Challenge #12: Do you prevent hangovers?

Don’t drink alcohol for two weeks in a row.

Drink less alcohol

“One reason I don’t drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.”

-Nancy Astor

Hey, folks!

Do you prevent hangovers? Well, the best way to prevent a hangover is to say no to alcohol. 😉

We don’t know about you guys, but in our country, drinking is quite a problem. Many people get drunk on a daily basis. We usually don’t drink a lot, but it happens from time to time, that we forget to consider our limits.

No matter if you are a casual drinker or if you drink on weekends or even every day, you should take this challenge as a test to see how hard it is for you not to drink for two weeks. It will tell you a lot about your drinking habits.

So, do your best not to drink a single drop of alcohol for two weeks in a row. You can only benefit from it!

If you don’t drink alcohol at all then you’re off the hook for this week. Still, we invite you to read through the article, we’re sure you’ll learn some new information on this topic.

“I’m very serious about no alcohol, no drugs. Life is too beautiful.”

-Jim Carrey

Herein we’ll take a look at the facts about alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse, we’ll tell you how is alcohol bad for you, we’ll also discuss how does alcohol affect body system, and finally we’ll give you some suggestions on how to cure a hangover fast in case you do get drunk.

What is the blood alcohol content?

The blood alcohol content (BAC) is the percentage concentration of alcohol in our blood. Here are some ranges of the BAC with typical corresponding effects:

  • 0.03% – 0.10%: mild euphoria, mood enhancement, lowered anxiety;
  • 0.10% – 0.20%: marked sedation, delayed reaction time, balance/vision disturbances;
  • 0.20% – 0.30%: marked confusion, ataxia, nausea, vomiting;
  • 0.25% – 0.40%: severe loss of muscle coordination, intermittent unconsciousness, bradycardia, loss of bladder control;
  • 0.35% – 0.80%: profound respiratory depression, coma, death possible.

The level permitted for driving differs from country to country, for the US the current BAC limit is 0,08%. Click here to check the limits for other countries.

In case you had a drink or two and you’re thinking about driving, you can estimate your blood alcohol content here. But we urge you not to drink and drive.

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Stick to one standard drink per day
Facts about alcohol addiction and abuse

Let’s take a look at some disturbing facts about alcohol abuse:

  • There are over 85,000 deaths due to excessive alcohol use per year in the US alone.
  • Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the US.
  • Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost annually.
  • Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the US (except for those being used by maternity and intensive care patients) are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption.
  • 2/3 of the high school-age students who drink do so to the point of intoxication.
  • Around 8% of women and 17% of men are dependent on alcohol at some point in their lifetime.
  • According to one study, of the 490 million people in the European Union, more than 23 million are dependent on alcohol.
  • In Europe, alcohol contributes to nearly every ten illness and premature death each year.
  • 40% of violent crimes occur under the influence of alcohol.

Well, you get the picture, right? Generally, alcohol is not all bad, if consumed in a right way, but the problem is we tend to cross that line way too often.

“It has long been recognized that the problems with alcohol relate not to the use of a bad thing, but to the abuse of a good thing.”

-Abraham Lincoln

How is alcohol bad for you?

We have decided to write down how does alcohol affect body system when we consume it excessively. Below you can find a list of short-term and long-term effects.

Short-term effects

  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Impaired judgment
  • Decreased perception and coordination
  • Unconsciousness
  • Anemia (loss of red blood cells)
  • Coma
  • Blackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember events that occurred while under the influence)

Long-term effects

  • Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns, drowning
  • Intentional injuries such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence
  • Increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity
  • Increased family problems, broken relationships
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Alcohol poisoning
  • High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Sexual problems
  • Permanent damage to the brain
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to a disorder characterized by amnesia, apathy, and disorientation
  • Ulcers
  • Gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls)
  • Malnutrition
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat

Alcohol is basically a poison, and as such, it should be consumed with high caution and in reasonable quantities – no more than one standard drink per day.

What is a “standard” drink?

Standard drink is enough

Usually, a standard drink refers to any kind of drink that contains about 14 grams (0.6 fl oz) of “pure” alcohol:

12 oz of typical beer (5% alc.) = 5 oz of table wine (12% alc.) = 3.5 oz of fortified wine (17% alc.)  = 2.5 oz of aperitif (24% alc.) = 1.5 oz shot (40% alc.)

But the national culture, family traditions, society stereotypes, people we hang out with, our nature, or any other factors tend to cause us to often exceed the amount of a standard drink.

Why do you drink alcohol?

Take a few moments of your time to think about it and if you’re willing to share, please write the answer via comment form at the end of the post.

There are many different reasons behind the motivation that makes us drink alcoholic beverages. Usually, we all get a taste of alcohol at a very young age – in Europe, typically when we’re between 12 and 14 years old. We both got drunk for the first time when we were 13.

