Ah, the hangover. An unpleasant souvenir from a long night of drinking. A hangover is unlike virtually any other illness; it is not contagious, anyone can get a hangover, it is your own fault, and it’s difficult to cure. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to prevent getting a hangover, in the first place. There are also some simple remedies that will speed up the recovery process. First, you have to understand why people get a hangover when they drink too much.

A hangover is nothing more that your body’s way of telling you that you did something very bad to it. When you drink too much in one night, you do a lot of damage to different parts of your body. A hangover is probably not unlike what it would feel like to be starving or dying of thirst, because your body is completely dehydrated. Also, let’s not forgot that alcohol is poison, and that should be enough of an explanation. The bottom line, is that when you drink alcohol, you deplete your body of water and nutrients, which leaves you feeling pretty ill.

Ways to Prevent a Hangover

Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach: Eating a hearty meal before you go out drinking will help to slow the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.

Drink Lots of Water: Drink plenty of water even while you’re drinking alcohol. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, you should drink one glass of water.

Avoid Sugary Drinks: The body metabolizes alcohol into sugar. In other words, imagine that every glass of alcohol you drink is just a glass of liquid sugar. Why would you mix sugar with more sugar? Instead of ordering a rum and coke, order a rum and diet coke.

Ways to Cure a Hangover

Drink as Much Water as Possible: Water is the best cure for a hangover, period. You need to re-hydrate your body. You should literally drink as much water as you can stomach.

Eat Vitamin Rich Foods: Along with replenishing the fluids in your body, replenishing lost nutrients is necessary, as well. Eat lots of vitamin rich foods, like fruits and vegetables. Not only will they give you vitamins, they will also help you replenish your fluids because they contain lots of water.

Get Plenty of Sleep: Your body needs to absorb all of the water and nutrients you consume to make up for what has been lost. If you’re active, your body will use the water and nutrients for energy, and you won’t make any progress. Try to rest as much as you can until your hangover is gone.

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