Proper hydration offers a partial solution to feeling better the day after too much alcohol. Water alone doesn't cut it. Electrolytes are necessary and timing is key. Read further to understand why.
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Do electrolytes help with hangovers?
1. When we drink, we urinate more than usual, losing water and electrolytes, mainly sodium. But did you know alcohol has a specific effect causing loss of magnesium?
2. Many symptoms of a hangover mirror those of dehydration. For example, dry mouth, headaches, lethargy, nausea, fatigue and strong thirst. Not surprising, because we are dehydrated.
3. Drinking plain water doesn't help. We need sodium to hold the water, potassium to keep fluid balance in our cells and magnesium to replace what's lost.
4. There's a famous street-food seller in New Orleans that serves a delicious, and very salty, gumbo. Late night revellers claim it's a hangover miracle, giving near instant relief to sore heads and sensitivity to the early morning light.
5. It's probably not the gumbo, but the fluid and concentrated sodium that are the magic ingredients.
6. There's more to hangovers than just dehydration. Excessive alcohol triggers an immune response, along with inflammation. Alcohol also affects our gut lining. Many people experience diarrhoea after a night of drinking.
7. Try concentrated electrolytes with water as soon after drinking alcohol as possible. Drink more electrolytes the next morning with lots of water. It's not a cure, but it will help.
8. Remember, alcohol is a toxin. Keep it moderate and remember to hydrate with electrolytes.
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