Too Much of a Good Thing
The morning after a friend’s Xmas party I had to do the parental equivalent of the Walk of Shame: Tell my kids that, “Mommy was not responsible with her alcohol last night.” At least, while leaning over the toilet, I didn’t ask them to hold my hair back…but close.
I generally have maybe 4-5 cocktails in the course of a week. Why, oh why, did I cram them all into one night? Frankly I can’t stomach writing – or thinking – about another festive cocktail right now, so I’m focusing on hangover remedies. Just in case you haven’t been responsible with your alcohol either.
Charcoal capsules: Having inadvertently put this method to the test, I doubly swear by taking a couple of charcoal capsules either before drinking commences or before bed. I forgot mine this time and paid for it. It makes sense that these would work, because they are used as a poisoning treatment to reduce the amount of toxins absorbed by your body. In fact, they are so good at blocking absorption that you should not take them within several hours of taking essential medications (you know, birth control, heart medication and the like). You can find them at natural health stores and online for about $5.
Club soda, bitters and bed: My friend Ginger recommends this combo. Hydrating and rest is definitely a good idea, and bitters are supposed to be a soothing digestive. Try Angostura bitters, which are commonly found in grocery stores.
Hair of the dog (*some history below): I just can’t do this one. Even a weak Bloody Mary is too much. Then there are the Corpse Revivers, a revolving mix of pure booze often touted as hair-of-the-dog remedies. Oooh, my stomach just did a little flip.
Gatorade, orange juice, bananas, lots of fluids: Replenish with electrolytes, vitamin C and potassium while you are rehydrating.
Definitely avoid Tylenol: Any blood thinner, like aspirin, is not great to mix with alcohol, but Tylenol and booze do yucky things to your liver.
Eat eggs: Eggs contain a substance called cysteine that helps your liver clear out the nasties. I actually scrambled up a pair of eggs when I got home, hoping to prevent a bad hangover. I was still hit hard, but maybe it would have been worse?
Coffee or no coffee? Caffeine will dehydrate you further, but if you already have a caffeine habit you risk a headache by not having any, so try to find balance by drinking just a little.
B vitamins: I’ve seen B vitamins suggested as both a hangover preventative and treatment, so maybe timing isn’t crucial.
Where does the term “hair of the dog” come from? My friend Dee came across a bit of history recently while reading The Delectable Past (1964): “…consider these lines by the Greek poet Antiphanes. His advice for a hangover is still recommended to heavy imbibers.‘Take the hair, it well is written, Of the dog by whom you’re bitten. Work off one wine by his brother, And one labour with another.’”
This poem reportedly appeared in The Deipnosophists, which was written in, oh, 230 A.D.! But Dee had a good point: how does a poet from pre-230 A.D. make a poem rhyme in English? Very curious.
Now pick yourself off those cold tiles and try one (or more) of the above. Good luck!
Next up: Hot Buttered Rum!