If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy a nice glass of wine from time to time. But what do you do when the hangover hits? Taking a shower is one of the oldest tricks in the book – but does it actually work? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the science behind hangovers and showers, and see if there’s any truth to this old wives’ tale!
Hangovers are caused by a variety of factors, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and the direct effects of alcohol on the brain. (( hangover science)) But one of the most important factors is anxiety.
There are several studies that have shown that hangovers can cause symptoms of anxiety and low mood due to the powerful effect it has on your nervous system. ((more hangover science)) So if you’re feeling anxious or down after a night of drinking, a shower may be just what you need!
The warm water of a shower can help to relax your muscles and ease tension headaches, while the steam can help clear your sinuses and improve breathing.((shower science)) And if you drink plenty of water while you’re showering, you’ll help to rehydrate your body and flush out any toxins that may be causing your hangover.
Have you ever had one too many glasses of wine? What should you do if you get a headache? Showers are frequently advised as a hangover cure. Are they, though? Let’s look at whether this is true or not.
What is a Hangover, Really?
You can get a hangover after a night of overindulgence. The following are some of the symptoms:
You may feel irritable or dizzy. If your blood pressure rises, your heart beats faster, and you sweat, these symptoms are common. You could also discover that light and sound make you sensitive, or that you have a spinning head.
There are physiological reasons behind this:
- The first step in our explanation of how alcohol harms the brain is to look at how it is digested. Alcohol is broken down by the body into acetaldehyde, a poisonous chemical that can accumulate and cause problems if there is too much of it.
- Furthermore, alcohol impedes the brain’s ability to sleep, leaving you exhausted.
- Alcohol also affects your hormones, making you feel as if you’ve just arrived from a long trip. (jet-lagged)
- Alcohol can exacerbate a headache rather than relieve it. Furthermore, as stated above, drinking may cause or worsen a migraine.
The strange part is that these physical changes do not manifest until the alcohol levels have decreased. When the blood alcohol concentration is zero, things get really bad.
So, what’s the best way to cure a hangover?
The Shower Myth – How to Get Rid of a Hangover
Showers are a popular hangover remedy, but are they really effective?
Showers with lukewarm water are said to be invigorating, and cold showers are thought to help with alcohol withdrawal. Taking a chilly shower is expected to improve circulation and aid in the removal of alcohol poisons. They claim that it will make you feel more awake and quick on your feet.
The notion that cold water aids in weight reduction has been debunked by a number of medical professionals. They argue that it delivers no of the above advantages and can even be harmful. This is due to the fact that being shocked with icy water while you’re already weakened might induce you to pass out.
Showers with no more than 5 minutes’ duration also have little benefit in assisting you deal with the consequences of drinking. Some people claim that hot tubs can assist cleanse your body of pollutants, but the medical experts are unconvinced.
There’s nothing wrong with trying it out; however, don’t expect anything miraculous to happen as a result of your bath. Unplugging in a hot tub instead of sitting around the house waiting for the negative effects to go away might still be an option.
There are a few more misconceptions about treating hangovers that you may have heard. Should you really attempt any of these suggestions?
You Get Woken Up By Coffee
It’s true that coffee makes you feel refreshed. However, don’t down it without knowing the ramifications!
The fact that a glass of wine may persuade you that you’re ready to drive when you’re really still drunk is one example. It’s also a diuretic, like alcohol. This means you’ll lose fluid and possibly become dehydrated because of it. You need to keep your body fully hydrated, so drink something with electrolytes and water instead of just plain water.
Should You Drink Alcohol?
To cure a hangover, some people advocate drinking alcohol. There could be something to this since alcohol then has an effect on the brain. It also seems to prevent the formation of formaldehyde, which is extremely dangerous and begins to form soon after you start drinking.
However, once the alcohol levels drop to zero, the cycle restarts, so it’s best to avoid it.
We’ve debunked a few of the urban legends. So, how do you get rid of a hangover after that?
How to Get Rid of a Hangover on Your Own
Drink water to cure a hangover. Drink before bed and as soon as you get up. Alcohol dehydrates you, so make sure you’re doing all you can to get as much good water into your body.
Water also acts as a hangover cure by flushing out poisons from your body. It’s highly probable the first line of defense against hangovers.
Food That Is Good For Your Health
There are several pieces of advice out there, many of which contradict each other.
