Well, you've gone and done it again! You had one too many drinks around the campfire last night and now you're paying for it this morning! You wake up and feel like there's a bass drum beating inside your head and your RV won't stop spinning. Your mouth feels like it's full of cotton balls and you get nauseous at the very thought of food. You're suffering from a monster-sized hangover and you just want to crawl under your covers. Like it or not, you will live to see another day after you emerge out of your drinking-induced nightmare. While there isn't a magic elixir you can take to make your hangover instantly disappear or a pill you can pop to undo the damage of last night's debauchery, there are a few things that will help you cope with the effects of a hangover. Give these natural remedies for curing a hangover a try the next time you go camping so you can party AND enjoy the next day in the great outdoors.
Anybody who's ever had a bad hangover knows the feeling of dry mouth! It literally feels like the roof of your mouth and your tongue are covered in cotton (hence the hangover term cotton mouth). This results from your body becoming dehydrated from excessive alcohol intake. Alcohol causes your body to produce less anti-diuretic hormones, resulting in your body losing more fluid than normal through urination. So even though you're pounding back those beers around the campfire, your body is quickly becoming dehydrated. This is why you often wake in the morning with a dry mouth and a thumping headache. The quicker you can start putting fluid back into your body, the better you'll feel. Drink as much water at room temperature as you can without overfilling your stomach. And if you drink water throughout the night with your beer, you can potentially avoid a hangover altogether!
Can't Stomach Water?
If you try to drink water but it comes right back up, try taking small bites of water-rich foods, like cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, and celery. It's important that you get water into your system somehow, and in smaller amounts like this it might be easier.
Beyond trying to get water back into your system, you also need to replenish key minerals that you've lost, like salt and potassium. For these, turn to sports drinks, coconut water, or bouillon soup. While hot bouillon soup might not sound appetizing on a hot summer day at the campsite, grab a Gatorade or some cool coconut water and start chugging.
Ok, so putting food into your churning stomach may not sound like something you want to do. But even getting just a few crackers or a piece of toast in there may help to calm it down. Opt for some easy-to-digest foods, like soup crackers or buttered toast, and take it slow. While some people swear by eating greasy foods like eggs & bacon and leftover pizza the morning after, your body just needs something easy and bland when it's on the mend.
Take an Alka-Seltzer
If you're suffering from an upset stomach the morning after, taking an Alka-Seltzer will help calm it. The sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) found in Alka-Seltzer works to neutralize stomach acid. However other ingredients found in it, like aspirin and citric acid, might irritate it and cause more discomfort. So it might be worth a try, but don't be surprised if it doesn't help you bounce back right away.
Nibble on Ginger
It's widely known that ginger helps to ease nausea. Anyone who has suffered from morning sickness while pregnant knows this! So why not apply it to the nausea you'll feel after partying all night long? Keep a stash of crystallized ginger in your RV and nibble on it when you wake feeling like you got run over by a steamroller.
Have Your Morning Coffee
While not known to really help cure a hangover, having a cup of coffee can be relaxing if it's part of your normal morning routine (even though it's probably at least noon by the time you're getting up!). It too is a diuretic, so go easy on it and drink some water with it. The caffeine should help perk you up, and sometimes just the smell of it can trigger a good mood (and help you forget how awful you feel)!
Go Back to Bed
No matter what plans you had in store for the day after, scrap them for some restful sleep! Your body is running on a night of restless sleep since alcohol interferes with our sleep patterns, and you were probably up late anyway throwing them back around the campfire. If you feel like you've been run over by a semi truck and can hardly keep your eyes open, stay in bed and give in to the urge to sleep. You're a blubbering mess anyway, so spare your friends and just stay in bed!
I should mention that there are two surefire ways to cure a hangover (but don't get too excited)! First, don't drink too much in the first place. And second, give it time. Eventually your body will return to normal, and when it does, try to remember how much pain and suffering those extra Jägermeisters and Cement Mixers put you through—and maybe you can spare yourself another morning like this! Camping is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends! Just make sure you party responsibly so you can enjoy all the fun that nature has to offer too!
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