It has happened to all of us. It all starts as a fun night out: you encounter old colleagues that you haven’t seen in over a year; the music’s popping and you can’t help but to become the night’s dancing queen and, all of a sudden, one drink becomes three drinks, which then leads to four shots of tequila. You get home. You go to bed. You wake up. And there it is: sensitivity to the light of your phone screen, a banging headache that seems as if you’re stuck first row in a Kiss concert, and the classic “I’m never, ever, ever drinking again” phrase.
Nobody likes a hangover, especially those that completely suck the life out of you. Excess alcohol consumption is dangerous for many reasons, one of them being dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it increases our urge to urinate which, in turn, reduces our body’s liquids and nutrients. Alcohol can also lead to vomiting – which can also cause dehydration. Dehydration causes headaches, fatigue, dry mouth and skin, dizziness, and a rapid heartbeat, amongst other symptoms.
The only way to truly beat a hangover and avoid dehydration is to limit alcohol consumption. But who can resist a couple of tropical mojitos, especially when you’re out having fun? A second and more realistic option would be to stay hydrated. Hydration is key when consuming alcohol and a definite must when you see that terrible hangover coming.
Consuming water during your night out can lessen the hangover effect. Water intake can reduce the effect alcohol has on your body by replacing the fluids that are being lost. Remember, since alcohol is a diuretic, you’re expected to lose your body’s fluids even more so when you’re out drinking. A tip? For every drink that you consume, try having a full glass of water to counteract the effect and beat dehydration. Even so, try mixing your drink with water (and lots of ice) to stay as hydrated as possible.
If you are pacing yourself, drinking water, and still get a hangover the next day, try hydrating with electrolytes. Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and magnesium, amongst other key ingredients. Electrolytes can help hydrate and nourish your body with all the nutrients and minerals that were lost during the night out. Make sure that your electrolyte solution does not contain caffeine, as this will worsen the effect.
If you’re drinking, make sure to include water and electrolytes to your hangover remedy kit. Staying hydrated can be the key to avoid a nasty hangover. Drink wisely!