If you’re like most people, you enjoy a good drink — but not the next morning.
In the 2009 comedy, The Hangover, a group of Bachelor party guys wake up in a wrecked hotel room with no recollection of the previous night. Many of us can relate to that first moment, waking up, and making sense of the last night. In the film, not only do they feel horrible, to add misery to headaches — they have no idea where their ‘about-to-get-hitched’ friend has disappeared to!
There are a variety of reasons for the dreaded hangover, but one stands above the rest. Research to be published in the March 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, finds that — get this — the amount of alcohol consumed is the greatest predictor of hangover regardless of light versus dark alcoholic beverages. But how does this really affect us the next day?
How the Hangover Reduces Your Ability
Whatever you’re able to do normally, science now confirms that the hangover decreases that ability.
- Decreased reaction times
- Less ability to concentrate
- Susceptible to infections for 24 more hours
- Reduced attention and working memory (research on college students)
- Slower metabolism, muscle loss and wasting, energy levels lacking
What this means: While reaction times and concentration seem to improve within a few hours, the immune system remains weakened for a whole entire day following the hangover.
Operating machinery is probably not a good idea while hungover, and neither is hanging around sick people.
How to Prevent the Hangover
In college, I witnessed the miraculous student who could drink all night and go to class in the morning…rinse and repeat! This was a lifestyle I tried to emulate, but was far too elusive to ever attain. In other words, drinking makes me feel like I’m a lesser version of me in the morning, and now I definitely limit my drinking.
For me, three drinks seems to be the money spot, I can feel a buzz but still be good in the morning. Even better, sometimes I’d even prefer to take stimulants like energy drinks to get my energy high and enjoy the party without the hangover. I’m not saying thats healthy, but alcohol seems to be particularly toxic.
If you want to feel good in the morning, don’t drink.
If you want to feel great in the morning, don’t drink and DO go to the gym for a nice workout.
Ah, it was worth a shot.
Good luck partiers.