If you’ve ever tried to mix a hangover and work, you know that it’s not the ideal combination. While you might think that your bosses don’t notice, odds are that they know and they’ve experienced the same thing, too. Here are 15 things that they wish you knew about hangovers, including the fact that there are practical remedies out there that can help you wake up with less regret, shame, aches, and pains.
1. Caffeine and Painkillers Won’t Cure Your Hangover
Alcohol already makes you dehydrated so adding caffeine to the mix is a recipe for disaster. Not only that, but caffeine can make some of your hangover symptoms worse, including the shakes, muscle weakness, and headaches. If you’re thinking about popping ibuprofen instead, be warned: this painkiller can do more harm than good. Taking ibuprofen while hungover can lead to stomach bleeding so skip the pill and opt for water and electrolytes instead.
2. You’re Better Off Calling in Sick Than Trying to Work
Odds are that your boss would rather have you rest up and come back to work the next day feeling fresh and rested. The alternative is to show up to work feeling horrid and underperforming on all of your tasks. Depending on your job, this could give a bad impression to clients or business partners.
3. Hangovers Are an Economic Issue
While one sick day probably won’t hurt anyone, you shouldn’t make this a habit. Researchers in San Francisco discovered that hangovers nationwide cost about $148 billion due to poor job performance and employees calling out of work. Keep that in mind the next time that you’re tempted to drink on a weeknight.
4. Those Cheap $1 Shots Are Making Your Hangover Worse
It turns out that cheaper alcohol is so inexpensive because less distilling went into it. This means that these drinks contain more impurities called congeners, which are chemical byproducts of the fermentation process. The more congeners a drink has, the more pronounced your hangover symptoms are going to be. Purer drinks may be more expensive but they’ll lessen the blow. Plus, they may compel you to buy fewer drinks and thus get less wasted.
5. Hangovers Shrink Your Brain
Don’t freak out too much. This just means that as the body gets dehydrated, it starts to take fluid from the brain, essentially shrinking it. Rehydrating with water and electrolyte drinks will get the water flowing in your body again. In addition, your headache and dizziness will start to subside too.
6. Hangovers Can Make Anxiety Worse
If you’re already anxious about your job, then your late-night booze fests could be making that nervousness worse. Alcohol affects serotonin levels in the brain and in people with anxiety, their serotonin levels are already lower.
7. Just Because You Didn’t Get a Hangover Doesn’t Mean That the Alcohol Didn’t Affect You
A hangover is just one symptom of alcohol consumption. If you’re regularly going out and drinking a lot, you’re still exposing your body to alcohol’s harmful effects. These include damage to the liver and heart, bloating and gas, malnutrition, and increased risk of osteoporosis and sexual dysfunction.
8. Dark Alcohol Causes Worse Hangovers Than Clear Drinks
If you’re going to go out, simply opt for clear-colored drinks instead of dark ones. Congeners, or impurities, are more present in dark-colored beer, wine, and liquor so they result in worse hangovers.
9. You Should’ve Had That Big Meal Before You Drank, Not After
Before you enjoy your drinks with friends, have a big meal together. The food in your stomach will help with absorbing some of the alcohol you drink throughout the night and that can result in a less traumatic hangover in the morning.
10. They Probably Know That You’re Nursing a Hangover at Work
We hate to say it but you’re probably not fooling anyone at work, especially your boss. It turns out that about 20% of employees in the U.S. have gone to work with a hangover in the past year. That being said, this probably means that your boss has shown up to work hungover at some point too. That should even the playing field a bit.
11. The Younger You Are, the Better You’ll Bounce Back
Those wild and crazy kids have the benefit of recovering from their hangovers more quickly than their older peers. With age, the body unfortunately becomes less capable of producing glutathione, an antioxidant that helps with expelling free radicals and other toxins from the body, including alcohol.
12. They’re Probably Not Being as Judgmental as You Think
If you feel as if your boss is giving you the stink eye at work, it might just be in your head. Believe it or not, alcohol can make some people feel a bit paranoid. Sure, a couple of drinks can help you drop your inhibitions but it can also limit your problem-solving skills and perceptions. Therefore, you might mistake someone’s tone or a look that he or she gives you as something much more serious.
13. There Are Natural Ways to Alleviate Hangover Symptoms
Rather than wolf down a greasy breakfast or guzzle a large coffee, why not try a more natural remedy? Herbs such as milk thistle and Siberian ginseng can be taken in a tea or in capsule form. Milk thistle helps with removing toxins from the body while Siberian ginseng relieves nausea. In addition, ginger tea and bone broth will help you stay hydrated while also providing essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes for a faster recovery.
14. Women Are More Susceptible to Hangovers
Since men tend to have more muscle and less fat than women, they aren’t as prone to intense hangover symptoms. That being said, anyone is going to feel awful if he or she goes overboard on the alcohol, which is why having a hangover prevention plan is essential.
15. There Are Products That Can Prevent This Mess
Hangover prevention products are now available to the masses and they can help you bypass those shakes, aches, and other negative effects of alcohol consumption. These products come in supplement form and can be taken while you enjoy your beverage of choice.