It is Friday morning, you are in the office and you are deeply regretting the couple of pints that turned into 6 with Dave from the 3rd floor. You are about to experience the morning after the night before. Never fear though, we and many of our other readers have been there and to help you out we have compiled this list of steps you can take to avoid the worse of it.
Alcohol is a diuretic. This means that when in your system it acts as a signal to your body to expel water (hence the need to go the toilet so often when imbibing). Your body is therefore now seriously dehydrated and this is a major cause of your woes. The solution is simple – drink water to replace what has been removed.
While you’re at it, consider also drinking sports drinks, such as Lucozade, as these replace energy, electrolytes and water at the same time.
All things remaining equal, your body will ‘cure’ itself of your hangover by filtering out toxins, replacing diminished nutrients and repairing damaged tissues. It just needs time. So while this natural process is being undertaken, we recommend sleeping through the pain. Obviously, this might not be an option if you’re already in the office, but if you can have a snooze then do so.
Your digestive system is shot, you probably haven’t eaten well in the last 12 hours and your liver is too busy metabolising alcohol to release stored energy into your blood (well, according to some questionable pseudo-science anyway). Accordingly, your blood sugar levels are pretty low and this will cause you to feel tired and weak. Like dehydration, however, you can ameliorate the associated symptoms by eating carbs and sugars. We recommend bananas, but plain toast will also do the trick if your stomach is not up to it.
To help reduce your headache, muscle cramps and other pains you may want to take some pills. As NHS Choices suggests, opt for paracetamol rather than aspirin, as the latter may further irritate the stomach and increase nausea and the need to vomit (never cool in the office).
However, don’t rely on painkillers too often as they may have their own side effects, which can be damaging in the long term.
Lots of people will say that coffee will do nothing for you in the long term and they are correct. However, you just need to get through the next few hours while your body sorts itself out. As such have a small hit of caffeine to perk yourself up.
However, note that coffee itself is a diuretic so you will need to drink more water to counter its dehydrating effects. Also, be warned that when the caffeine wears off you’ll have to deal with the come down.
We’ve included this tip as a decent work out should cause a release of endorphins that will side-line the pain. However, as well as being sadistic, this course of action will risk further dehydration and diminished blood sugar levels. If undertaken in the morning before work, it also reduces time for the sleep option outlined above. As such, apply with caution.
… But don’t have another drink
In the short term the hair of the dog will numb the pain and theoretically improve a few other things such as your balance, but it will also reduce your energy levels and further dehydrate you. Also, like coffee you’re just delaying the pain, but to a far greater degree than a latte would. Finally, you’re at work – they may fire you…
Thanks again for taking the time to read this post and get well soon!
All the best,