The science of hangovers

the science of hangovers

By Nicole Correia,

We’ve all been there, with the hangover of death, just wanting to feel “okay again” I know I certainly have cursed myself for drinking myself into my sorry state the following day more times than I care to admit. ‘Never drinking again’ crosses our minds several times when you’re hungover the next day but no one ever really means it; drinking habits and great nights I shan’t remember continue to keep happening. We’ve all put our (sore) heads together to research into, and explain, in a way that won’t ache your brain what causes a hangover and how to cure it.

Water retention

During PSHE lessons you are taught about drug abuse, addictions and things like that. Alcohol is a drug and so it alters your body just as other drugs do. Alcohol more specifically alters the wat “vasopressin” (a hormone) works within our bodies. Normally water is absorbed by the body when we drink, but alcohol’s effect sends water to your bladder rather than being absorbed back into your blood stream. This explains the whole idea around “breaking the seal” and needing to go to the toilet a lot more than usual you’re on the ‘lash’.

Because all the water is sent straight to your bladder, and when you get a little sweaty on the dance floor, your body has a lot less to hydrate itself with- this is why you feel hungover. So, when you get in from a night out, down a pint of water, it’ll help.

“I only smoke when I drink”

I for one hear this a lot. I didn’t think much of it before I actually did some hangover research. Smoking is one of those things that many of us aren’t sure if it’s fashionable or not…is it even cool anymore? Probably not would be the answer if you’ve got a raging headache- smoking makes your hangover worse!

Smoking just adds to all the toxins (nasty stuff) that you voluntarily enjoy on a night out- alcohol being the commonly favourite toxin of all. Your poor body is trying to deal with that and smoking on top of it really does not help. Nicotine is harmful stuff- it has been said that if the human body could absorb it all at once, three or four ciggies would be all it took to kill an adult. Dangerous stuff, avoid it if you can.

The morning after (the night before)

However you managed to get yourself home and in bed last night is none of my concern. Believe me I have had a few questionable instances and woken up in my bed unsure how exactly I “dealt” with the stairs let alone got home. The morning after, though, is often where we make our mistakes; we’ll get up, slide down the stairs miserably and attempt to make some coffee. Apparently this is wrong- it dehydrates us further! Switch the coffee for yet another pint OF WATER! If you can manage orange juice, knock that back, you need the vitamins. A good ol’ banana if you’ve got one- they’ve got potassium and you definitely need some of that, it’s good stuff I’m told.

The quickest way to help hydrate is to have a shower. Your beer stained arms and hair will also thank you for it.

The wonders of the egg mcmuffin

I discovered McDonalds’ breakfast this year (I know I’m really late) but WOW : I thought that I was on my deathbed with a hangover, convinced it would kill me then I had my first bite of a double sausage and egg mcmuffin I thought ‘THERE IS A GOD, AND I AM NOW IN HEAVEN’. After my bottle of orange juice I realised that I was still very much alive and in McDonalds with last night’s make up still on. Classy. However, there’s some science around my heavenly-hangover-fix, apparently. Eggs are proven to break down all those evil toxins you consumed/smoked. Horah! If that isn’t excuse enough to get yourself down to McDonalds I do not know what is.