• WHAT: Hangover
• WHEN: After multiple alcoholic beverages have been consumed in a short period of time
• HOW IT WORKS: Much like any other liquid, your body works to expel alcoholic beverages immediately upon ingesting them. The alcohol is absorbed in the stomach, and the body produces four times as much water as does the alcohol that comes in and over a prolonged period of time this leads to dehydration.
• WHY: The body is reacting to not only being dehydrated, but also not having the alcohol that was recently introduced into the works.
• SYMPTOMS: Headache, sensitivity to light, upset stomach, vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness, and general discomfort.
The pounding head.
The sensitivity to light.
The insatiable thirst.
There’s no mistaking a hangover – the unwelcome and definitely unwanted sidekick that comes after a hard night of drinking or simply consuming more alcoholic beverages than you normally do.
And while there may be a slew of products out there on the market that claim that the day-after can be a breeze, there’s almost no medical evidence to substantiate the claims that a pill or a potion can make nature’s wrath simply go away.
Normally speaking, however.
A doctor in Las Vegas turned what had become a moonlighting gig giving IV nutrients to drunken party boys to defer hangovers into a full-time practice – booking entire parties of people who want to enjoy all of the benefits that Sin City has to offer but pay none of the tolls.
The medical approach is the most telling.
A hangover, for all of its reputation, is actually nothing more, according to Dr. Leland Watkins, thank your body reacting to the alcohol that soaked up the water throughout the night. Alcohol, Watkins said, discharges four times as much water as is taken in, and the severe dehydration is often the most complained of – and misunderstood – symptom.
“Everything that people talk about, the head and the irritability and the fuzziness. All of that is being dehydrated. And it can be really dangerous in people who start drinking again – the ‘hair of the dog’ approach,” he said. “But for the most part some Advil and a bunch of water is all that most people need to eliminate the unpleasant effects.”
There is, however, a way to possibly stave off the hangover altogether and it actually involves drinking more.
Between alcoholic beverages, experts suggest drinking at least a glass of water to counterbalance the effects. The suggestion is almost never taken because it dilutes the alcohol that is being consumed, but is expected to play a role in preventing the next day dehydration that causes all of the unpleasantness.
“It’s just something that you come to expect when you’re going out on a night like New Year’s Eve,” Tanner Copeland said. “Kind of try to plan the next day around it. I have friends that swear by those pills and others that have little things that they do – drink this and take that. I just drink a lot of water and coffee and go about my day. It wears off eventually.
“Typically it’s a reminder of how much fun I had the night before.”