Friday, August 9, 2013

“Girl I get sick when I drink dark liquor!” “Me too girl! It gives me hangovers!” Me – side eye. (More on that later.) One thing all of us spirited imbibers have in common is that we all experience the cheerfully fun hangover from time to time. The headaches, severe dehydration, sensitivity to light, weakness, nausea, mental confusion and fatigue are usually experienced by all. So, is there a cure for hangovers? Is there a way to prevent them all together?
Sooooo what causes a hangover? Alcohol. (Nothing gets past you.)
The only way to prevent a hangover is to not consume alcoholic beverages. Not going to happen, huh? Well, alcohol does a few things to the body in which cumulates a hangover. There is no way around it sadly enough.
  • The ethanol in alcohol lowers glucose levels in the blood and even more so in the brain. Glucose gives the brain most of its energy so as a result when glucose levels drop dramatically the results cause you to feel really crazy. This is why mood swings, fatigue, and overall weakness is experienced.
  • Alcohol depletes the detoxification agents in the liver – no explanation needed I hope. This point ties into congeners which I will chat about in a few.
  • Booze is a diuretic and dehydrates the body horribly.
Congeners don’t help the situation either. I used to think that people who said certain types of alcohol made for worse hangovers were full of it (I thought this years ago when I didn’t know anything). Well, congeners are in fact impurities and toxins found in booze. There are more congeners in aged spirits (brown liquor) than in un-oaked spirits. Alcohols with the MOST congeners are the cheap, bad quality products that don’t distill their product correctly, or that cut corners with ingredients and production and/or that add colorings and artificial flavorings to the product.
With that being said here is what I believe to be the best options for the avid drinker to minimize a hangover and/or help alleviate one when it occurs again. Here we go:
  1. Eat before, during, and after drinking. It slows the intoxication rate so you can drink without going from 0 to 60. Never, never ever drink on an empty stomach!
  2. Drink plenty of water!!! Ideally you should down at least 1 full glass of water per beverage consumed. Water with added electrolytes works wonders!!!
  3. Drink quality! Remember congeners are toxins that are all in that $2 Long Island….Don’t do it!!!! A nice buzz and a headache are two different things! Quality booze result in a quality drinking experience and will help you ease out of bed in the morning! One more thing that I can’t stress enough – just because it’s a popular brand or your favorite rapper drinks it does not mean its quality! Do your own research on brands.
  4. Know when to stop drinking. If you are stumbling about, slurring words and embarrassing yourself then maybe you should stop. There is a reason why you have to be an adult to consume alcohol.

Here are some tips to help cope with a hangover. Good Luck!
  1. Keep drinking water! Before, during, and after.
  2. Eat. I like fried chicken or sardines. Eat what you crave/ want, just eat a meal.
  3. Sleep. A lot.
  4. Hair of the dog: Consuming more alcohol temporarily helps to offset the symptoms of a hangover. Drink a beer, some Fernet, or (my personal go to) a Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary’s are awesome because you get a little savory vitamins with your booze.
  5. Advil or Motrin are magical as well.

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