Sunday, July 22, 2012

The High Cost of Low Living

Old wives tales or tried, tested and true?  Most everyone (with the exception of a small percentage of the population - and kudos to you all) have experienced a hangover or will experience a hangover of epic proportions at some point and time in their lives.  The question remains, are there actual remedies to 'cure' a hangover? 

So lets look at some known facts about this nasty ramification of a fun night out drinking shall we?  I would assume that most people know a hangover is brought on mainly as a result of dehydration.  There is not a lot of research out there on hangovers and potential cures because the main focus of studies on alcohol is the addiction and chronic symptoms and how to treat those.  They say that as we age the frequency of hangovers will increase because the enzymes in our bodies that metabolize alcohol diminish with age.  If you drink dark alcohols (rum, wine, bourbon) you are more likely to suffer from a hangover than someone who consumed a lighter variety (beer, vodka) all night. It is also thought that around 25% of the population are 'immune' to hangovers for the most part.  They aren't clear why, but consider yourself lucky if you fall into that group.  And of course, there are several different symptoms of a hangover:  headaches, nausea, dry mouth, thirst, body aches, flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting, and increased urine production. 

So back to the point of this post.  Are there any remedies out there to cure a hangover?  Are these legit or just rumours?  Will they work for you?

Some that I've come across on line, through living life and as well as questioning other people for their opinions are as follows.  I haven't tried all of them, and frankly I'm too old to voluntarily put myself in the situation where I know I'm going to wake up with a hangover, but should I find myself in bed with one in the future I'm going to start proving these theories.  I figure if I do all of them at the same time I'm bound to be successful in wiping that hangover out of here, right? 

Some theories:

  • Let's start with the most obvious one and probably the most frequently turned to one -Rehydration.  It's pretty simple.  Replenish your body with fluids to help counter the dehydrating effects alcohol has on your body thus diminishing the effects dehydration has on your body!  I like simple. 
  • While you're drinking said water, pop at Vitamin B tablet too.  What the heck, it's not gonna hurt you either way but it could help you!
  • Consume more alcohol.  Yes, brilliant thinking I know, but there is a theory behind it.  The thought process is that a hangover is an acute reaction to your body withdrawing from alcohol so the theory is if you don't allow your body to withdraw, then you won't have the symptoms.  I will say, the last thing I'm thinking of during a hangover is more booze.
  • Fresh air!  Increased oxygen flow will help to speed up the breakdown of toxins in your system.
  • Smoke some ganja (marijuana).  THC is known to ease the physical symptoms of a hangover and increase your appetite (hello, munchies?).  Once you get some nutrients in your system your acid levels will uhm...level out! 
  • Exercise.  What?  Ugh!  The body physically moving gets the body microbially moving?  Is that the theory?  Hmm, there might be something to that.  I bet the first 10 minutes will be the worst ever though. 
  • Pedialyte.  Water and electrolytes.  Makes sense. 
  • Tylenol, Advil, Motrin right before bed (with a glass of water to swallow it, not a beer).  I'm going to be honest, this is my go to remedy every single time I go drinking.  I like to think I'm being proactive. 
  • Eat some fruit (particularly a banana).  Bananas are extremely high in potassium, which you've basically peed out all night, plus I'm guessing because it's got natural sugars that will help to replace lost nutrients, and (with other fruits) it's juicy which will help offset the thirst and dry mouth? 
  • Sleep!  Probably my favourite option but sometimes we aren't lucky enough to sleep the day away.  By sleeping, you're not conscious while your body tries to rectify itself. 

So while I'm not suggesting you live your life in a bubble and refrain from partaking in any alcohol consumption (nor do I judge if you do choose that lifestyle) maybe you can figure out when you're starting to cross that line where the odds of a hangover reward are probable.  The obvious answer to avoiding a hangover if of course, no drinking or drinking in moderation.   But sometimes it's fun to just let off steam with your ladies, dance your face off and have a few drinks.   So tell me, what are your tried, tested and true remedies? 


  1. Blue Gatorade and Tylenol. But I'm proactive also. Hard liquor, or wine and stick to it. No mixing and I usually avoid the hangover.

  2. eggs... I read somewhere that there is an enzyme in eggs that helps... and I've never had a hangover that an egg mcmuffin has at least helped!!! eggs!

  3. Hangovers are a given for me, very bad ones I might I refrain from drinking at all!!As for sleeping the day away is only way for me to recouperate!

  4. Bottle of water and 2 ibuprofens before bed. Works every time.

  5. Coconut water (natural electrolytes)! It works wonders!