When we first try alcohol the reason behind it is normally quite silly – we do it to be cool, to fit in, to try something new and forbidden, to impress a girl …

But in most cases, we are trying to mimic grown-ups. When an average teenager takes a taste of alcohol, he/she suddenly feels 5 or even 10 years older. And let’s be honest, basically, nobody likes the taste of it at first. But then we somehow get used to the taste and after a couple of years, some even get to like it.

Now you see, that the grown-ups carry a huge responsibility. If none of the adults would drink alcohol then none of the kids would even think about trying it.

Moreover, it’s not like we – the adults – have some great reasons behind it. OK, if we really like the taste of our poison, sure we can have one standard drink, but we should stop there. But the taste is usually not the case. Based on public surveys, even an average adult typically doesn’t like the taste of alcoholic drinks.

Typical reasons why people drink alcohol:

  • Dealing with stress and other problems – it can actually help with that, but it’s a short-term solution that will only postpone your worries.
  • To be cool – this is the most common case with teenagers. Take a look at the short-term effects again and you’ll see that it’s way more likely that you’ll do some embarrassing stuff than cool when being drunk. We urge you to do your best to change that – let’s make drinking uncool in the future.

“Alcohol doesn’t permit one to do things better, but instead causes us to be lees ashamed of doing poorly.”

-W. Osler

  • To have a good time – some people are simply too shy, too nervous, or they feel awkward when they’re sober. If you’re one of those – if one or maybe two standard drinks will do the job then go for it, but if you need more than that to get there, you better find some other ways to relax.
  • To get high and happy – this is completely false since alcohol is a depressant or a so-called “downer”.
  • To warm ourselves – this is another myth. It actually makes your body colder – alcohol sends blood to our skin, making it easier to transfer heat from our body to the cold air.
  • Because people we’re with drink – this one is quite stupid, but also a very common reason. We should never do anything that we don’t like or want, especially if that is something that is bad for you in many different ways. If your friends or maybe even family can’t respect that, then maybe you should hang out with someone who will.

“I feel I’ve made some bad decisions with alcohol being involved. I don’t really get into terminology.”

-Koren Robinson

Drink less alcohol

Most of us have at least one story about how we got seriously drunk and couldn’t remember much of that night and most of us look at that kind of stories in a positive way. Well, we really need to work on our perspective, don’t we? 🙂

Cure hangover fast

Since life is as it is, many of us won’t be able to say no to alcohol every time. And when you don’t say no to alcohol you’re on a good way to get drunk – meaning you’ll have to deal with a hangover the next day. And, since those can be really nasty sometimes, we’ve gathered some information on how to prevent it or get rid of it as fast as possible.

Before and while fixes:

  • The best cure for hangover will always be not to drink too much. 🙂
  • While consuming alcohol drink a glass of water for every glass of beverage.
  • A supplement called prickly pear extract – with this one you have to plan ahead since you have to take it several hours before drinking.
  • Don’t smoke while drinking – mixing those two can make your hangover much worse.
  • Choose a clear booze – there are chemical congeners (=anything that’s not water or alcohol) in unclear ones, that can make your hangover worse.

A day after fixes:

  1. Drink a lot of water.
  2. Eat a banana (if you can).
  3. Consume vitamin C – oranges or freshly squeezed orange, lemon or lime juice.
  4. Baking soda – dissolve two teaspoons in water and drink it.
  5. Tomato juice – it has a lot of fructose that helps metabolize alcohol.
  6. Isotonic drinks – they help you rehydrate your body.
  7. Peppermint or green tea – it calms your stomach and reduces a headache.
  8. Ginger tea – it will help you get rid of the sickness.
  9. Hot water, lemon juice, and honey cocktail – they say it’s a lifesaver.
  10. Eat something – your body needs the energy to fight a hangover. If you’re very sick go with some kind of soup or something light.
  11. Sleep as much as possible.

It’s hard to say which works the best – you have to find the one that works for you. Please, don’t try them all! But we sure hope you won’t be using any of those too often.

Take-home points:
  • Drink less alcohol – one standard drink per day should be enough.
  • Alcohol is bad for your body and health.
  • Drinking alcohol doesn’t make you cool.
  • Most of the people don’t even like the taste of alcoholic beverages.
  • Learn how to have fun being sober.
  • The best way to prevent a hangover is not to drink in the first place.
  • In case you do get drunk, try to get rid of your hangover by drinking a hot water, lemon juice, and honey mix.

If you have any questions or comments you’re more than welcome to leave them via the comment form below.

Have a great alcohol-free week and weekend. 😉

Love,

Good Earthlings

 

8 comments

  1. Heathguy33 says:

    This is a very good and well written post. This is in a sense exactly what I was telling a group of friends of mine the other day. I am a college student and I’m around alcohol all the time. Most of the kids just do it for fun and to look cool. Not realizing how much damage they are doing to themselves. Not only in the short term but long term also. I will share this post with my friends and hopefully break the trend that they have going on with alcohol.

