Here’s a simple tip – if you don’t want a hangover, don’t drink.
But that’s no fun.
Here, we explain the science of a hangover – why they happen and what you can do to avoid and relieve them.
Afterall, we deserve a little fun, right?
First, let’s define what alcohol is so we can understand why it causes a nasty morning-after. Alcohol’s primary ingredient, the cause of reckless abandon, is ethyl alcohol (or ethanol). Ethanol is a product of yeast fermentation. More simply put, it is when yeast breaks down sugars in various products. Where the sugar is derived is what gives the alcohol its unique characteristic.
Grapes > Wine
Barley > Beer
Wheat/Corn/Rye > Whiskey/Gin
Potato > Vodka
Sugarcane > Rum
Ethanol acts on your brain in the same manner it acts on your behavior – slowing down its reaction time. During alcohol consumption, the ethanol enters the blood stream, elevating your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). As that alcoholic blood stream enters the brain, the ethanol is able to pass through the blood brain barrier and directly affect the neurons in your head. Once the ethanol begins to interact with your brain cells, the neurons become increasingly suppressed, dampening their ability to rapidly fire signals to one another. Results are obvious: slurred speech, slow reaction time, disoriented thinking, impaired vision, etc.
Along with its depressant nature, ethanol is also a diuretic. Fancy word for a substance that causes you to evacuate water – or urinate. Once you break the seal, the alcohol will frequently remind you of your need for a lavatory. Unfortunately, the main substance you are ridding is water, not alcohol. Frequent bathroom breaks during a night of drinking pushes your body closer and closer to dehydration.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, our bodies require sufficient fluid levels to regulate and promote adequate cellular and organ function. Without sufficient fluid and electrolyte levels, our cells and organs are unable to communicate with one another efficiently. Dehydration contributes to your headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion and irritability. Proper hydration is essential to maintaining body function and avoiding the nasty side-effects.
Another element many are unfamiliar with is congeners. These molecules are a byproduct of the fermentation mentioned earlier and can be just as nasty as the ethanol itself. Congener quantity has a direct relationship with the color, or darkness of the alcohol. Bourbons, red wines and other darker colored alcohols contain congeners in much higher abundance than their lighter colored kin. Congeners contribute to the color of the liquor, as well as the severity of your hangover. This toxic substance may be found in smaller quantities but plays sidekick to ethanol in this Batman-and-Robin beat down on your brain cells. As a preventive measure, choosing your alcohol can be a significant factor in influencing the severity of your hangover. Though, excessive consumption, regardless of the color, will inevitably lead to a wrenching hangover.
Alcohol’s first stop in its tour through your body is the stomach. Upon arrival, it begins interacting with the lining of the stomach wall, irritating and forcing the production of vile stomach acids. One of the most common side effects of excessive drinking is the nausea and vomiting the next morning. Blame this excessive acid production when the stomach and alcohol meet. Many are driven to eat food before hitting the sheets, effectively neutralizing some of the acid sloshing around your stomach. Unfortunately, this does not always prevent the next day’s nausea, stomach pain and vomiting. Worst of all, the best cure is a solid meal, but with an irritated stomach, it can be hard to hold food down.
Lastly, though you might pass out immediately as your head hits the pillow, you certainly won’t sleep well. If you’re unfamiliar with Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, let’s catch you up. Adequate sleep is essential to bodily recovery, as your body rotates between non-REM and REM sleep, repairing tissue, building bone and muscle and building the immune system. REM sleep only occurs every 1-2 hours in adults and lasts 10 minutes or so. Humans rotate into and out of REM sleep 3-5 times every night.
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol robs our body of needed REM time. A result of this lack of quality sleep hours is lack of concentration, memory problems, drowsiness and fatigue. Whereas there are preventive measures one can take to reduce the severity of their hangover, there is little prevention for a lack of sleep.
Relief Starts Here
Drip’s proven hangover cure, The Drip, has been repeatedly tested and found to alleviate all the major side effects of excessive consumption. Our carefully blended remedy solves all the major ailments of a hangover: headache, nausea, and pain relief, boosted energy and concentration, and increased appetite. Nothing provides a better pick-me-up than The Drip. While most IV clinics will simply provide rehydration, our cocktail is physician recommended and mega-powerful.
Not drinking is a solution, but so is Drip Nashville. Go drink, get a drip, and feel recovered.