Are you wondering how to deal with a hangover headache? Did you wake up with a horrible thumping in your head today? Waking up with a headache the morning after consuming too much alcohol is a common symptom of dehydration.
A hangover is one of the worst feelings to wake up with, and the added headache makes it even worse. The more you drink, the more severe your hangover symptoms will be. A headache will go away on its own throughout the day, but when you wake up and need relief, you want the relief immediately.
A great way to prevent a hangover is to drink in moderation and try to eat and have water in between your drinks, but once you wake up with a headache, you don’t want to listen to this advice. The main reason you have a headache after drinking is due to your body being dehydrated.
Dehydration impacts multiple body systems, which can cause headaches and impact their severity. Being sufficiently hydrated ensures your body functions optimally in multiple ways, including:
- Helps with digestion – Drinking water aids the process of breaking down food. Water is also necessary to help dissolve vitamins and nutrients, and ensure they are distributed throughout the body, including to the brain. Being dehydrated can also cause constipation, as fluids help your body flush waste and toxins.
- Regulation of body temperature – Being dehydrated can cause your body temperature to rise, which can trigger headaches.
- Ensures healthy cognitive function – Dehydration can negatively impact cognition, causing symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, confusion, inability to focus, slowed reaction times, and short-term memory issues.
The importance of electrolytes
Proper hydration is not just about fluids; electrolytes – minerals that have an electric charge – are also vital to body function.
Electrolytes are necessary for several functions, such as:
- Balancing the amount of water in the body
- Balancing pH levels
- Moving nutrients into cells
- Transferring waste out of cells
- Promoting healthy function of the brain, heart, muscles, and nerves
Some people may have a more difficult time keeping electrolytes balanced than others. Some are more likely to lose electrolytes such as sodium than others. You also lose electrolytes while drinking alcohol. It is especially important for these individuals to replenish electrolytes when rehydrating, as headaches are a known symptom of electrolyte imbalance.
The types of dehydration
There are three different types of hydration, which are categorized based on the ratio of salt to fluid in the body.
- Isotonic dehydration means the body has lost an equal amount of salt and water. This type of dehydration is typically caused by diarrhea, another symptom associated with drinking alcohol.
- Hypotonic dehydration means that the body has lost more salt than fluids. The most common cause is sweating, which is also associated with alcohol consumption.
- Hypertonic dehydration (aka hyponatremic dehydration) occurs when the body has lost more fluids than salt, and typically results due to diarrhea, high fever, and vomiting. Though this type of dehydration is more likely to affect children, the effects of alcohol can cause hypertonic dehydration.
How can I rehydrate to help relieve my hangover headache?
Rehydrating after a hangover can feel like a challenge while feeling so under the weather. Here we examine the best ways to rehydrate, as well as some options to avoid.
It’s no surprise that drinking water is the best and cheapest way to rehydrate your body after a hangover. It is also the healthiest, as there is no fear of consuming calories or sugar needlessly. Ensuring you are hydrated before drinking alcohol can help lessen the likelihood of developing a hangover headache, as well as reducing the severity.
The amount of water necessary to stay properly hydrated can vary from person to person based on several criteria, including weight, whether you have a more active or sedentary lifestyle, and any other health conditions you may have. However, consuming 6-8 cups of water per day is a recommended starting point. Some people who dislike drinking water have more success with carbonated water, which also helps combat constipation. Sparkling water also aids the liver in breaking down alcohol by-products.
There is much controversy surrounding the health benefits of sports beverages for dehydration. However, this is due to the variety of ingredients that sports beverages contain. Knowing which ingredients to avoid can help you find a sports beverage that can support your body.
Sports drinks are formulated with electrolytes like:
Sports drinks are also designed to boost energy and combat fatigue, which could help address comorbid symptoms to your hangover headache. While the sugar content of a sports drink could help raise glucose levels after a night of drinking, you should be cautious about consuming drinks with a high sugar content regularly. Potentially harmful artificial sweeteners are also known to trigger headaches, so they should be avoided.
Fruits and Vegetable Juices
These juices nourish the body with necessary vitamins, antioxidants, and electrolytes while also increasing fluids. Antioxidants help prevent oxidative stress, which has been linked to migraine headaches. Try to choose natural fruit and vegetable juices without added or artificial sweeteners, as they can make your headache worse.
Using IV Treatments to Deal with a Hangover Headache
There is another way to deal with a hangover headache – IV therapy treatment. A hangover IV solution is formulated with electrolytes, vitamins, and medications to help relieve your hangover symptoms. This therapy is the fastest way to get the correct vitamins and minerals into your system. The process takes anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.
IV therapy promotes healing from within. It gives your body and mind the ability to relax and rejuvenate while providing essential vitamins and antioxidants. IV therapy boosts your energy levels and detoxifies your body so you can get back to being you after suffering from a hangover headache.
What is in a hangover IV cocktail?
Ingredients typically found in hangover IV therapy treatments include:
- IV fluids are formulated to address electrolyte imbalances, and provide your body with hydrating fluids
- Vitamin B12 is necessary for healthy neurological function and has been linked to reducing the likelihood of developing migraine. Vitamin B12 deficiency has also been associated with headaches and migraine, so replenishing with IV therapy can not only help relieve your hangover headache but help combat headache in the days following treatment.
- B complex vitamins help your body heal and promote energy production. One of the vitamins in this spectrum – Vitamin B2 – is believed to help relieve migraine by reducing oxidative stress and combating inflammation. A series of studies have shown significant pain relief for migraines, as well as a reduction in the frequency of headaches.
- Toradol is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that combats aches and pains associated with hangovers, including headaches.
- Zofran is a prescription drug that relieves nausea and vomiting, which can exacerbate headache.
Other beneficial add-on ingredients
If you frequently experience severe headaches, you may want to consider adding nutrients typically included in treatments recommended for migraines. These ingredients include:
- Magnesium deficiency has been linked to headache and migraine. Magnesium appears to reduce proinflammatory signaling, as well as combating excessive brain receptor stimulation, which both contribute to migraines. Numerous studies indicate that intravenous supplementation of magnesium can substantially relieve headache and migraines, as well as lessen the severity and frequency of migraine attacks.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, protecting brain cells from free radical damage that causes inflammation that results in migraine.
- Zinc is another vitamin whose deficiency has been linked to migraine. While zinc supplementation has not shown to improve migraine symptoms, it has shown to help reduce the frequency of attacks.
- Glutathione is the most abundant antioxidant found in the human body, which can help protect brain cells from excess free radicals generated as your body processes alcohol. Glutathione also helps the body break down and flush toxins. This can help your body flush toxins resulting from a night of drinking faster, which may have triggered your hangover headache.
In-Home IV Treatments With Drip Hydration
Drip Hydration offers mobile IV treatments in the comfort of your home. Once you book your appointment, a certified nurse will come to your desired location and administer the treatment, which usually takes less than an hour. During this time, you can do anything you’d like, such as relax under a warm blanket or watch TV. Drip Hydration will also go to hotels, worksites, or other locations upon request.
You can either browse our treatment options and decide which is best for you or speak to a representative who can help you choose what you need based on your health goals. To schedule your appointment or learn more, contact us today!