Heidi Wright, BSN, RN, PCCN, and Certified Master Herbalist
After a long day (and night) partying with a lot of alcohol, it’s expected to have a hangover. While drinking may be fun and exhilarating, the hangover experience is the opposite. The experience can leave you feeling unmotivated to do anything.
Let’s dive into what’s causing your hangover, and what you can do over it quickly. We also have some great ideas for how you can use tea to stop those hangover symptoms in their tracks.
Simply put, a hangover is an unpleasant feeling after consuming alcohol. Any alcohol can cause hangovers, be it wine, beer, whiskey, bourbon, etc. Note that the alcohol concentration in different drinks differ; higher concentrations will often cause a more intense hangover.
In alcohol, the fermentation process creates a by-product known as congeners, with higher congener levels associated with a more intense hangover. Typically, the darker the alcohol, the more congeners it contains (but even clear liquors like tequila have it). Note that the hangover experience can differ in people, even when consuming the same amount of alcohol.
If after consuming a lot of alcohol, you're starting to feel some symptoms of a hangover, the best course of action is first to hydrate. Drinking water and electrolyte drinks can be helpful in rehydrating your body. Outside of this, rest and a quiet environment can be helpful.
You may wonder how you know you have a hangover in the first place! People with hangovers experience several undeniable symptoms. This commonly includes a profound headache, which will worsen with loud noises or bright lighting, notes Heidi Wright, Registered Nurse and Certified Herbalist. The feeling of nausea is also commonly associated with a hangover. Some people don't stop at nausea; they may throw up several times after a night of heavy drinking. Dizziness and fatigue are also common with hangovers. These symptoms usually subside after 24 hours.
One of the main causes of hangovers after consuming alcohol is dehydration. You feel dehydrated after consuming alcohol as it’s a diuretic, which promotes urination. So, the more you pee, the less body fluid you have. When an individual does not have enough body fluids, it can lead to nausea and dizziness.
When you drink alcohol, it limits the body's ability to produce glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body. The food we eat breaks down to form glucose. As such, when there is not enough glucose in the body, the individual tends to feel dizzy and tired because the body is depleted of energy.
Alcohol also alters the balance of our GI system. Certain alcohols may make the stomach more acidic, thus upsetting the balance. When the acidic content in the stomach is too high, by reflex action, the body empties the stomach by vomiting as a defense mechanism. “Alcohol may also cause stomach irritation and pain, and worsen acid reflux,” Wright adds.
Drinking tea during a hangover may help relieve many of the associated symptoms. Herbaly has a wide variety of teas that can help recover from a hangover faster.
There are many benefits associated with drinking tea to relieve hangovers. Here are some of the major reasons to consider adding tea to your post-drinking routine:
As mentioned, dehydration is one of the primary causes of a hangover; for such, tea can help relieve symptoms. A cup of Herbal Functional Tea can help rehydrate you, on top of supporting feelings of relaxation, which may help you get some restful sleep to aid in recovery.
Replenish Lost Electrolytes and Support Blood Sugars
Drinking tea with electrolytes such as a pinch of salt and potassium can help to replenish lost electrolytes from excessive vomiting. Wright clarifies that while glucose isn’t an electrolyte (like sodium, calcium, and potassium), teas that contain fibres and glucose can help stabilize your blood sugar and settle an upset stomach.
Hangovers can cause headaches and stomach irritation that may result from inflammation or extra stress on the body. Herbal tea has many properties that have been shown to help reduce pain and stress, making tea an excellent choice to aid in pain relief and help reduce nausea.
Hangovers are not an experience anyone enjoys. If you have a hangover after a night of drinking, take advantage of the supportive elements of herbal tea to help reduce your pain, nausea, and help you get deep, healing rest.
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