Saturday, December 30, 2006

20 Ways to Kill Your Hangover

Hangovers suck, and it’s your own stupid fault when they suck like they do. Stop wallowing in self pity, print this out, and start checking items off. Some of these are more effective than others. Some are preventative and some are after the fact treatment. Either way, it’s something to think about next time you go out. Or maybe it’s something to read since you just called in to work and are hugging a trash can while you check your email this morning, lush.

  1. Drink Buttermilk. (ughhh) It will calm you stomach and add badly needed liquid into your system. That is, if you can keep buttermilk down hungover.
  2. Reduce the amount of sugar you consume while drinking. The boosted metabolism of sugar AND alcohol will accelerate the depletion of B vitamins and make your hangover worse.
  3. Coffee/Caffeine. This will enhance the effectiveness of analgesics (aspirin and similar) and the stimulating effects will banish many symptoms of a hangover.
  4. Have sex. First of all: easier said than done hungover. Second of all: oh, wait, ’sounds good other than that first thing. This gets your blood pumping and will release endorphins which are natural painkillers and mood-enhancers. See exercise below.
  5. Drinking Coke or Pepsi. (The “Black Aspirin” or “Red Ambulance”) the caffeine, bubbles and sugar can be easier to hold down than pure water (or buttermilk). Sugar partially compensates the inhibition of the gluconeogenesis.
  6. Oscillating in water between extreme cold and hot temperatures. This practice has no effect on the hangover and can be dangerous. See The Princess Bride.
  7. Eating some Asparagus before bed. Asparagus is a diuretic and these only compound the problem.
  8. Eating whole jalapeños. This will certainly wake you up.
  9. Pedialyte. This contains more electrolytes than almost any over-the-counter drug. This will help you re-hydrate your body as quickly as possible.
  10. Eating mineral-rich foods, like pickles or canned fish.See buttermilk, above. Gross.
  11. Drinking pickle juice, the solution in which cucumbers were pickled, in the morning (a staple hangover remedy in Russia and Poland). It is sometimes suggested to add honey to the solution.
  12. Instant chicken or vegetable soup provides salt, proteins and electrolytes which help soften hangover symptoms. It also adds liquid to your system.
  13. Taking ibuprofen before sleeping can supposedly reduce hangover effects dramatically; however, mixing ibuprofen and alcohol can cause stomach irritation and bleeding, and is highly recommended against. The adverse effects of alcohol are amplified when ibuprofen, which also can cause trouble with the liver, is taken with it. In fact, most medicines should not be taken with alcohol, so it is best to consult a medical professional before using this supposed “remedy”.
  14. Sleep. This one’s my favorite. Some people argue that sleep only prolongs the negative effects of alcohol due to slower metabolism while asleep. However, one doesn’t notice the negative effects of the hangover while asleep, which suits me just fine.
  15. Exercise. Exercise can be painful with a hangover, but is usually very effective. It increases blood flow to the entire body, especially the head, and induces sweating, which helps the body purge alcohol. The feeling of lethargy dissipates and there is a strong mental and emotional effect (endorphins) where mood will improve.
  16. Cysteine, which is available as the over-the-counter supplement N-acetylcysteine (NAC), is known to assist in processing acetaldehyde, best taken while already drinking and/or before going to bed. (Egg yolk is also rich in cysteine, and it is notable that many hangover folk remedies or morning-after breakfasts incorporate eggs. Red-eye anyone?)
  17. “The hair of the dog”. a.k.a. drink more. Well liked and effective, but this is more of a procrastination tactic, as a hangover is basically alcohol withdraw and you’re just prolonging your inebriation.
  18. Midnight feast. This is another fave of yours truly. get stuffed before you go to bed. Almost all foods contain some liquid and nutrients. (Even if it’s Taco Hell, a favorite of the drunximus outlateicus.)
  19. Tag team your drinks with water. I’m not kidding. if you’re getting a drink at the bar order an ice water with it. As soon as the bar keep brings you your drinks chug the water, set the empty glass on the bar and walk off with your drink.
  20. Stick 13 pins into the cork of the offending bottle. Hey, it works for Haitians.

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