Hangover? Why this discomfort?

We have all lived the famous hangover (and even more when the end of the year holidays approach). Waking up with a severe headache, dizziness or nausea after a night where drinks are, in theory, one or the heaviest discomforts of our nature after the celebrations. But how is it produced?

The hangover occurs after drinking more alcohol than the body is able to metabolize. It passes through all organs causing complicated effects to process. When alcohol has passed through the kidneys, they rapidly excrete much more water in the body. This process of dehydrating the body narrows the blood vessels in the head and produces the typical headache the next day.

What are the best-known hangover symptoms?

  • Amnesia or slight memory loss.
  • Gastric disorders: vomiting, nausea or diarrhea.
  • Headaches.
  • Be intense
  • Muscle pain
  • Nervous blunting
  • Flatulence

Why is this for?

Alcohol is the main carrier of toxic substances that are very difficult to be metabolized by the body. One of them, for example, is acetaldehyde that is extremely difficult to degrade. Fatigue, on the other hand, is caused by the drop in blood sugar as it induces drastic and rapid changes in liver metabolism.

How to combat the effects of alcohol?

The body has its own «defenses» against alcohol intake. Just as it is very fast to enter the blood, the process of its transformation is also very slow. Approximately an average of ten or fifteen cubic centimeters is processed per hour.

On the other hand, the body can only process a certain amount of alcohol in the day due to the elaboration of an enzyme in the liver that allows its processing in the body. When exceeded, the liver does not metabolize it and that produces the symptoms of the following day.

It is extremely important to stay hydrated during alcohol intake. Exchanging a glass of water for each alcohol can be a measure to counteract the effects of the previous day. And always remember to drink in moderation. You can also look for alcoholic beverages with a percentage of up to 5% whose danger of dehydrating the body is lower.

In addition, it should be noted that to counteract the effects of a hangover, it is good to consume large amounts of glutathione. This component, according to the Hangover Information Center in Amsterdam, «is classified as a tripeptide, due to its combination of three different amino acids. It is found throughout the body, but especially in the liver, where it helps in the fight against excessive intake of alcohol and toxins produced during the body’s metabolic process. «