By James Madeiros
You wake up and your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth. Your trudge to kitchen, in desperate need of water, promising yourself you will be a more responsible drinker – perhaps never drink again for the rest of your life. Your stomach grumbles, even though you know your digestive system is in a delicate state.
What kinds of foods will get you back in action?
It may sound too easy, but the answer is the same kinds of foods that best keep you in action on any other day: proteins, fruits and veggies, and other healthy foods that will help replenish much-needed vitamins and minerals. This may all boil down to a personal sense of taste, but to know what actually “works” to cure a hangover, you must first know your enemy.
A hangover is largely the result of dehydration, and the accompanying loss of essential minerals and vitamins, such as B1 (thiamine), magnesium and potassium. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes a chemical reaction that reroutes water from needed areas in the body to the bladder, causing the frequent need to visit the powder room.
Thoroughly parched, your body then borrows water from other areas – like your brain. This makes your brain mad with thirst, so it starts to throb. Meanwhile, your muscles ache because they are missing the potassium and magnesium that went out with the urine. And, to top it all off, your liver has converted and expelled your glucose out with the urine as well, leaving you with little energy.
Welcome to your hangover.
To combat this, you should eat foods that contain these depleted vitamins and minerals, like sunflower seeds, tuna and beans for thiamine, and assorted nuts, bananas, baked goods and rice for potassium and magnesium. Eggs are also good, as they contain a substance called cysteine, which breaks down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver. And, juice is good because it provides a quick source of energy.
And, make sure you wash it all down with a tall glass of water … or two … or three …
Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).