- Potassium-rich foods will help you keep your electrolytes in balance. Bananas, potatoes, apricots, melons, and peas are all good sources of potassium.
- If you have carbohydrates in your normal diet, eat them as soon as possible after becoming ill from a night of drinking. Carbohydrates like bread or pasta will raise blood sugar levels.
- The protein in poached or boiled eggs aids in the breakdown of acetaldehyde due to its cysteine content. Keep fried food away-any oil will only exacerbate your nausea.
Sleep is a wonderful thing.
Get some rest. A 20- to 30-minute nap will help you feel refreshed and less weary, allowing you to continue functioning normally once more. It is safe to sleep as much as you need with a hangover if you get more than 20 minutes of sleep.
Put a cold compress on your head to help with one of the symptoms of a headache. Ice or a frozen facecloth should be used and draped over your forehead. Every 10-15 minutes, refresh the cloth using ice or cold water.
Take a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, such as Ibuprofen, if your stomach isn’t hurting. Reducing inflammation is the aim. Don’t take Tylenol since alcohol raises the medication’s hepatotoxic effects.
Do not try to take any medicine to avoid a hangover before going to bed. There is a great danger in combining alcohol and any medication or even being exposed to it. Wait until your blood alcohol level has decreased before taking Ibuprofen instead.
Hangovers can be treated with a variety of supplements. Ginger, red ginseng, and borage oil are just a few of the remedies that have been proved to assist:
- Drinking red ginseng, according to studies, lowers the amount of alcohol in the body by a significant amount. It’s an excellent antioxidant. Now, because the body needs to oxidize alcohol, it must undergo oxidation. This creates hazardous free radicals that damage DNA as a result of improper oxidation. Antioxidants defend against this by preventing dangerous free radicals from forming in the first place.
- Ginger and brown sugar reduces nausea and vomiting when combined with tangerine.
- In other research, borage oil and prickly pear were found to lessen hangover severity by 80% in some people.
- Eleuthero is a plant extract derived from the roots of Siberian ginseng that has been shown in studies to reduce hangovers and their severity.
Please keep in mind that little research has been conducted on this topic, and more study is needed before you can make any firm judgments. Nonetheless, these chemicals cannot do you any damage if you decide to try them. However, check to see whether there are any medical reasons why you should not use them. They may react with other medicines or be allergic to them. If you’re unsure, ask your doctor.
This is great, but the best way to avoid a hangover is to prevent it in the first place. What can you do?
How to Prevent a Hangover in the First Place
What can you do to avoid getting a hangover? Here are 5 suggestions to assist you in this endeavor.
Quitting Alcohol Altogether
There’s no need to drink. Some individuals, on the other hand, enjoy a glass of wine or another alcoholic beverage from time to time, and it might even be beneficial to your health, so this may not be the best option for you.
When you consume alcoholic beverages, eat.
It’s true that drinking alcohol causes hangovers, which might leave you feeling horrible for hours. Before you drink alcohol, eat a meal, and after your night out. Carbohydrates are suggested by some experts since they’re your major brain food and will assist to minimize any side effects. Others advocate protein because protein slows down the metabolism of alcohol.
For example, you might eat some meat or cheese, which are both high in protein. Alternatively, you could have a spaghetti bolognese, which contains carbohydrates as well.
During your night out, drink plenty of water. It not only hydrates you but also dilutes the sugar in alcohol. The spiking sugars are another reason for the after-effects of overindulgence. Even after coming home, down a large glass of water.
Space Your Drinks
Drink one drink every hour, and vary your intake with non-alcoholic alternatives. This helps to prevent alcohol from accumulating too quickly in the body.
Types of Alcohol
Choose your beverages with care. Some alcoholic beverages are more powerful than others, so start with drinks that have less alcohol content.
So, which beverages should you stay away from? The darker spirits are to be avoided. They tend to include congeners, which are poisonous chemicals found in certain beverages including whiskey, cognac, and tequila. Because they have low concentrations of congeners, lighter colored drinks such as vodka, gin, and rum are preferable.
In conclusion, showering is not particularly beneficial in relieving a hangover. However, there are alternative methods to attempt and even prevent yourself from acquiring a headache. Be sure to try some of these tips the next time you go out for drinks with friends. And, as always, drink responsibly.