What is a hangover?
By most common sense definitions, hangovers are the result of consuming too much alcohol over the past 24 hours. The more alcohol you consume, the more likely it is you'll have a hangover. The exact quantity needed to be consumed by each person to get a hangover is different based on a number of different factors.
By medical definitions, a hangover itself is not a serious health condition. However try to explain that to anyone who’s ever had a pounding forehead the morning after a night of excessive alcohol debauchery. And there are risks to your body that come along with a hangover.
One of the formost reasons a hangover occurs is dehydration. Ethanol (alcohol) is a diuretic, which means that it causes the person drinking it, ironically, to lose water. It then acts on the brain's pituitary gland, stopping the production of vasopressin, a hormone that controls the re-absorption of water by the kidneys. With this important hormone switched off, our bladders fill up with water and we expel more water than we take in. This also explains why drinking makes you want to pee so much.
Your body and its organs need water to work right. We all know that. Without enough water, the cells begin 'to shrivel up' and that includes your brain cells. Your brain is attached to the skull by filaments and as it shrinks, it pulls on these filaments. Thus, you get that pounding headache that is so synonymous with a hangover.
Your mouth also dries out. Most call this drymouth. When that happens, bacteria can build up, leaving a foul tasting scum on your tongue. Having fun yet?
It's not just ethanol that causes our hangover since it isn't the only alcohol in beer, wine and spirits. Methanol can be present, particularly in cheap wine and that is a poison to humans. When the liver breaks down methanol, formic acid is formed - a really nasty chemical that you don't anywhere near your body.
Want the bad news now? A person with a hangover is likely to feel cruddy for 8 to 24 hours. Want even more bad news? There’s not much you can do to speed up the process.
Here's a list of home remedies we've found that supposedly taking care of that massive, pounding hangover. Some are from bartentders, some are just folklore. Some are even billed as natural ways to take care of 'the dog that bit 'ya'. Just remember, only time and water are what most doctors and scientists believe in. That, and the fact that prevention is often the best form of medicine.
They may not be scientifically sound. They may not even be remotely effective. But ask around and these top five hangover 'cures' seem to be the most popular around.
If you think the person who makes their living getting people to drink each night has more of an insight on hangovers than any doctor, then this list of top remedies from bartenders is for you.
Maybe it's because they came from our Moms. Maybe it's because these so-called cures are all natural foods. Either way, people believe this list work wonders on a hangover.
The opinions of a bazillion people can't be wrong, right? Here's a list of hangover cures from all around the world. But beware, some of them might be worse than what got you there.