Hammered By A Hangover? Head To The Hot Tub: 7 Ways To Feel Better Now
A mere pause from thinking! said Lord Byron.
If your senses left you last night and you did over-imbibe, read on for seven tips that will make you feel better faster.
The term hangover was originally a 19th century expression describing unfinished business—something left over from a meeting—or “survival.” In 1904, the meaning “morning after-effect of drinking too much” first surfaced and has been used ever since as a catchall to describe that awful feeling.
The most commonly reported features of a hangover include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, and thirst typically after the intoxicating effects of the alcohol you consumed the night before wear off. Add dysphoria- an unpleasant or uncomfortable mood, such as sadness, anxiety, irritability or restlessness. Let’s call it the opposite of euphoria.
You feel rotten.
It’s the American way to “do” something when we feel bad. No waiting for a temporary hangover to work itself out. In this case, you can act now to feel better.
The body rids itself of alcohol and its toxic byproducts in four ways:
*via the liver or kidneys
* and from sweating.
Exercise speeds breathing, increases sweat and moves alcohol-laden blood through the liver and kidneys to be processed more quickly.
You probably don’t feel like going to the gym this morning (if you do, good for you!), but jumping in your hot tub will do almost as much for you. The heat increases your circulation which will speed blood more quickly through the liver and kidneys. Did you know that immediately after a person is immersed, water begins to exert pressure on the body? Cardiac volume increases by nearly one-third when you’re immersed to the neck.
Here’s what to do to feel better now:
Drink a glass of Gatorade or any sports drink that replaces electrolytes before getting in the hot tub. One reason you feel so bad now is because you’re dehydrated. Coffee is dehydrating and while you think that it is just what you need, it is not a helpful for a hangover.
2. Resist the temptation to take aspirin which is a blood thinner, just like alcohol and can intensify its effects!
The side effects of aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen can be magnified when alcohol is in your system, so it is best (even though it may be the first thing you reach for) to avoid them to kill the hangover pain. See Tip 5 below for the best way to get rid of a hangover headache.
3. Get in the hot tub at between 102-104 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
4. Do deep breathing exercises in the tub.
5. For headache relief that’s simple and natural, try pinching your hand between your thumb and forefinger while in the hot tub.
That part of the hand is a nerve junction and an acupressure point which is supposed to release tension in the head neck. The advice is to pinch quite hard for thirty seconds every five minutes until the headache subsides.
6. Take a cold shower after your hot tub soak which will really get your circulation moving and your heart rate up.
7. Drink water or Gatorade after you soak. More of the right kind of fluids (and “hair of the dog” is NOT the right kind of fluid) will flush the alcohol from your system and revive you.
Happy New Year and feel better soon.
SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through water.
Author: Don Riling
Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 25 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through hot water therapy.