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The Hangover. A fivefold path to feeling terrible

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It all seemed to be going so well the night before. The music was pumping, your heart was light, and you were making new friends as you partied the night away with old ones. However, as the festivities wore on and the dead soldiers piled up, you and your friends got buzzed, then sailed right past tipsy, and before the night was out, you had consumed enough alcohol to have you on your knees, praying to the porcelain goddess for relief and wondering, “How did I get myself into this?” The sad thing is, your troubles were just beginning. When you woke up the next morning you would be wallowing in the agony of that timeless enemy of all drinkers: the hangover.

Does this sound familiar? Almost anyone who has had a bit too much to drink before knows how the ecstasy of night of carousing becomes the debilitating malaise of the next morning’s hangover. The suite of symptoms that may accompany this common affliction include:

  • Headache
  • Body Ache
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea or Acid Reflux
  • Depression, anxiety, irritability
  • Increased heart rate

If you are wondering how something that makes you feel so good can suddenly turn on you and make you feel so bad, you are not alone. It turns out a hangover is a complex set of physiological processes that science has yet to fully understand. In this article we will look at some of the more prominent ways alcohol can screw with your body and make you wish you were never born. These include effects on your:

  • Fluid Homeostasis
  • Endocrine system
  • Liver
  • Immune system 
  • Digestive system

Alcohol Dehydrates You

The first and most well known cause of a hangover is dehydration. Alcohol dehydrates you because it functions as a diuretic (makes you urinate). It does this because it interferes with the release of vasopressin, a hormone that regulates your fluid homeostasis. Basically, vasopressin stops you from peeing all the time and when alcohol knocks out your vasopressin production, you do just that. Alcohol will stimulate you to lose fluid at a ratio of about 4:1. If you drink a cup of alcohol, you will pee out four cups of water. 

All this fluid release dehydrates you, draining you of electrolytes and bringing on all the classic symptoms of dehydration like:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth/ Strong thirst 
  • Confusion

As an interesting added benefit, this dehydration actually causes the brain to shrink. This shrinkage pulls on the meninges, which are the membranes that line the inner surface of the skull and causes the splitting headache hard drinkers know so well.

Alcohol Messes with your Endocrine System

Besides the hormone vasopressin, mentioned above, alcohol affects several other hormones as well.

The Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System

The Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS) is a complex system of hormones that regulates the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body as well as controlling blood pressure. Alcohol stimulates the production of renin and aldosterone. This further exacerbates the dehydration issue mentioned above and may be responsible for some of the increased heart rate some people get with a hangover. 

There is even some interesting evidence that heightened aldosterone levels in people who drink often may contribute to the development of alcoholism. 

Glutamine Rebound

Glutamine is an amino acid that the body uses in a myriad of ways, including as a natural stimulant. Alcohol suppresses glutamine levels as long as you are drinking. When you finally get some sleep and your body processes the alcohol, the muscles go into overdrive, pumping out glutamine and creating a “rebound” effect. This interferes with the quality of your sleep and makes you feel like you haven’t slept at all. Glutamine rebound can also cause restlessness, sadness, and anxiety. 

Alcohol Overwhelms Your Liver

Acetaldehyde

90% of the work of breaking down alcohol is done by the liver. The liver metabolizes ethanol (they type of alcohol you drink) in a two-step process. First, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase breaks the ethanol down into a substance called acetaldehyde. This is only meant to be an intermediary step, referred to as a secondary metabolite. 

Acetaldehyde is really nasty stuff. It is said to be 20-30 times more toxic than ethanol itself. Ideally, though, it doesn’t stick around for long. Your liver immediately releases the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and an antioxidant called glutathione. Together, the two substances bind up this poison, whisk it away through your urine, and high-five each other on a job well done. 

Unfortunately, your liver only keeps a finite supply of glutathione on hand. When available stores of glutathione are used up,the liver has to rush to make more. In the meantime, the acetaldehyde builds up and roams free in the body, causing all kinds of mischief and making you feel really sick. That’s why this phenomenon only shows up when you drink a lot of alcohol. 

