|Whip Those Hangover Woes
by James J. Christopher
Hi Bob - well we're into the Holiday drinking season and among so
many great things one negative stands out - the hangover. As such,
I thought I would provide a public service for your readers and give
them a few scientific (and otherwise) tips on how to handle a
hangover. Oh, before I get into it let me tell you the only foolproof
way - yes, it never ever fails- to avoid a hangover - don't drink.
Getting rid of the hangover really comes down to understanding how
the body reacts to alcohol in the first place. Alcohol is a diuretic -- that
is, it tends to increase urination, and therefore, dries you out. Drinking
plenty of water the morning after helps to compensate for the
dehydration. Now I'm sure many of your readers know that already
Bob but here's my special tip: drinking water at room temperature
hydrates better than cold water. Also, if, as happens unfortunately
often, you can’t stomach drinking water afterwards, you can always
have water-rich foods and vegetables like cucumbers, celery, iceberg
lettuce and watermelon.
But dehydration is not all that's going on. Impurities are added to
alcoholic beverages during the distillation process, and these contribute
to the nasty stomachache you get with your hangover. These
impurities are especially high in sweeter drinks and malt liquors.
Drinking water helps by diluting the impurities left in your system..
First off I recommend having some burnt toast. Carbon in the charred
part of the toast filters the impurities. In fact, people who come into
hospital emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning get a potent carbon
slurry pumped into their stomachs for the same reason. The burnt
toast is a much more moderate version of the same remedy.
Some people swear by the healing power of chorizo. Actually it's not a
morning-after remedy -- it's more like a late-afternoon-before
preventive tactic. Fatty foods, if eaten before drinking alcohol,
"grease" the lining of the intestines. The alcohol then takes longer to
be absorbed by the body. For the record pizza works just as well.
Besides filling your stomach before you drink, eating almost any
kind of food the morning after can help alleviate a hangover. Food
provides electrolytes that replenish the body after dehydration. A fruit
smoothie or a sports drink can work wonders.
What about that "hair of the dog that bit you?" It's a renowned
hangover remedy: a small morning-after drink to bring your blood-
alcohol level back up. Biologically, it actually will make you feel better
for a short period, but you'll have to come down eventually.
If you don’t have a commercial hangover remedy pill handy, a
multivitamin could do the trick. Most hangover pills are just a cocktail
of different vitamins, designed to replace the ones your body lost the
night before. Vitamins B1 and B6 and well as C (for its antioxidant
value) are the ones you want to look for. Other ingredients include
magnesium (which can help relax muscles) and fish oil.
How effective any of these remedies will be depends on how much
alcohol you can handle and how many drinks you actually put down
the night before. So moderation is the best plan of all.
Thanks Bob - I really enjoy reading your column and hope you might
find my article interesting enough to publish. Cheers!
Enjoyed your article James. You provided some good tips on how to
handle a hangover. Best of all was your advice at the end - drinking in
moderation is the wisest choice of all! Hope you write again.
I'd like to invite everyone to send me their own columns about anything
related to beer/drinking/booze just as James did. I select the best and
publish them here. So join in and get writing.
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