A hangover is a bad place to be in. Though the drinking and partying may seem fun in the moment, excessive drinking leads to a hangover later with the effects of a headache and tiredness.
What can be done about the hangover? Can anything make it better? And do electrolytes help a hangover? Let us find out!
What Does Excessive Drinking Do to the Body?
Drinking in moderation and occasionally might be a great way to unwind and let your guard down. It is also a way to spend some quality time with people who matter and relive old memories. However, things go south when moderation makes way for excessive drinking.
Excessive drinking may put you at certain risks. These include:
- Accidents while driving
- Risky sexual behavior
- Alcohol poisoning
If alcohol consumption becomes a habit, it can lead to several long-term implications. These include:
- Issues with the digestive system
- High blood pressure
- Memory and speech issues
- Social problems such as stress and anxiety
Are Electrolytes Effective in Helping a Hangover?
Usually, drinking water and loading up on electrolytes is considered a great way to make a hangover better. Sometimes excessive drinking may lead to vomiting, leading to the loss of electrolytes from your body. This electrolyte imbalance is more often than not the reason behind a terrible hangover.
The loss of electrolytes leads to lower hydration levels, ineffective muscle function and coordination and imbalanced pH levels. This may lead to soreness, muscle weakness and headaches.
What Purpose Do Electrolytes Serve in the Body?
Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium serve several purposes in the body and keep it healthy and functional. It is, therefore, crucial to maintaining a healthy level of electrolytes in the body to keep it in good shape and also avoid a terrible hangover.
Here are a few reasons electrolytes are indispensable to the human body:
Electrolytes keep your body hydrated. In the absence of electrolytes, the body will not be able to maintain the balance between cells and water, leading to certain imbalances. An electrolyte imbalance prevents water molecules from moving to dehydrated areas.
This is going to make a hangover worse. Hence, it is recommended that you stock up on electrolytes and also gulp down water in good quantity before going to bed so that you don’t wake up with a terrible hangover.
Maintain the Nervous System
Not just hydration, electrolytes are also essential to effectively maintaining the nervous system. Sodium and potassium alternate between nerve cells and ensure the passage of electric signals in the nerve cells. A low level of electrolytes in the body will hamper this passage in the nerve cells, making you feel lethargic and weak.
Electrolytes are responsible for neutralizing lactic acid in the body and maintaining its pH levels. The lack of electrolytes, therefore, can be toxic to the body because of the high presence of lactic acid.
Electrolytes in the human body ensure healthy muscle movement. Without the presence of electrolytes in the body, muscle movement may be compromised leading to problems.
How Do Electrolytes Help Hangovers?
Now that you know that electrolytes serve several purposes in the human body, can you decisively say that they help hangovers?
Well, honestly, there is nothing like a foolproof cure for a hangover and you will have to bear with some minor inconvenience post a night of heavy drinking, however, drinking water and loading up on electrolytes are your best bet on making the situation better.
Alcohol saps out water from your body, leading to severe dehydration and you need electrolytes to restore this imbalance. The sooner you replenish electrolytes, the better it will not just for the dehydration but also for muscle movement that also gets impacted by alcohol.
When to Use Electrolytes to Prevent Hangover?
Timing is the key to helping a hangover and preventing it from getting worse. Ideally, you should stock up on electrolytes before going to bed. Though people find it difficult to drink water or consume electrolytes after heavy drinking, it is advisable that you push your body and gulp down water and consume electrolytes.
This is because these things together will ensure certain checks and balances in the body and make sure that you don’t wake up feeling terrible.
Mix water with electrolytes and gulp it down after drinking. You may also do this before drinking so that you don’t get too high and completely dehydrated.
How to Replenish Electrolytes in the Body after Drinking?
You can consume electrolytes in the form of liquid or tablet or powder. There are a number of electrolyte supplements available on the market, so you would have plenty of choices.
If you are too particular and have been planning the night out for a long time, you can even consult your doctor on the best way to consume electrolytes.
You should particularly focus on increasing the potassium intake in the body after drinking heavily. Before heading out, make sure to eat some white beans or bakes potatoes so that you don’t end up getting wasted completely.
Stocking up on potassium would spike your vasopressin production and lower your chances of severe dehydration, thereby keeping the possibility of a terrible hangover lower.
If you don’t have a supplement ready, you can also consider taking some natural forms of electrolyte. These include:
- Coconut Water: This is rich in a number of electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and sodium and calcium.
- Watermelon Juice: Drink some watermelon juice to prevent a hangover from going terrible as it is rich in several electrolytes.
- Additionally, you can also gulp down electrolyte-infused water and sports drinks if you take one.
The Final Word
Electrolytes can help a hangover from getting worse by ensuring that our body remains hydrated and the muscle functions remain smooth. You need to drink at least two big glasses of water and gorge on electrolytes before going to bed if you don’t want to wake up with a bad hangover.