This is a common situation even in your own country: Last night you had more drinks than you can handle and now you are in the middle of a massive hangover. The kind that keeps you hanging on the sofa with only occasional walks to the toilet to throw up again. It seems like there is no end to it and those damn Paracetamol pills ain’t doing the trick to bring back peace in your head.
Chiang Mai has a great nightlife scene and unless you limit your social life a bit, you will find there always is a birthday party or another reason not to stay at home. Some tourists and expats know how to handle the temperatures in Thailand in combination with drinking large amounts of alcohol. The others risk heavy punishment from some organs in the body that literally run dry as a result of consuming alcohol. Less educated people combine them even with drugs like amfetamines (called: Yaa-Ba in Thai) or a line of low quality coke. Every year there are a few of these smart people that don’t survive the night. So maybe it’s time we hand you some tricks first to prevent worse situations than just a hangover.
Eat well before you start to drink
There’s nothing better than a good dinner before you start to drink alcohol. A good layer on the stomach will protect you for a few hours of alcohol drinking, especially if you consume some food with added oil and salt. The oil will literally form a layer on the stomach that will take a while to break. The added salt optimizes the dehydration process in your body.
Drink water, water and more water!
Water is the best filter system your body has. A person in normal temperatures should drink at least 2-3 liters water in order not to dehydrate the body. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients trough all parts of your body. It also creates a moist invironment for eyes, troath and ears. It’s obvious that when you don’t drink enough water, your body will soon feel tired.
In Thailand temperatures can rise a lot higher than you are used to. Your body will sweat more and average water levels tend to be lower. There is no real rule on how much water you should drink because it depends on the conditions and your own condition. People who are active in sports will dehydrate faster and have to adjust the amount of water they need to drink. But most people tend to forget that combining drugs (illegal or not) with alcohol can have dangerous reactions in your body.
Fatal incidents can prevent others in the future
A few years ago there was a fatal incident with a tourist in Chiang Mai who died from dehydration in combination with drugs. Apparently the man went out drinking after arrival in Chiang Mai, lost his way and decided to sleep on the floor in an empty building. A few guards saw the man looking very drunk just before he went sleeping, although his wife said he never was a heavy drinker at all. But he was taking drugs for his blood pressure problem. When an autopsy was done on his body, it appeared that the combination of temperature and the drugs, together with alcohol and an already dehydrated state of his body caused the fatal ending. Not many people realize how much a long distance flight causes the body to dehydrate. This man probably didn’t drink enough water after arrival and shouldn’t be drinking alcohol at all in combination with the drugs he was taking for his blood pressure problem.
So what is the ideal situation when drinking alcohol?
Whenever you go out to drink you should monitor your body a bit, especially for those with other medical conditions. But a general practice to avoid problems is to always keep your water level in balance. Drink some water in between a few beers because it helps you to handle the alcohol level. And no, drinking beer with ice will not help to maintain that balance. On the contrary, drinking alcohol causes your body to dehydrate even more. On average people sweat between 2-10 liters per day, depending the circomstances. In general, circomstances in Thailand will make any person sweat 6 liters easily. So you better drink enough to keep that level healthy.
The perfect hangover solution? Drink Sprite!
Scientists have tried to clear out some myths about drinks that people consider helpful to overcome hangovers. You know the stories that go around about drinking Coke, Red Bull, herbal tea or even magical vitamine pills. But it appeared that all those tricks don’t help anything and most certainly not your hangover. In fact the only drink that scientists considered to be helpful is… Sprite! A Chinese team of scientists found prove that Sprite has the ability to breakdown acetaldehyde, a metabolite of ethanol. Acetaldehyde causes the hangover feeling. Many other drinks like herbal teas had the opposite effect and actually prolong your hangover. So the next time you drink yourself into a hangover, forget the Bloody Mary’s and Red Bulls!