 An interesting side note is that Antabuse, a drug used to treat alcoholism, amplifies the consequences of drinking by interfering with your body’s breakdown of acetaldehyde. If you take antabuse and stay away from alcohol, you don’t feel a thing. However, if you drink alcohol at any time you are on Antabuse, you can’t break down acetaldehyde at all. Then the acetaldehyde runs rampant through your system and you probably feel sicker than you have ever felt in your life.

Methanol

Methanol is a close relative of ethanol. Also known as “methylated spirit” and “wood alcohol” methanol is very toxic beyond the trace amounts that occur naturally in fruits. 10 ml of methanol is enough to make you go blind and 30ml will kill you. Some of the darker colored alcoholic beverages like red wine and bourbon contain small amounts of methanol as an incidental byproduct. 

When you drink beverages that contain methanol, you don’t feel any ill effect right away. That’s because, just like ethanol, methanol gets broken down in a two step process. First, alcohol dehydrogenase (the same enzyme mentioned before), breaks the methanol down into its own secondary metabolite; formaldehyde.

That’s right folks. Embalming fluid. The stuff they use to pickle animal specimens or preserve a body for a funeral. Is it any wonder a hangover makes you feel so crummy when you have a few drops of embalming fluid coursing through your veins? 

Of course, your body doesn’t process the methanol right away. That’s the beauty of the hangover. Alcohol dehydrogenase has a stronger affinity for ethanol, so it processes that first. Only after all the ethanol has worked its way out of your bloodstream does your body begin to break down methanol. The methanol you drink in your Cabernet Sauvignon just floats around harmlessly in your system until a few hours after you go to sleep. Then your liver attacks the methanol and starts churning out formaldehyde. No wonder you feel like you’re being pickled from the inside out. 

Blood Sugar

While your liver is busy breaking down alcohol, it isn’t doing another essential job, which is producing glucose. As a result, your blood glucose levels drop and you are forced to break down glycogen stored in other parts of the body. This leads you to feel weak, lethargic,and depressed. 

Alcohol Causes an Immune Response

New research points to a previously unknown pathway by which alcohol makes you feel like crap: your immune system. Consumption of alcohol has been linked with the release of cytokines that can trigger a systemic inflammatory response. 

Alcohol Irritates Your Digestive System

Last but not least, alcohol damages the lining of your stomach. That stimulates the release of more stomach acid and can cause vomiting. Alcohol also seems to make the lining of the intestines more permeable, which causes it to leak undigested molecules into the bloodstream. This is a probable cause of the immune response mentioned above. 

After taking in all the diverse ways that we end up paying for a night of hard drinking, it’s amazing we survive it at all. The internet is full of supposed cures for hangovers, but the mechanisms of action in a hangover are so diverse, so strong, and so complex, that none of them are going to be a silver bullet. The best way of avoiding a hangover is common sense: take it easy on the booze in the first place!   

Do Hangover Cures Actually Work

Every drinker knows of a few hangover cures, ranging from Ibuprofen to certain vitamins (such as B and Zinc), and even “hair of the dog” (drinking more alcohol). While a good meal may help, the one solution you can rely on to help you feel better is lots of fresh, clean water. Even though some studies have shown that dehydration isn’t the biggest contributing factor to hangovers, health experts recommend drinking plenty of water anyway. Water is life. It helps our liver and kidneys function properly, which is how our bodies filter out contaminants. Even if you aren’t recovering from a bender, it’s always a good idea to stay hydrated.

The only sure-fire way to avoid a hangover is to drink less alcohol. While sobriety isn’t for everyone, even just commiting to a glass of water between drinks can make a big difference in how you feel the next morning. That may be partially due to the healthy effects of water, but mostly its because this strategy results in less alcohol consumption in the first place.

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Mastering Corporate Events: A Comprehensive Guide to Thriving in Professional Gatherings

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Corporate events serve as vital platforms for networking, understanding industry trends, and enhancing team cohesion. Yet, these occasions can often seem overwhelming, particularly for introverts or those new to the corporate landscape. From conferences to holiday parties, maintaining professionalism and sanity is key. Here are essential tips to help you excel at these events.

Clarify the Event’s Purpose

  1. Understanding the objective of the event—be it networking, team building, or celebrating milestones—is crucial. This knowledge enables you to prepare effectively, such as revising industry-specific information, planning conversational topics, or selecting appropriate attire.

