No matter who you talk to much like a cure for the hiccups everyone seems to have their own remedy for a good hangover. I think I have heard just about all of them. Mine is to drink a can of V8 in the morning with a couple of Tylenol. I have heard greasy food like McDonald's breakfasts does the trick. Others say that the way to avoid it is to drink a glass of water between every drink. I am sure that one slows down the drinking of alcohol process and dehydration thus avoiding the hangover however I think having to get up that many times throughout the night to pee might give me a headache the next day.
So first lets understand the hangover. Excuse me while I put on my lab coat and glasses. By drinking large quantities of alcohol the body gets dehydrated. You see alcohol is a diuretic, (a drug that flushes the body of fluids and increases urination.) This in turn depletes the body of necessary minerals, nutrients, water and blood sugar. Taking the coat off now this means you drink too much it makes you pee and then your body looses all the good stuff that makes you feel human on a daily basis.
So what else causes the dreaded hangover?
- The British Medical journal did a study some time back that said some alcoholic beverages are more likely to cause a hangover than others. This showed 1 glass of bourbon whiskey is twice as likely to cause a hangover than the same amount of vodka.
- If you drink a wine that is too young. Almost all red wines and chardonnay are matured in oak barrels so that they will keep and improve. If you drink this wine younger than three years you run a higher risk of getting a hangover. As a rule of thumb wine stored in oak barrels for six months should be acceptable to drink within the first year. If the wine is stored for twelve months or more in oak barrels it should then be left for at least four years. Some winemakers have been known to add oak chips directly into the wine to enhance flavors, especially in a bad season, and this can take years to become neutral.
- Mixing drinks can cause hangovers. Be careful with what you’re drinking and when you’re drinking it. When in doubt also remember "Beer before liquor never sicker. Liquor before beer you're in the clear."
- Never drink on an empty stomach. Food helps to absorb some of the alcohol and aids the body in digesting it faster.
- Limit yourself to less than 1 drink per hour.
- Stick to non-carbonated drinks as carbonation can speed up the alcohol absorption.
- Be sure to choose drinks with low levels of congeners (light drinks such as white wines, gin, and vodka) – these are additives that are found in alcohol that increase your risk of a hangover. Dark-colored drinks (such as red wine, bourbon, and rum) have higher levels of congeners and should be avoided as often as possible.
Now on to the remedies. Here is a quick list of all the run of the mill cures.
- "Hair of the dog that bit you." Now this has proven NOT too work for the long run. However what it does do is to make your body process a new batch of alcohol and forget about the other problem for the short term.
- Take Vitamin C as it may increase the rate of alcohol breakdown in the body.
- Bouillon soup, water and fruit juice or sports beverages (i.e. Gatorade) may help replace depleted salt and potassium levels.
- There are also a lot of morning after and hangover pills out there that give your body a good shot of the vitamins it lost during the past 12 hour Booze-a-palooza!
With all that said here are a few home remedies I found out there you can try if you are feeling a bit more adventurous. None of these seem to be at all appetizing and on screen they are making me feel queasy just thinking about them but here they are anyway.
Apple Cider Vinegar Cocktail
1 Tablespoon - Apple cider vinegar
1 cup - warm water
Shake and drink immediately.
Anthony Bourdain's Hangover Cure
“Roll a really good joint and huff that before you get out of bed. Then have a cold Coca-Cola. Then have something like cold Kung Pao chicken or some very spicy leftovers. The trilogy of opulence.”
The Healthy Hangover Smoothie
In the blender
1 - over-ripe banana
5-6 Frozen strawberries
1/4 cup - Blueberries
1/4 cup - Frozen or fresh pineapple
1 1/2 cups - Cold vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup - orange juice
Dash of salt
Dash of cayenne
Blend and drink!
Follow this with a glass of water and the following:
1000 milligrams vitamin C
one B complex vitamin
600 milligrams N-acetyl-cysteine or "NAC"
400 milligrams Ibuprofen
Go back to the couch and STAY!
Finally here is a drink for the night feel free to garnish with a bit of foreshadowing and irony thrown in for good measure.
The Pepto Martini
1/4 oz - Lemon Vodka
1/4 oz - Orange Vodka
1/4 oz - Peach Vodka
1/4 oz - Raspberry Vodka
1/4 oz - Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz - Grenadine Syrup
Dash - Whipped Cream