Hangovers are an unfortunate facet of the drinking life – assuming, of course, that your definition of “the drinking life” includes “every other night” and “more than just a couple of pints, you lightweight”.
If you’re intent on la dolce vita, but also want to remain somewhat functional and combat the horrible effects of a hangover, you’ll need a few ways to survive – like the ones we’re about to present you:
The Bedroom Option
Some people swear by orgasms to clear up the “foggy, head-is-going-to-explode sensation” of a hangover. So get up in the morning, drink a glass of water, then get back in the bedroom and put in the work, preferably with a partner, until the resultant climax knocks your head back to the world of the living. It’s not a catch-all remedy, so follow that up immediately with a warm shower and breakfast.
The Soupy Option
Nothing wakes the dead and hungover like a steaming bowl of Vietnamese pho: rich, tangy and meaty. Really, anything rich and soupy you can get will settle your stomach, the lining of which has been irritated by alcohol, which increases the production of stomach acid and delays stomach emptying. If you’re Malaysian, a good hearty serving of mutton soup (sup kambing) will do as well, as will a bowl of Chinese pork noodles. You may still have to go to the bathroom to vomit a little but remember: you did this to yourself, you messy sot.
The Intravenous Option
Paramedics and medical emergency professionals say that putting yourself on a drip for about 45 minutes does wonders to clear the headache and nausea that comes from a hangover. It is essentially forced rehydration, after all. So if you’ve got personal access to an IV setup, by all means. And if you’re in the United Kingdom and the United States, and willing to blow a couple of hundred dollars for immediate relief, there’s even a company called The I.V. Doc that sends nurses to your home to personally administer IV drips of varying mixtures.
The Blunt Force Option
Get high on weed. Legal reefer, preferably, though it is entirely up to you to be a law-abiding citizen. Studies show that compounds in cannabis effectively treat nausea, vomiting and headaches. If you’re in a legal area and have access to a medical dispensary, ask for a strain high in cannabidiol which kills headaches and other varying pains associated with hangovers. A bowl of herb will also increase your appetite and help you sleep fairly well after getting food in your stomach.
The Sweaty Option
This hangover cure option has some overlap with the bedroom option, in that it basically calls for exercise and elevated heart rates. You will hate yourself all the while you’re doing this, but forcing yourself onto a treadmill for an hour or so helps you sweat out the alcohol in your system. The prime caveat is that you absolutely must rehydrate before, after, and during exercise, or you risk exacerbating the dehydration brought on by the night before.
The Carbonated Option
Scientists in China tested the effects of 57 drinks from herbal tea to soda and found that Sprite is best at kicking a hangover. The main culprit in hangover headaches and nausea is acetaldehyde. The liver releases alcohol dehydrogenase to convert ethanol into acetaldehyde, broken down by another enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase into chemicals known as acetates. Sprite apparently speeds up the breakdown of acetaldehyde, thus relieving a hangover. Some people swear by regular Coca-Cola for its high sugar content, but if you’re not interested in visiting the dentist sooner than later, a bottle of Sprite works better.
The Hibernation Option
Do this if you don’t mind being glued to your pillow for most of the morning. The sleep you get directly after a heavy night of drinking will generally be dark and full of terrors, but the next nap you take in the morning, after waking up for a glass of water, will leave you feeling fairly fresh.
You may want to also get some ibuprofen and electrolytes along with the water if you’re a bit older; the older you are, the less likely just a glass of water will be enough.
The Preventative Option
If you’re set on sousing your brain cells, keep in mind whiskey will most likely knock you down harder the next day than beer will. Of course, prevention is better than cure; make sure you drink lots of water throughout the night to prevent that nasty hangover.
Have a heavy meal before drinking to slow down alcohol absorption. You should also not fall asleep directly after drinking. Give yourself about half an hour to stumble through your nightly ablutions: a warm shower, mouthwash, and a glass of water before passing out. All this will make the next morning a lot easier to manage.
The All-In, Nuclear Option
This is a last-ditch method; the “Hunter S. Thompson method”, if you will. Go to bed after drinking, with a glass of water and two tabs of ibuprofen. Once you wake up, take something sugary to spike levels, promethazine to eradicate nausea, Percocet for the headache and shaky legs, Red Bull to wake you up, and multivitamins to top it off. Once you’re functional, load yourself up with food so oily the Bush administration will collectively salivate, and three to four Bloody Marys punctuated by glasses of water. After sundown, get another promethazine and Percocet, NyQuil or Benadryl, chug Gatorade and water and pass out. Hangover: nuked.
This article is an excerpt from UNRESERVED’s December 2019 issue.