If you have a proclivity to imbibe….okay, so I have a proclivity to imbibe. I will stick to the specifics, instead of making vague, general statements, in an attempt to shift focus. First, there is no cure for the morning after the night before. Second, whether innocent inadvertent overindulgence at holiday parties or intentional tolerance-boosting guzzling at family get-togethers, we all do have some capacity for self control. Whatever the reason for losing it, there are ways to lessen the blow.
Avoid congeners. What is a congener? Chemicals found in liquor that worsens the effects of it. They are found in the highest concentration in whiskey and red wine. The lowest? My fave, Vodka. This is purely a coincident with a delightful side effect. Oh, and other low congener choices? Gin and beer.
Smart mix. Lemon-lime soda. Studies suggest that carbonated, sugary, lemon-lime beverage (similar to Sprite or 7-Up) help liver enzymes to metabolize alcohol faster, reducing the production of acetaldehyde, the toxic byproduct of alcohol and the suspected cause of hangovers. Plus, the water in soda is rehydrating.
Stuff your face. Don’t skip by the appetizer table or skimp at dinner. The fattier the food the better, such as cheese, salmon and avocado. It takes longer to digest, so it slows the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.
Butt out. A study conducted at Brown University found that those who smoke while drinking are more likely to wake up with severe hangovers than those who drink the same amount but don’t smoke.
Chicken soup for the hungover soul. When you arrive home and get the munchies, reach for a can of chicken soup. The broth will help replace lost fluids, potassium and the salt that you lost making repeated visits to the powder room. And, the noodles are easy to digest.
Go the f$@? to sleep. Sleep deprivation makes a hangover worse. Most certainly you will awaken at least once by the uncontrollable urge to hurl, an overextended bladder or to wash away the sudden Saharan desert-like climate change in your mouth with a tall glass of fresh water. The sooner you lie down, the better.
Brain thunder. When you do wake up, whether in the night or if you are lucky, not until morning, you might have a splitting headache. Take an ibuprofen. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen can ease the ache in your head and, if necessary, the rest of your body.
Hair of the dog. Actually, I wouldn’t recommend more alcohol for breakfast, even though there are some who swear by its effectiveness to cure a hangover. When you do feel like you can look food square in the eye, this too can be as personal a choice as having a Vodka spiked Bloody Mary. Greasy food can exacerbate your queasiness, but hunger and dehydration can too, so just do what you feel you can to introduce some nutrients back into your system.