If you’re waking up the day after New Year’s Eve feeling queasy with a headache — you’re not alone. Hangovers are rampant on New Year’s Day, especially (according to this ranking) in Kentucky.
But whether you’re just waking up or are already struggling to make it to your local coffee shop, there are things you can do to help yourself recover. Alok Patel, MD, a physician and medical contributor, shared some best practices with Yahoo Lifestyle to help you get through the day. First, he says, it’s important to understand what’s actually happening when you’re hungover.
“When alcohol is being broken down by your liver, your liver will create this byproduct called acetaldehyde. When this builds up in your body, you start to get some of those toxic effects of drinking,” Patel tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “You not only get dehydrated but you lose a lot of electrolytes and that will leave you feeling groggy but also with a huge headache.”
So what can be done to fix this?
Patel cautions against opting for the classic “fixes” like a big, greasy breakfast or huge doses of caffeine. Both of these, he says, could actually cause more dehydration and upset stomach. Instead, Patel says the key to feeling better is hydration. “If you’re hungover, drink water,” he suggests. “It’s also a good thing to take in some electrolytes whether it’s Gatorade or Pedialyte.”
Overall, Patel says that once you’ve nursed a hangover, it might be a good time to think about making different choices. “Get up, get moving, and then try to think about drinking less next time,” he says. “Because truth be told we shouldn’t be preventing hangovers — we should be listening to our bodies and drinking less in general.”
For more on how to treat your hangover, watch the video above.
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