The Hangover (dreaded) cures and prevention AKA Monday Morning Quarterback

“I will never do that again” rushes through your head at 6:30 AM (a bat to the clock might help) on Monday morning after too much party Game Day the night before, right? I think we have all heard and tried cures that are more than likely mostly Urban Legends (or a placebo effect) , I know I have heard some real doozies in my life!

One thing is for sure that dehydration and electrolytes (potassium, Vitamin B complex and water and fat soluble Vitamins) loss is a humongous factor that adds to that screaming headache and feeling like you want to toss every cookie you have ever eaten. Unfortunately, trying to play catch up once you wake up hurling is not truly the answer, because most of the damage is already done and you just have to make peace with Father Time. I’m not saying not to pump some Gatorade into you because I think it is wise to do so.

I think making sure that you do hydrate with water or other non-caffeinated beverages while you are drinking alcohol is a helper. I would make sure you have a good dose of your multi-vitamins and a “stress” formula with extra B vitamins is also not a bad idea, because you are causing stress to your body when you drink. It is the overload of alcohol (acetaldehyde) and it is being broken down in the liver (this isn’t a chemistry lesson you can look it all up if you are curious on the process) and it’s that overload that the liver cannot process that gets you buzzed then drunk! So you are under a lot of stress! Milk Thistle is also an excellent herb for liver function as it is an enzyme booster but try to stick to a name brand when it comes to herbal supplements since they are not all created alike! You can always consult your Doctor or Pharmacist when choosing brands it never hurts.

One remedy that many people tout is the aspirin before or after drinking. This one highly concerns me just because aspirin is a known blood thinner (this is why when you think you are having a Heart Attack they suggest taking it and too avoid having one, many Physicians often recommend taking low doses of it.) The same goes for Alcohol it is a blood thinner so combining the two may not be a super idea (check with your DR always). Taking Acetaminophens, like Tylenol are a real NO-NO that includes your NyQuil when you can’t sleep after drinking because it contains Acetaminophen and Alcohol already. There have been reported deaths from liver failure from this drug and Alcohol in the Medical Journals.

“Hair of the Dog” (Drinking all over again the next morning) is a funny concept! The idea that by getting loaded all over again then you will skip the “Hangover” altogether is sort of absurd (sort of like saying I shot myself in the foot so if I shoot myself in the hand my foot won’t hurt anymore). BUT, and I do say but I think if you use it as a tapering off tool, for some it might bring the high down a little more slowly, so, in theory  it could work to some degree (and it might prove to make you feel worse, it’s a crap shoot) so, I wouldn’t make a habit of it!

There are a couple of new products on the market that make claims like so many makers of supplements do (the fine print always has the disclaimer about the effectiveness has not been verified) that they have the magical cure. The first is called Blowfish. It is designed to be taken the morning after a drinking session and it is dissolved much like Alka-Selzer tablets. It is to fight fatigue and pain within 15 to 30 minutes. They feel it is effective because it is the first pill to be an FDA approved “Hangover Pill” (at least the ingredients are approved it sounds like semantics and a bit out of context to me) but really what is it? Well, amongst all of the hype and some inactive ingredients it seems the power players are (per dose) 1,000mg of aspirin (maximum dose) and 120mg of caffeine (about a cup of coffee). So, the claim is that since they are recognized by the FDA that it is the only effective remedy. OK, well I guess the drugs in this concoction are effective at something, (headaches, etc.) this they have proven. Whether or not they help a hangover is another, plus I still have my reservations about mixing these drugs and hitting your liver while it is down. There is a whole section on the website called “Hangover Science “ that gives you a list of warnings and another link entitled “Blowfish Too Often” and it takes you directly to Alcoholic Anonymous (A.A.) webpage. www.forhangovers.com (take 2 tablets per dose $11.99 for 12 tablets, $49.99 for 50 tablets). If you find this helps you more power to you, in my opinion you can call me, SCARDY KAT!

The next remedy is really interesting because in comes in a patch form it is called Bytox. www.bytox.com ($2.99 for 1 dose $124.99 for 50) and it does not involve any pain reliever drugs. It works by replenishing the vitamins and nutrients that are lost to Alcohol. It is designed to place on your skin 45 minutes prior to consumption and up to 8 hours after and works up to 24 hours total. It doesn’t affect your stomach since it is absorbed through the skin. It is used for prevention but they do say that if put on at the first sign of a hangover it can shorten the duration (Yay!). This one was invented by a Physician, Dr. Leonard Grossman. At least this one to me seems a bit safer and doesn’t seem to have the drugs and stimulants some of the others have. Again we still have the fine print that says that the statements have not been evaluated like most all supplements. So, how effective? Dr. Grossman feels it is very effective but he does admit “If you choose to drink the whole liquor store, I can’t help you”.  With this one I’m Kat ON THE FENCE, as far as I can see it doesn’t hurt to try it to see if it works for you.

I think it’s best if you can pace yourself, stay hydrated and try some of the supplements we discussed in the beginning of this segment, plus make sure to eat in order to slow absorption of Alcohol. This, I feel is the best advice I can give and don’t drink and drive. Have a really fun and stress free weekend! That is KATTAILS UP! (We like)

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