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How to cope with your post-Super Bowl hangover

Posted at 4:30 AM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 07:19:17-05

Let's be real, you and I: Whether the game went your way or not, If you spent Sunday night stuffing yourself with wings, beer and Super Bowl hype, you're probably not feeling your best this morning.

Rick Drescher, who owns Shooters Sports Grill, has bartended the country's biggest night of football 11 times, and some of them have nearly drained the bar's alcohol reserves. That's not surprising -- Americans buy enough alcohol in the lead-up to drive overall consumption up 9 percent, not to mention the purchases they make on the day itself.

"It's our busiest day of the year," Drescher said. "In-house, we're full from the bar to the tables and the booths."

All that drinking can make for a fun night of partying when done responsibly, but its equal-and-opposite counterpart -- the morning after -- can be downright miserable.

"When alcohol is in your system, it's sedating a lot of nerve types," Dr. Philip Hartman of St. Elizabeth Healthcare said. "There's rebound activation of those. That's why people wake up early the day after they've been drinking; that's why people get shaky after they've been drinking; that's why your blood pressure is up the day after you've been drinking."

And then there are symptoms such as headache, nausea and sensitivity to light that come along with heavy indulgence. There's an obvious way to avoid them -- alternate drinks with water and know your own limits -- but if you didn't manage it, Hartman said he recommends a few simple steps to lessen the effects.

First, drink something with sugar and electrolytes to both boost your blood sugar and fight dehydration. Hartman recommended sports drinks and added that such consumption could also help with more restful sleep.

"If you wake up, drink a Gatorade and go back to bed, you're going to get higher quality sleep," he said.

Second, eat something bland such as crackers or soup. Drinking too much can irritate your stomach and liver, hence the vomiting and intestinal discomfort you might experience afterward. Be gentle with your internal organs and give them something easier to handle.

Finally, don't try to fight off your hangover with the hair of the dog that bit you. Trying to use alcohol to solve problems caused by alcohol almost always creates -- you guessed it! -- more alcohol-related problems, Hartman said.

Some are long-term. Others, you'll feel within a few hours as your digestive system rebels against being taken for granted.

"The inflammation in the liver and the pancreas will continue to get worse," he said.

Your insides do a lot for you. It pays to treat them well.