The Hangover Essay

This essay has a total of 715 words and 4 pages.


The Hangover





The Hangover
Just about every drinker has woken up with a painful headache, dry mouth, nausea, and
dizziness that come from overindulging in too much alcohol. The definition for the word
hangover is the unpleasant physical effects following a heavy use of alcohol. In other
words, a hangover is the painful day after drinking one drink after another. There is no
cure for a hangover, just ways to prevent it from happening.

Hangover is where the active ingredient in alcohol, ethanol, is transformed to pyruvate
causing the toxic chemical called acetaldehyde (Kater, pars. 4-5). Acetaldehyde is a
chemical that is processed by the liver at a fixed rate no matter how much is all ready in
the blood system; this process uses a lot of the body’s energy; therefore, the body
tries to restore the normal energy causing dehydration (Kater, par. 5). Dehydration is
what causes all the horrible feelings the drinker comes across the morning after drinking.

Once dehydration comes into play there is only one cure, time. The body needs time and
plenty of liquids to get over a hangover. There is only one way to prevent a hangover, not
drinking too much; however, small amounts can cause side effects as well
(www.mayohealth.org). Rest and rehydrate- give yourself time to recover, and drink bland
liquids, such as water, soda, fruit juices or broths (www.mayohealth.org). Use
over-the-counter pain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, to reduce a headache;
however, when combined with alcohol they may cause stomach irritation, and too much can be
toxic to the liver (www.mayohealth.org). Eating something the morning after is a plus.
Eggs are more difficult to digest than some other breakfast foods, so have some toast and
fruit instead, or a small bowl of cereal (www.learn2.com).

There are a few things to do before drinking to help lessen a hangover. Plan for the
evening by choosing your poison (www.learn2.com). Stay away from tropical drinks and
carbonated drinks; carbonation speeds up alcohol absorption (www.learn2.com). Having a
full stomach when you are drinking helps to slow down the effects of alcohol and reduce
the severity of a hangover (www.drinkease.com/drinkease2).

Some alcoholic drinks cause worse hangovers than other drinks. Vodka form less congeners,
such as acetaldehyde, than gin, scotch whiskey form four times more congeners than gin,
brandy and rum form six times more congeners than gin, and bourbon forms eight times more
congeners than gin (www.learn2.com). In addition, red wine has more congeners than white
wine (www.learn2.com). Something to avoid during or before drinking is coffee; coffee has
caffeine, which increases the amount of alcohol absorbed by the body (Kater 5).

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