*Photo by Nicola Muirhead
*Photo by Nicola Muirhead

The Rugby Classics week has come to an end and while we experienced some great rugby, some of us also experienced a few hangovers! The week of rugby, drinking and partying is always a big date on the island’s social calendar but quite a few revellers wake up feeling like they’ve been flattened by Victor Matfield.

The actual name for a hangover is veisalgia, which is the Norwegian word for ‘uneasiness following debauchery’ combined with the Greek word for ‘pain’. Pretty appropriate for the Rugby Classics! 

The common symptoms for a hangover include a poor sense of wellbeing, headache, sensitivity to light or sounds, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, trembling, nausea, fatigue, increased heart rate and blood pressure, dehydration, trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping and weakness. Sound familiar?

This varies for each person but generally the more alcohol we consume, the worse the hangover. Other factors that can make your hangover worse are drinking on an empty stomach, lack of sleep, dehydration, poor health and increased physical activity like dancing away in a tent.

When we drink alcohol it enters the bloodstream, triggering the pituitary gland in the brain to stop the production of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone. The kidneys then have to direct water to the bladder instead of reabsorbing it throughout the body. That’s why after your first bathroom visit you will keep making frequent trips, which explains all those long queues for the portable toilets at the Rugby. Drinking about 250 mils of an alcoholic drink forces the body to expel 800 to 1,000 mls of water. That equates to four times as much liquid lost as gained which completely dehydrates the body. This is why the morning after we wake up with a very dry mouth. It’s the body sending us a message to replenish our water supply. We also get headaches as the organs in our body try to restore their water supply by scavenging water from the brain causing it to shrink in size and pulling on the membrane that connects the brain to the skull giving you that pounding head feeling.

So what’s the best cure for a hangover? Time and water. No matter what concoction of hangover remedies you try the body still needs time to detoxify and flush out all the toxins. Drinking lots of water will hydrate the body and start to make you feel normal again. Remember that for next year. 

For more information visit cayliffe@courthouse.bm