Prepare in Advance

  1. Being well-prepared instills confidence. Obtain the event’s schedule early to highlight important sessions, speakers, or participants. For large-scale events, like conferences, utilize the event app and familiarize yourself with the venue layout to alleviate day-of stress.

Dress for Success

  1. First impressions count, and your attire significantly influences how you’re perceived. Adhere to the event’s dress code, opting to err on the side of overdressed rather than underdressed. Additionally, prioritize comfort, particularly for events requiring prolonged standing or walking.

Carry Business Cards

  1. In an era dominated by digital communication, business cards remain an efficient method for exchanging contact details. Carry ample cards and make a habit of jotting down notes on received cards to recall details about the person and any agreed follow-up actions.

Hone Your Small Talk Skills

  1. Small talk is invaluable in breaking the ice. Prepare several neutral topics in advance—such as recent industry developments or current events. Gauge the appropriateness of your topics by reading the room’s atmosphere.

Engage in Active Listening

  1. Effective communication isn’t just about talking; listening is equally important. Active listening involves paying full attention, nodding, and occasionally summarizing the speaker’s points, which aids in building rapport and gathering useful insights.

Use Technology Appropriately

  1. While smartphones and tablets are essential tools at corporate events, use them wisely. They should enhance, not hinder, your event experience. Use your devices for note-taking, managing contacts, or scheduling meetings, but avoid using them during presentations or personal interactions to avoid appearing disinterested.

Network with Purpose

  1. Networking should focus on forming meaningful connections rather than meeting as many people as possible. Emphasize quality over quantity and consider how you can assist others, as networking is reciprocal. Providing help can encourage others to offer their support in return.

Incorporate Breaks

  1. Recognize the importance of brief respites during prolonged events. Take moments for fresh air or a quiet break to manage stress and rejuvenate, enhancing your effectiveness when you rejoin the event.

Follow Up

  1. Post-event, promptly follow up with your new contacts via email or LinkedIn. Reference specific details from your discussions to demonstrate attentiveness and foster a genuine connection.

Reflect and Learn

  1. After the event, reflect on your experiences. Assess what you achieved, what you learned, and your overall impressions. This reflection is crucial for enhancing your future event participation.

Navigating corporate events doesn’t need to be intimidating. With thorough preparation, a positive outlook, and strategic actions, you can effectively manage and enjoy these gatherings. Every event offers opportunities to learn, connect, and advance both personally and professionally. By embracing these tips, you’ll not only survive but also thrive in the corporate event landscape.There is a simple solution for a fresh after-party morning – the hangover pills created by physicians to help alleviate the most common hangover symptoms. Check out Hangover Genie and wake up refreshed and full of energy.

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Navigating Corporate Events: A Guide to Thriving Professionally

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Corporate events, from conferences to holiday parties, serve as crucial platforms for networking, learning, and team building. Yet, they can also be overwhelming, particularly for introverts or newcomers to the corporate world. To keep your professionalism and sanity intact, consider these effective strategies for a smoother experience.

Clarify the Event’s Purpose

  1. Understanding the event’s objective—be it networking, team building, training, or celebrating achievements—can significantly guide your preparation. This might involve researching industry trends, preparing conversational topics, or selecting suitable attire.

Prepare in Advance

  1. Obtaining the event schedule ahead of time allows you to pinpoint key sessions and individuals of interest. For large-scale events like conferences, familiarizing yourself with the venue through maps or event apps can prevent last-minute hassles.

Dress Suitably

  1. Your attire contributes greatly to first impressions. Adhere to the event’s dress code; when uncertain, err on the side of slightly overdressed. Comfort is crucial too, especially if the event involves prolonged periods of standing or walking.

Stock Up on Business Cards

  1. Business cards are still an efficient method for exchanging contact details. Carry extra and make notes on cards you receive to recall details about new acquaintances and any follow-up actions.

Hone Your Small Talk Skills

  1. Effective small talk can ease initial interactions and pave the way for deeper discussions. Prepare by thinking of neutral, widely appealing topics such as recent industry developments or popular culture, ensuring they are suitable for the event context.

