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Lessen the symptoms of that holiday hangover

Posted at 3:49 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 20:09:30-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Today is a popular day for people to pop champagne and cheers to the New Year. But what if you overdo it on the booze and start 2020 with a hangover? How can you lessen the symptoms?

A hangover is basically your body trying to rid itself of toxins. Because of this, dehydration sets in leading to nausea, headaches, dry mouth, diarrhea, hot flashes and shakiness.

Dante Gonzalez -- assistant director of public health at the Corpus Christi Health Department -- said a hangover is the body's coping mechanism after heavy drinking. He said that's because the body cannot rid itself of toxins fast enough.

"The side effects of drinking too much alcohol and the breakdown of the alcohol molecule is what leads to the hangover," Gonzalez said.

He said you can help reduce the risk of a hangover by hydrating before hand.

"But I'm talking about water," he said. "Make sure that you are drinking enough water. Make sure that you're drinking something that has electrolytes. And be careful with the sugary drinks that claim that they have electrolytes. If you are drinking something that is too sugary that is also going to add onto the effects of the hangover."

He said a general rule is to divide your weight by two and drink that amount in fluid ounces of water.

"While you're drinking alcohol you should also keep hydrating yourself," Gonzalez said.

He said the liver is working overtime trying to metabolize the alcohol which the body treats as a poison. He said alcohol calories quickly add up often exceeding your daily caloric intake.

"Alcohol acts as a sugar," he said. "So when you are drinking alcohol you are actually indulging in a lot of calories."

He said when it comes to certain foods there is no set answer on what will cure a hangover.

"So if you find something that is comforting it's going to release some sort of endorphins that will make your body feel better, at least for a little bit," he said. "But most people that have suffered through a pretty, severe hangover, they can't even put anything in their mouth. Just the smell gives them nausea. Just moving around makes them very dizzy. That's because you have thrown the imbalance of your body."