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Causes of a Hangover
Before we get into Gatorade’s benefits for a hangover, we first need to go over the causes of a hangover.
We mentioned that dehydration is one of the main causes of a hangover. The reason is, alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes you lose water. It does this by blocking the release of a hormone from your pituitary gland called ADH. That means, although you’re drinking fluid with each alcoholic drink, you actually end up losing more water overall. (1)
Another important cause of a hangover is inflammation. Your liver metabolizes alcohol and it’s toxic by-products so that it’s cleared from your bloodstream safely. If you’re drinking at a faster rate than what your liver can process, you get a buildup of these toxic by-products. The main one being acetaldehyde which reacts with your cells causing inflammation.(2)
Other causes of a hangover include sleep deprivation and congeners in alcohol.
The bottom line: There are many causes of a hangover and the symptoms people experience are from a combination of the above-mentioned factors.
4. A heating pad
Soothe your sore muscles with this heating pad. Credit: Scentsibledesigns/etsy
A microwaveable heating pad is perfect for anyone who finds their muscles sore after a night of heavy drinking, or someone prone to migraines. Scentsible Designs’ rice-filled heat wraps are easy to use all over your body and you can opt to make them scented or unscented.
Remember when your mom gave you toast as a kid when you couldn’t keep anything down? This is good advice for adults who’ve spent the night hugging the porcelain throne, too. While no food can halt the roller coaster in your stomach, carbs can help bring your blood sugar levels back up the morning after, Dr. Hall-Flavin says.
Chattanooga ColPac Reusable Gel Ice Pack Cold Therapy available for $9.09 on Amazon Credit: djo / amazon
Did your friend accidentally trip and fall last night, and woke up the next day with aching pain somewhere on their body? Getting them an ice pack will definitely come in handy, whether that pain be from a minor drunken injury, or a hangover headache that just won’t quit.
Best Gatorade for Hangovers
The main difference between Gatorade energy drinks is the flavor. So, when it comes to choosing which Gatorade energy drink to pick for a hangover, it shouldn’t make a difference.
The only thing to consider is whether you opt for a sugar-free version or not. And this is down to personal choice.
Pedialyte and Gatorade help with rehydration and replenishing lost electrolytes, which are essential minerals the body needs to function properly. Some people turn to electrolyte-enhanced drinks when they're hungover, sick, working out intensely, or just looking for additional hydration.
In general, Pedialyte may be the best choice if you're seeking to rehydrate due to illness for the extra electrolyte content, while Gatorade might be best for athletic or similar purposes due to added sugar and calories.
Enter my special hangover drink: Will chugging one cut the length and intensity of my hangover?
In short, certain drinks *might* help-but there's no guarantee you'll go from zero to 100. These sips aim to replace electrolytes-sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chloride, calcium, and magnesium-and generally help regulate fluid levels in the body. Electrolytes also help all of your cells and systems communicate properly, explains Hultin.
So if you happen to have reduced electrolytes because you haven't been drinking enough fluids (including water) aside from several adult beverages, replenishing them could help a tad. “If the reason for your hangover really is related to electrolytes being out of balance, then perhaps replacing them could be helpful," she says. There's a catch, though: "It's very hard to know if this is the cause of a hangover unless your doctor is analyzing a blood test,” Hultin adds.
In addition, the cause of hangover symptoms is incredibly complicated and multifaceted to begin with, as you learned a minute ago. So framing a hangover simply as an issue of needing to replenish electrolytes probably isn't the best approach. Also, some research has found that electrolytes actually don't change *that* much after a night of imbibing, says Hultin, contrary to popular belief. “Though everyone metabolizes alcohol differently, electrolyte drinks may not be the cure we're looking for.”
While researchers have studied the topic of hangovers, as of now, there’s simply no known magic cure for ‘em, Hultin notes. (Sorry!) That being said, if you just feel good (even if it's partially in your head) after a blue Gatorade when you wake up feeling like crap, enjoy it. Rehydrating and using electrolyte replacements is not harmful, she points out.
Is there anything *else* I should do to kick my hangover?
Rest and rehydrate, and just give your body (and mind) some time to recover. You had some fun, and your body is paying for it. It's okay!
And even though that BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese, mmmm) looks delicious, try your best to eat as healthy as you can. “The body has been exposed to a toxin and needs to do some clean up,” says Hultin.
As for a little hair of the dog? Skip it. “I never recommend drinking again the next day to cure a hangover,” says Hultin, who adds that this can lead you to get caught up in a vicious cycle and wind up feeling way worse when twice the hangover kicks in.
Also: Don't take an OTC pain med until any alcohol is out of your system (to be safe, hours after you stop drinking), advises Sims. “The combo of alcohol and NSAIDs increases the risk of stomach bleeds,” she says. Read: not the hangover cure you were looking for.
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