Practice Active Listening

  1. Being a good conversationalist isn’t just about talking; listening is equally important. Show genuine interest in others by engaging fully, nodding, and occasionally summarizing their points, which helps build rapport and gather useful insights.

Use Technology Appropriately

  1. While smartphones and tablets are indispensable at corporate events, use them wisely. They’re great for note-taking or scheduling, but avoid using them during presentations or personal conversations, as it may seem disrespectful.

Network with Purpose

  1. Rather than trying to meet everyone, aim for meaningful connections. Quality trumps quantity. Additionally, consider how you can assist others—networking is most effective when reciprocal.

Incorporate Breaks

  1. Never underestimate the power of a brief respite during lengthy events to recharge. Stepping outside or finding a quiet spot can help you manage stress and return refreshed.

Engage in Follow-Up

  1. Post-event, make an effort to reach out to your new contacts. A simple email or LinkedIn message that references specific discussion points can solidify relationships and keep communication channels open.

Reflect on the Experience

  1. After the event, take time to reflect on what you learned, the connections you made, and your overall experience. This reflection is crucial for enhancing your approach to future events.

Mastering the art of navigating corporate events can transform them from daunting to enriching experiences. With the right preparation and mindset, you can not only survive but thrive, gaining valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth.There is a simple solution for a fresh after-party morning – the hangover pills created by physicians to help alleviate the most common hangover symptoms. Check out Hangover Genie and wake up refreshed and full of energy.

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Essential Guide to Hosting a Memorable Party and Enjoying a Restful Morning After

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Hosting a memorable party that leaves you and your guests happy, without feeling wiped out the next day, is entirely possible with the right approach. Here’s a comprehensive guide to achieving just that.

Preparation is Key

  1. Determine a Firm End Time: Setting a definite end time helps manage your energy and provides a timeframe to unwind after guests leave. Make this clear in your invitations so expectations are set.
  2. Share the Load: Don’t shoulder all responsibilities. Assign tasks like setting up, decorating, or preparing some dishes to family or friends. This makes the event more enjoyable and less stressful for you.
  3. Select a Theme: A theme adds excitement and streamlines your planning process. It can dictate your choice of decorations, food, and activities, whether it’s a beach bash, 70s disco, or a black-tie affair.

Setting the Scene

4. Curate Your Guest List: Invite guests who mesh well together to foster a pleasant, conflict-free environment.

  1. Optimize Your Space: Make sure the party area is inviting and comfortable. Adequate seating and strategic layout promote mingling, while appropriate lighting and music set the mood.
  2. Plan a Simple Menu: Choose dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and are easy to serve, like buffet-style meals or finger foods, to keep the setting casual.

Engagement and Entertainment

7. Incorporate Activities: Tailor activities to your party’s theme—think trivia, board games, or outdoor competitions if space allows.

  1. Offer Variety: Provide different entertainment zones to cater to all guests, ensuring there’s a quieter space for those who need a break from the buzz.

Responsible Hosting

9. Watch Alcohol Intake: If serving alcohol, also offer a variety of non-alcoholic drinks. This promotes moderate consumption and reduces hangover risks.

  1. Arrange Safe Rides Home: Ensure there are safe transportation options for those who drink, including designated drivers or taxi arrangements.

Post-Party Recovery

11. Unwind Before Bed: Dedicate at least an hour post-party to relax with calming activities like reading or gentle music to ease into sleep.

  1. Stay Hydrated: Drink ample water throughout the evening and after the party, particularly if alcohol is served, to prevent dehydration and hangovers.
  2. Prepare for a Smooth Morning: Set up a simple breakfast and ready your coffee maker the night before for a hassle-free start to your day.

Efficient Clean-Up

14. Clean Gradually: Manage cleaning by tackling chores like loading the dishwasher and disposing of garbage during the party. This approach minimizes next-day tasks.

  1. Plan for Relaxation: Once the clean-up is complete, have a relaxation activity ready to help you wind down and ensure a restful sleep.

By adhering to these strategies, you can host an event that’s both enjoyable for your guests and minimally taxing for you, ensuring you wake up the next day refreshed and ready to go.There is a simple solution for a fresh after-party morning – the hangover pills created by physicians to help alleviate the most common hangover symptoms. Check out Hangover Genie and wake up refreshed and full of energy.

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