 which is essential for overcoming headaches. Combine this with Vit Stix natural sugars and this simple trick will help to rebalance your blood sugar levels.
There you have it our top tip:
Drink at least 2 Vit Stix because they are the perfect hangover cure (this is a tried and tested method)! Have one before bed, one in the morning and eat a banana for breakfast. That way you rehydrate, boost your blood sugar levels and fight off that hangover headache! I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit more about what is actually going on in your body when you’ve been out for a few drinks and remember to always stay hydrated!
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