Don’t let a hangover keep you from surviving your day
By Rebecca Peterson, Staff Writer
It’s been almost a week since St Patrick’s Day, so one can only assume we’ve all at least started to dry out by now.
However, holidays like St Patrick’s Day have a bad habit of bringing out the worst in us. Most days, we’re responsible, put-together human beings who would never drink excessively during the week. In fact, drinking excessively is a habit most of us try to avoid in order to preserve our livers.
Still, we’re human. It happens. And unless you’re in that one small per cent of the population who have apparently been blessed by Dionysus, we eventually have to pay for it. However, there are steps we can take to minimize our suffering, or at least make it seem like we have our life together, even if we don’t.
Obviously the best way to cure a hangover is to avoid having one in the first place. If you know you’ll be drinking, take the chance to line your stomach in advance. Carbs are the key to keeping your stomach settled—potatoes are my personal preference for this task. Try to avoid dairy if you can, or light foods like salad and sushi. These tend to interact badly with copious amounts of alcohol, and will likely result in an unpleasant ending to the evening, never mind the next day.
Water is the key to smart drinking. Try your best to stick to a one-to-one ratio of drinks and water—you’ll have to pee a lot, but your body will thank you. If you can, before stumbling off to sleep, force yourself to drink one or two more glasses of water. Anytime you start to feel nauseous or headachy throughout the night, drink a glass of water. The importance of staying hydrated cannot be emphasized enough. Most alcohol-induced headaches are caused by dehydration.
If, however, you forget these steps and wake up the next morning in agony, it’s not too late to salvage the day.
There are three key components of a hangover cure: hydration, electrolytes, and carbs. The water, as mentioned above, will help with both headaches and nausea, and will flush any remaining toxins from your body throughout the day. Electrolytes help regulate this hydration. Consuming anything high in electrolytes such as salts and potassium will also help to replace vitamins and minerals lost while drinking. Carbs will settle your stomach and absorb toxins, giving you a steadier mind and body to carry you through the day.
In practice, here are some easily accessible hangover-curing breakfast options:
- A fruit smoothie, a bottle of water, and two hash browns
- A banana, two slices of toast with a nut spread, and a mug of green tea
- A package of dried fruit, a cup of coffee, water, and a breakfast sandwich
Though it might seem healthy to reach for breakfast options like yogurt and eggs, dairy and egg products are not always easily metabolized by the body and can serve to upset your stomach more. As well, it’s often suggested that the best cure for a hangover is another drink in the morning, which I strongly advise against. At best, it will just mask the symptoms that will likely come back to bite you later in the day. At worst, it’s habit-forming. In either case, it will not help. Hangovers occur because your body is in need; strangely enough, the body doesn’t appreciate being dehydrated and flooded with toxins. Adding more alcohol to the mix will only make things worse.
We all overreach ourselves sometimes. Keep yourselves safe, have fun, and remember to drink if not responsibly, then at least with a glass of water close at hand.