How to sober up quickly: effective ways and myths about dealing with a hangover

By SSPDailyMar 15, 2024 10:05 AMHealth
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How to sober up quickly
How to sober up quickly. Source: www.healthline.com

There is nothing you can do to sober up faster. However, there are steps you can take to make the next morning easier or not get drunk at all. SSPDaily tells about it.

SSPDaily offers you an adaptation of Healthline's material to find out if you can sober up quickly and effectively.

Is there a way to sober up quickly?

The search for a way to sober up quickly can be endless. There are many myths and secret recipes that claim to have solved this problem. None of them are supported by science.

Ask any doctor how to sober up quickly, and he will tell you the truth: it is impossible. The only thing that can reduce the blood alcohol concentration is time.

The good news is that you can take steps to help you avoid excessive drinking and hangovers.

How to sober up before bed

The best way to sober up is to get a good night's sleep. During the night, your liver will have time to metabolize (break down) all the alcohol in your body. Although you will fall asleep quite easily when you are intoxicated, your sleep will probably be fragmented and restless.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for an easy morning:

  • Drink a large glass of water before bed to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol;
  • leave another large glass of water on your nightstand and take sips every time you wake up;
  • place a bucket or bowl next to your bed in case you vomit;
  • avoid taking over-the-counter painkillers. You should wait 25 hours after drinking alcohol to take ibuprofen to avoid gastrointestinal irritation. Also, while alcohol is in your system, avoid medications with acetaminophen. These medications can interact with alcohol and cause liver damage as a result;
  • never take sleeping pills or other depressants when you are drunk;
  • set an alarm if you need to wake up early.

How to sober up in the morning

So the morning of your reckoning has arrived. Hangovers can be brutal, but you shouldn't drink raw eggs mixed with lard because the internet says it's a magic hangover cure. This is not true.

Hangovers usually go away on their own within 24 hours. The best cure for a hangover is time and rest, but there are a few steps you can take to help alleviate unpleasant symptoms:

  • go back to sleep. Sleeping while intoxicated is neither restful nor restorative, but going back to sleep when you're sober can help ease your hangover;
  • drink water to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol;
  • treat gastrointestinal disorders with over-the-counter medications;
  • take an over-the-counter pain reliever to treat a headache;
  • keep curtains closed to keep light out of your eyes or wear sunglasses. A hangover can make you sensitive to light or sound;
  • eat soft foods to raise your blood sugar without irritating your stomach;
  • be careful with your caffeine intake. Caffeine can help relieve the fatigue associated with a hangover, but it can also worsen an upset stomach;
  • do not try to relieve a hangover by drinking more alcohol. Instead of curing you, this tactic may just lead to prolonging the symptoms. Even though drinking more alcohol may temporarily relieve or mask your symptoms, the hangover will return as soon as you stop drinking. You may end up feeling even worse.

How alcohol affects the body

You can start feeling the effects of alcohol as early as 10 minutes after drinking. When alcohol enters the stomach, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the lining of the stomach and small intestine.

Some alcoholic beverages are absorbed even faster than others. As a rule, stronger drinks are absorbed faster. A shot will get you drunk faster than a beer. Factors such as your weight and whether you have recently eaten also affect the rate of alcohol absorption.

Alcoholic beverages contain different amounts of alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismTrusted Source), the typical alcohol content is approximately as follows:

  • 4.2% alcohol for some light beers;
  • 5% alcohol for regular beer, although some beers contain more;
  • 12% alcohol for table wine;
  • 40% alcohol for distilled spirits such as gin, rum, and whiskey.

Once alcohol enters the bloodstream, the liver breaks it down. It takes about 1 hour for the liver to break down the amount of alcohol contained in a standard alcoholic beverage (one glass of beer, one glass of wine, or one "shot").

If you drink alcohol faster than your liver can break it down, your blood alcohol level rises and you start to feel drunk. There is nothing you can do to speed up the breakdown of alcohol in the blood by the liver, so sobering up quickly is not the best option.

5 ways to avoid getting too drunk

Here are some tips to help you avoid getting drunk.

1. Count the amount of alcohol you have consumed

Keeping track of how much you've had to drink can help you avoid getting drunk. People often lose count or forget what they have drunk.

2. "Measure" your drinks

A generous glass of wine is often equal to two standard drinks. Many cocktails contain more than one serving of alcohol. Keep in mind that beer also varies in alcohol content.

3. Change what you drink

To avoid getting intoxicated, give preference to drinks with a low alcohol content, such as light beer. Try to drink only beer at night and avoid mixed drinks. A glass of strong alcohol is very intoxicating, so avoid it.

4. Change the way you drink

Slow down your pace. Give preference to long-lasting drinks, such as beer and wine. If you can, have one drink per hour. Try drinking a glass of water, soda, or juice between alcoholic beverages. By spreading your drinks out, you give your liver time to break down the alcohol.

5. Eat something

When you start drinking on an empty stomach, your body absorbs alcohol very quickly. Try eating a meal high in carbohydrates or fat before drinking.

Myths about fast sobering up

You've probably heard most of them before. Home-made methods of sobering up quickly are everywhere, but which ones work? The short answer is none of them.

You may be able to improve your well-being or appearance, but your blood alcohol level will only go down over time. When you're drunk, alcohol accumulates in your bloodstream because your liver doesn't have time to process and break it down. Your blood alcohol level is measured by the weight of alcohol in a given volume of blood. The result of this measurement is called the blood alcohol concentration.

Let's take a look at some common myths about how to sober up quickly, keeping in mind that nothing can lower your blood alcohol level except time.

Myth 1: Drink strong coffee to sober up

Alcohol causes drowsiness. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make you feel more alert, even if you have a hangover. However, caffeine does not speed up the metabolism of alcohol.

Drinking caffeine (whether in coffee or energy drinks) can sometimes be dangerous because it tricks people into thinking they are sober. As a result, they may accidentally injure themselves or endanger themselves and others by driving drunk.

Myth 2: Take a cold shower to sober up

Taking a cold shower is another way to wake up. A cold shower can give you a second wind, but it won't reverse the effects of alcohol. In some cases, the shock of a cold shower can lead to loss of consciousness.

Myth 3: Vomiting will help you sober up

Vomiting will not lower your blood alcohol level. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly, so it won't matter much if you don't throw up immediately after taking a sip.

However, drinking too much can make you feel nauseous, and vomiting often helps relieve nausea. Even so, trying to make yourself vomit is not a good idea.

To summarize, we can conclude that only time really heals. So, be vigilant, and if you have already had too much to drink and feel like you might faint, seek help immediately.

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