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It's the celebratory season, so alcohol is bound to flow freely. Though the drinking sessions add to the excitement, their aftermath is rather unnerving. The by-products left in your system after a long night of drinking (which your body, by the way, considers poison) makes you feel lousy and sick in the morning.

Darker drinks such as beer, red wine, port wine and brandy are more likely to leave you feeling lousier because they contain higher amounts of the elements that make the drink what it is. This is also what the body regards as unacceptable and sufficiently punishes you for, the morning after.


Symptoms

All symptoms of a hangover stem from your body's attempts to process alcohol and rid your system of it. Here are some common hangover symptoms.

Dehydration and headaches

Alcohol contains diuretic properties, which makes the body lose water. That is why you keep going to relieve yourself so often when drinking. This process usually leads to a feeling of constant thirst and headache in the morning. Energy levels are also usually low, owing to dehydration.

Ulcers and stomach irritation
Consumption of alcohol also leads to a drop in the body's sugar levels. This makes a person feel sick. In fact, regular consumption of alcohol can irritate the stomach and can contribute to ulcers. Some people also tend to wake up with a feeling of nausea in the morning.

Tricks to deal with a hangover

How fast, and how well, you can recover from a hangover depends on your metabolism and your body's immunity system. It also depends on your body size, your height and how many drinks you have had.

Usually, it's best to avoid a hangover by drinking smartly and keeping a control on your intake.

But, if you do end up hitting the bottle with full vigour, then learning to manage a hangover is very important. Here are some important tips for hangover management:

Wash off the toxins with water

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, while you are guzzling alcohol, remember to pace it with some glasses of water. This will ensure your body doesn't dehydrate badly. If possible, remember to down a pint of water before sleeping. This can go a long way in avoiding a hangover.

Add lots of ice to your drink, or cold water if ice is not your thing.

Drinking plenty of water helps fight a hangover. Drink about a litre of water within a couple of hours of waking up in the morning and you will feel the difference.

Line your stomach

Before you start drinking, you must line your stomach with food. This will reduce the effect of a hangover.

In the morning after as well, try and eat a proper breakfast, complete with bread, eggs and more. A pint of milk is also thought to evade the effects of a hangover.

However, don't try to down everything in one go and don't force yourself to eat too much, as this may lead to your throwing up. Eat in small quantities, frequently, for a few hours, and you will most likely be stable by lunch time.

Remember eating is very important for restoring your glucose levels -- so, even if you don't feel like looking at food, you must eat in small quantities.

Fresh lime water -- your friend in need, always

Make yourself a glass of fresh lime water after you grab a bite in the morning. Lemon fights the feeling of nausea, energises the body and helps it stabilise. It also hydrates your body.

Buttermilk with extra pepper -- a lifesaving concoction

After guzzling on alcohol, guzzle on Nature's best gift -- buttermilk. When taken with a liberal sprinkling of pepper, buttermilk not only hydrates your body; it also makes you feel hungry. It controls the feeling of nausea and makes you feel lighter.

Remedies you must learn to ditch
Aspirin for healing

Taking an aspirin before passing out at the end of the day only worsens the effect of a hangover. The combination of aspirin and alcohol can cause your liver to release a toxic metabolite. This is very dangerous and can cause serious damage to your liver.

A hair of the dog that bit you

This remedy calls for having a drink when you wake up next morning with a hangover. It is recommended you have the same drink that you got drunk on in the night, to counter its ill effects.

This myth merely helps put off the side effects temporarily; it only worsens the body's capability to recover in the long run.

The idea is to drink to have fun and not to pass out. So savour your drink. Celebrate in style but stay in control.
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