We’ve almost all been there ladies! One drink turns to three, then maybe even fifteen. Gasp! What’s seen as an epic night of copious consumption is then followed by a morning of constantly mumbling ‘Never me again,’ in between the pain of nausea and pounding headache. Except we all know that’s a lie. It’s sure to happen again, because life, but next time you’ll be more prepared. Nothing is wrong with a few drinks on a night out on the town, but sometimes we just have to decide if the consequences make the action worth it. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that our limit compared to our male counterparts is much lower, especially in terms of muscle mass comparison. Our blood alcohol content would appear higher because our water content is slightly lower plus the hormones present in the female body, making metabolism slightly different from that in males. It is important for us to consider alcohol effects based on gender. Do not, I repeat, do not try to ‘keep up with the boys.’
I know what you’re thinking, ‘Sunglasses and Advil’ have never failed me, except you know shades indoors can very well only scream, ‘Ah, here comes another one with the poor choices!’ Don’t be that girl, you’re too cute. You have so much more potential, plus your general manager doesn’t need to know you had shots for dinner last night.
To get to a solution, we first have to analyse the situation. Like everything else, alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation. However, for the nights we go a tad overboard there are various activities in the body that are affected due to the presence of this substance. Increased alcohol consumption leads to dehydration of the cells coupled with loss of electrolytes responsible for our bodies to work properly. For instance, they regulate the fluid levels in blood plasma and transmit nerve signals throughout the body. Loss of fluids through increased sweating, possibly from dancing to an entire soca fete set, directly impacts this. All of these imbalances lead to unpleasant physiological effects that can last a couple hours or, in grave circumstances, even days. Yikes!
As a diuretic, alcohol basically increases the excretion of water from our bodies, therefore directly impacting the production of urine. It inhibits the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) which impacts the rate of water reabsorption by the kidneys. This hormone is present in the liver to help metabolise alcohol, but when a lot is present in the body, the enzyme may not work as quickly. It is this build up that can present itself as a hangover.
You may have wondered, like me, where did the term ‘hangover’ even come from?! Well, during the industrial revolution, space on ropes could have been rented for intoxicated persons to literally hang the upper body over in order to sleep. It may have been a choice commonly made by drunks at the time. Hence the term ‘hangover’. Conversely, to hang means to suspend and a more figurative look at the phrase can be justified as representing ‘the toxic cloud that lingers way after (over) drinking ends. Whatever the origin, the use of the word may remain relevant for generations to follow.
So what’s this hangover cure, you may ask? Dump the meds and let’s head straight to the kitchen! I know I know, such a vast place with so many options right?! Beeline for the fridge and remove a couple… tomatoes. Slice or dice them and sprinkle with a bit of salt and black pepper… that’s it- you’re cured! Okay, but seriously let’s understand the why of this what, shall we? Let’s get some backstory on this marvellous cure why don’t we? Tomatoes are a fruit because of its seeds, but they are commonly categorised as a vegetable. Although made up of mostly water, they also contain fibre. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins C and K and minerals like potassium and phosphate. Most importantly, they contain glutathione (GSH) which is found naturally in the liver, but is
diminished in the presence of alcohol. Therefore, introducing an external source of GSH can counteract the effects of drunk-induced toxins.
Now you’re all set girl! The next time the party gets the best of you, remember all you need is a little help from a trusty friend, found in your crisper. You may even enjoy the snack so much that you forget the main reason for its choice anyway! For the beauties who prefer to live their best lives a limited alcohol way, here are a few bonus tips for you- to prevent instead of have to cure a hangover. Firstly, avoid drinking on an empty stomach, secondly avoid mixing drinks and lastly avoid smoking in conjunction with
A firm believer in meeting you where you are for your health and wellness goals, Zakiya-Tuere Savary is a budding health educator with a passion for dance; fulfilling her purpose one health promoting tip at a time. Follow her on IG @tueretalks