Oops!  You’ve done it again.  You agreed to that last beer at closing time, tequila shot with your persuasive friends, or second glass of champagne at the stroke of midnight.  Here’s some tips to get your brain and body back to full throttle the day after:

For nausea:

Ginger.  Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural nausea cure.  It’s not just for morning sickness!  Try ginger tea, ginger ale or non-alcoholic ginger beer to calm your stomach.

Peppermint.  Peppermint oil relaxes stomach muscles and can have a soothing effect.  Peppermint oil is often used with IBS, but should be avoided in those with gastroesophageal reflux, as it lowers esophageal sphincter pressure.  The sugar in peppermint candy will raise blood sugar, too for energy.

For energy:

Toast or crackers.  Normally when blood sugar is low, your liver kicks in to release sugar from glycogen (stored glucose).  But if it’s been metabolizing alcohol all night, it can’t handle the extra work.  Toast, crackers, bread or any other carbohydrates will bring your blood sugar up and give you energy.

For headaches:

Water, water, water.  It’s a known fact that alcohol is a diuretic- meaning it will make you pee most of the night, resulting in dehydration and a headache.  If you can, drink at least 2 glasses before going to bed the night before.  If not, start drinking as soon as you wake up.   You CAN over-hydrate yourself- resulting in hyponatremia (low blood sodium) and brain edema.  Three liters/day is plenty for most people.  Seltzer water is also good option for a headache or upset stomach.

Coffee.  If you’re a regular consumer of coffee, you’ll need a bit to prevent a caffeine-withdrawal headache.  Overdoing it won’t help as it is a diuretic and too much can cause stomach upset.  Enjoy your usual 1-2 cups, but continue to hydrate throughout the day.

Pain meds.  Stick with aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen for your hangover headache.  Tylenol mixed with alcohol can lead to liver damage.  Take non-steroidal drugs as prescribed on the bottle.  Taking with food will help prevent them from eating up your stomach lining over time.

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