Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stick 13 Black Pins in the Cork and Other Hangover Cures for St. Patrick's Day

Oh no, it's the dread mid-week St. Patrick's Day! You know damn well you should practice moderation and common sense since work / school / responsibilities beckon early tomorrow morning. 

But, well, we all know that's never been your style. 

Since you know damn well you're going to drink too much tonight – and probably again this weekend at some combination St. Patrick's Day / Bracket Buster NCAA gathering – we have collected some of the best hangover cures from the weird to the classic for our faithful readers. 

Have a cure of your own that you'd like to submit? Feel free to submit it in the comments below.

My Own Cure
The Hungover Gourmet has, unfortunately, had plenty of experience with hangover cures through the years. I can attest to the fact that things like Alka-Seltzer make me throw up, so I steer clear of them. However, after much experimentation I've found this reliable regimen: before going to bed drink a large glass of water and take four extra strength ibuprofen. Don't take acetaminophen as this has been known to cause health problems over the long term. When you get up, repeat the process and then eat breakfast. I like eggs, sausage or pork roll, and an English muffin. Keep your caffeine consumption down as it will only rob your body of hydration. Have some juice. Relax. 

PS: I've also discovered something else that also works... don't drink so much!

This May Not Work with Beer Cans
If you're up for a funkier, flashier approach, Haitian voodoo practitioners recommend sticking 13 black pins into the cork of the bottle.

Hair of the Dog
We've all heard this one and sometimes it just seems like a desperate excuse to get the party revved up again. But there is some actual science at work here. The ethanol in the booze makes your head stop hurting, which is caused by the methanol in the booze. So, it's really just a vicious circle.

The Only Exercise You Ever Get is the Shakes
Know what causes Delirium Tremors? Insufficient Vitamin B1 or Thiamine. Beans, rice, grains, cereals, peas and other fiber-filled goodies are loaded with B1 and will help settle down the shakes. This might be the perfect time to try our Hangover Chili. You can also go out an pick up some B1 tablets and while you're there grab some B2 (for your bloodshot eyes) and B12 (which'll get the blood rushing through your veins again).

Get Juiced Up
"Getting juiced" the morning after takes on a whole new connotation. Juices contain water which helps rehydrate your body and citrus juices like orange, pineapple, grapefruit, etc. are loaded with natural sugars that help your body break down any alcohol that might be in there.

You Say Tomato...
Tomatoes are another great hangover helper, and it comes in many convenient forms. Have a Bloody Mary or a Bullshot (Campbell's Condensed Beef Consome Soup, tomato juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt, pepper, lemon). Also, juices like V8 or plain ol' tomato juice are loaded with the vitamins and nutrients your body is sorely lacking after a night of well, you know.

A Ride in the Saddle
Sex, or any physical exertion, will get the blood pumping and help your body sweat out the alcohol, which is poisoning your system. Plus, it will help you rest afterwards until it's time to get up and do it all again!!

OTC Cures
We polled members of our crack staff and they suggested such readily available all-in-one over-the-counter cures as Dramamine, Pedialite popsicles (rehydrate without the ghastly taste of actual Pedialite), and Excedrin Migraine (complete with caffeine, a pain reliever and an anti-nausea med).

Listen to those Old Wives
I know we've all heard it a million times: "Before before liquore, never felt sicker." Well, this one happens to be true. The carbonation in beer – or champagne for that matter – speeds up the body's ability to absorb alcohol. This isn't exactly a cure, but more of a prevent defense to keep in mind. If you start with beer or champagne, stick with beer or champagne. You'll thank me later. But be mindful of that ABV, especially if (like me) you enjoy a craft beer or seven.

Stay Clear of the Brown Stuff
Want to know what drinks (in excess) will provide the easiest hangover? Think clear my friends. A cocktail with plenty of ice (think vodka and soda or gin and tonic) will give you a nice buzz without delivering a crippling hangover the next morning. Beer (especially lite beer) will hurt you in the long run, but won't be as bad as long as you remember to rehydrate before passing out. Once you get into brown liquors and red wines, you're on your own. Scotch, brandy, rum, bourbon, red wine and port (a fortified wine which is as scary as it sounds) will all deliver a nasty hangover that'll ruin your day... or days in some cases. But, as the great Ron Swanson once said, "clear alcohols are for rich women on diets" so just don't let Ron or Duke Snider see you sipping that vodka gimlet.

What's the Deal with Hangover Preventers?
We've all seen the ads and checked out the sites. Some work by absorbing the elements in alcohol that cause hangovers while others provide your body with vitamins and nutrients that will allegedly ward off the effects of a hangover. And there are plenty of other tablets, pills and powders that taken during your night of debauchery will supposedly help you wake up feeling refreshed and happy. The only drawback I see with these items is that many of them require you to take them while you drink. Right. While drinking I've forgotten: my name, who I was dating, that hard liquor makes me speak in tongues, that I don't smoke, where I left my keys, where I live, who my friends are and many, many more things. (Oddly enough, liquor has also made me remember old girlfriends' phone numbers at 4 AM, but that's another story, another part of the brain.) I don't know about you, but the odds of me remembering to take some stupid pill or tablet with every drink is, um, unlikely.

Disclaimer: The Hungover Gourmet is not a doctor and has only watched people play them on TV. Please drink responsibly and whatever you do, don't drink and drive, people!

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