There’s always a time in our lives that we have succumbed to drinking alcohol. Drinking is a leisure activity that can be enjoyed solo or with friends. Although we know it is bad, still we establish alcohol as a central point of our social life. When happy hour becomes late night booze sessions, sometimes our alcohol intake becomes more than it should be. What comes after that the next day is the raging headaches, bouts of nausea, and lack of concentration; and that is called a hangover.
It’s not a pleasing experience when you get a hangover. It makes your body more sluggish and susceptible to fatigue. The constant headaches and dizziness would also trigger the urge to vomit now and then.
So, what happens when you get a hangover?
To understand the anatomy behind getting a hangover, let’s first understand what occurs when alcohol enters our system.
Generally, when we consume alcohol, it is instantly absorbed into the bloodstream and flows throughout our entire body. However, the intensity and speed of the alcohol-infused blood would depend on the strength of the alcohol you drank. Some alcohol levels are higher than most as there are many differeny types available.
About 20% of the alcohol is flows through the stomach while 80% of it is absorbed through the small intestines. The effects are almost instantly felt about 5 to 10 minutes after a drink. If drinking is continuous, the alcohol level would reach its peak in the blood after about 30 minutes to an hour. This would then be drifted across the organs in our entire body. This is when a person feels tipsy or bordering to drunkenness.
This phenomena happens when our liver can only break down a certain amount of alcohol per hour, which is an average of one drink.
When the blood alcohol concentration levels increases, it is followed by drunkenness which can affect a person’s mentality and movements.
The level of drunkenness a person experience would vary because of certain influences. These include:
- Our body’s natural ability to break down alcohol
- The speed of how the alcohol was consumed
- When there is or isn’t any food in the body
- Body shape and type
- Gender, age and ethnicity
- Level of alcohol concentration in the beverage
- The frequency of alcohol consumption
When a person has had too much to drink, some short-term effects can occur to the body. These effects include:
- Decision-making and concentration are compromised
This comes into saying that one should never make decisions while under the influence. When the central nervous system becomes infiltrated by alcohol, it fogs our capacity to think properly. This then leads to wrong and often bad decisions like buying expensive drinks or engage in unprotected sexual activities.
- Struggling with maintaining coherent conversations
When more alcohol is in your bloodstream, the more likely your speech becomes slurred. You find it hard to keep talking logically, and often end up not finishing sentences. Since your brain is affected, it responds at a slower rate, making your train of thought difficult to keep up.
- Difficulty with coordination
As with struggling with speech, the alcohol that affects your brain would make it difficult to make correct movements like walking straight or tripping over things. When alcohol takes over, your vision becomes blurry and fuzzy making it a challenge in body coordination.
We’ve been informed that alcohol makes us sleep better. That notion is actually quite opposite because alcohol does not give you a good quality sleep. This is because alcohol disturbs our normal sleeping pattern. When this happens, we do not go into REM or the deep sleep stage. That is why we wake up in the morning still feeling sluggish and extremely tired.
- Frequent urge to urinate
Once alcohol is swallowed, it suppresses the body’s production of vasopressin. This is a hormone that informs your kidneys to regurgitate water into the body instead of the bladder. This results to finding yourself always going to the toilet every few minutes.
How to get rid of hangovers instantly and naturally?
Getting a hangover is not a serious case to be worried about. It usually just goes away after a day or two. However, there are ways to naturally get rid of hangover. Listed below are five ways:
Water is an important element in any situation given the health benefits it provides. Drinking water replaces all the lost fluids after vomiting or frequent urination. The headaches that you are feeling is also because of the lack of water in the body.
- Drinking lemon or ginger tea
Having high levels of alcohol concentration in the body leads to nausea and vomiting. Ginger tea is an ideal remedy to help get over the nausea and speed up the breakdown of alcohol. Lemon, on the other hand, helps soothe the tummy from the pain following bouts of vomit.
- Taking sports or energy drinks
Sports drinks contain electrolytes that help replenish the fluids lost after frequently urinating or vomiting. It can also help make you feel energized due to the increase in glucose in the body.
- Getting enough rest and quality sleep
Since alcohol levels disrupt quality sleep, it is important to get proper rest to help relieve from a hangover.
- Having toast for breakfast
Eating toast is a good idea to relieve you from bouts of nausea. You can spread some honey or some sugar on your toast and have it for breakfast. Pair it with eggs as well to help relieve you from hangover. Saltine crackers is also a good alternative to stop the urge to vomit.
- Take a soothing, warm bath
Soak yourself in a tub filled with essential oils and warm water or take a warm shower after a late night happy hour. This method would help you relax and feel fresh and drained of toxins from alcohol.
- Cold compress with ice
Following a headache during a hangover, ice compress is perfect for headache relief. Simply crush few pieces of ice, put into a towel and place gently against your head for instant relief.
Take note that drinking alcohol is ill-advised when you are driving.
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