    I stopped drinking once I found out how awful that stuff is for your body and mental health.

    Thanks and keep spreading this word. The world needs it.

    • Good Earthling says:

      Thank you! It’s our pleasure to help others. Hopeful some of your friend will find a power to think about alcohol drinking the way you do. Stay in touch.

      Love, Good Earthlings

    • Bishop says:

      Good Earthling,

      Very well detail and well-executed article on how to prevent hangovers. These strategies I will use and share with my colleague’s cause is something that is frequent among Executives here in New York City, especially on Fridays.

      The causes you mentioned is quite true and cause some long term damages especially sexual problems in men. Please take the time and elaborate on this area a little further for me, please.

      Drinking was very regular with me years ago and since then I have cut down a great deal and soon going to stop completely. I had inherited a disease call gout, and it had caused me to stay away enormously, and yes, the baking soda in water did help with my hangover and reduced the gout attacks.

      I will bookmark this website for future and share with others cause this is a daily problem that so much of us faces here in new York City. Thanks again.

      Bishop

      • Good Earthling says:

        Hi, Bishop!

        Thank you for taking time and reading our post. Below we’ve prepared some detailed info about sexual problems to accommodate your request.

        – Instant effect (Health Promotion at Brown University):

        As the amount of alcohol in the blood increases, the alcohol decreases the brain’s ability to sense sexual stimulation. As a depressant, alcohol directly affects the penis by interfering with parts of the nervous system that are essential for sexual arousal and orgasm, including respiration, circulation, and sensitivity of nerve endings.

        In regard to circulation, alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate, which influences the way the blood moves in and out of the penis. A good blood flow regulates the relaxation and contraction of the penis, so it can get and maintain an erection. Without it, no matter how much you may want it to happen differently, your penis will simply remain flaccid.

        – Long term effect (alcoholrehab.com):

        Alcoholism is known to cause severe damage to the liver. A damaged liver can impact on the body’s ability to regulate hormone distribution. In males, this can cause testicular atrophy, impotence and sterility.

        Chronic consumption of alcohol damages blood vessels which cause problems in the heart and also in the penis (the same way it is described under the instant effects).

        There are four main categories of sexual dysfunction. These are sexual desire, sexual arousal, orgasm or sexual pain disorders (applies only for women). Frustration, depression, feelings of anxiety, desperation and inadequacy are often reported secondary symptoms of sexual dysfunction.

        i.) A sexual desire disorder is more commonly referred to as a loss or decrease in libido. A person’s libido, energy levels and excitement levels are affected by alcoholism. Alcohol can fatigue a person, especially if a person binge drinks.

        ii.) Sexual arousal issues are the most commonly reported problems that alcoholics experience. Alcohol affects a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection, affects his concentration levels, reduces the ability to maintain arousal during intercourse and increases fatigue levels.

        iii.) Orgasm disorders are characterized by the inability to reach orgasm, which is often the case for people who are intoxicated.Men may experience premature or delayed ejaculation. Orgasm disorders can also be caused by chronic fatigue and anxiety, which are magnified by the use of alcohol.

        Bishop, we hope you’re satisfied with the information we’ve provided.

        Good luck with cutting down and eventually quitting drinking.

        Warm regards,

        Good Eartrlings


      • Michael (Tao Machine) says:

        Hey there peeps,

        When I saw the article at the first glance without even starting to read this, then I knew that I’m going to write “the best way to prevent a hangover is to say no to alcohol.”.

        And what? It’s in the first paragraph!
        Aww~

        Anyway, great article touching a big problem – a society problem.

        Despite the fact that car-crash deaths caused by alcohol don’t place itself that high(if I remember correctly), it’s still a huge problem.

        One of my motto is: If you did drink an alcohol – you’re not sitting behind the wheel.
        And that’s why I +1 the Alcohol driving tolerance in Czech = 0

        Whenever I read such articles, it makes me happy and more confident that I choose well to not drink any alcohol at all.

        Best regards.

        • Good Earthling says:

          Hey there, Michael!

          Sorry about that, but that is the best way and it probably always will be. 🙂

          We’re really happy to hear that you don’t drink alcohol. Keep up the good work.

          Best regards,

          Good Earthlings

        • Jeremy Hood says:

          I know I can definitely afford to cut back a bit on my alcohol intake. Just recently for the last three weekends it has been birthday party, bachelor party and another birthday party.

          I’m ready for your two week challenge to say the least!

          There are many reasons not to drink like you mentioned, I tend to drink socially, I just happen to be around a lot of social crowds that drink.

          My usual hangover cure is advil and gatorade, I will have to try some of these recommendations like baking soda.

          • Good Earthling says:

            Hey Jeremy!

            Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We hope you’ll have no trouble with our challenge. All best.

            Stay in touch,

            Good Earthlings

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