5 Facts you don’t know about hangovers

The majority of us have experienced it at least once in our lives (if not more regularly!) You partied hard last night and you’ve woken up with the worst hangover. Ever. Hair of the dog? Bloody Mary? Greasy breakfast? Whatever helps “cure” your hangover is up to you, but here’s what you need to know about what’s going on in your body when you wake up feeling like a dog’s breakfast.

1. It’s caused by inflammation

Forget what everyone else has told you about hangovers, because it might not be true. The real reason you have such a bad headache and feel nauseous is because of inflammation. It’s caused when your liver starts producing cytokines molecules, which are responsible for all sorts of aches and pains.

2. Classic hangover symptoms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea (possibly vomiting)
  • Shaking
  • Thirsty/Dehydrated
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

3. Dark liquors, worse hangover

You’ve probably heard that vodka is a “better” drink because it doesn’t give you such a bad hangover. And it’s actually true. Scientists have found that people who drink bourbon have a much harder time dealing with their hangovers compared to people who stick to vodka.

4. Hair of the dog?

It’s a popular hangover “cure” that encourages people to drink more alcohol to fix their current hangover. In truth it only gets you drunk again, and postpones the inevitable hangover you’ll get later on, once you’ve stopped drinking.

5. There’s no such thing as a hangover cure

And if there was, someone would be making a lot of money from it! Alas, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to curing a hangover. Having said that, there’s a lot you can do to reduce nasty symptoms, and it starts by not drinking so much the night before! That aside, you can lessen the effects by drinking 2 big glasses of water before you go to sleep, and taking a headache tablet. And if you still feel bad when you wake up, take ibuprofen and paracetamol, drink plenty of water, and get as much rest as possible. You should feel like your old self again by the end of the day.

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Live Science, Askmen.com, Women’s Health Mag