Hangover Cures – Mythbusted (Part 1)

hangover iv

We get a lot of questions on the topic: which hangover cures work and which ones don’t?  As we already know, the only real remedy is spending time in the darkness drinking water (see Caveday).  There is a lot of bullshit floating around on the internet and the topic of hangover cures is no exception.  We decided to put together a three part article, laying the smack down on bunk hangover cures.  Let us begin on this quest for truth…

Hair of the dog

Hair of the dog is an expression used to refer to ingestion of alcohol to combat the effects of a hangover.  Certain drinks are notoriously known as the glorified champions of this genre, such as the Bloody Mary and Mimosa (champagne and orange juice).  The hair of the dog technique does indeed have some credibility in temporarily relieving hangover related torture.  It has a effective potency for relieving mental anguish (such as Post Alcohol Blues) and certain physical symptoms like body aches.  Note: hair of the dog will NOT help with any nausea or stomach related symptoms.  Try to cure vomiting with a Miller lite.

Employing the hair of the dog approach does give some relief, however this is only temporary.  Let’s be frank.  You’re only delaying the inevitable.  Hangovers are more powerful than karma and eventually they will catch up to you and wreak hell.  This time, with more fuel for the fire.

During a hangover, your body is busy breaking alcohol down into the chemical garbage that is making you ill.  Adding more alcohol to the system makes your body stop this process so you get a brief reprieve, but as soon as that new alcohol gets processed, you’re back where you started but with even more toxic shit floating around your body.  Unless you intend to keep drinking forever, this is probably not the best hangover cure.

To add, some believe a hangover is linked to alcohol withdrawal and that drinking the next day will satisfy a craving.  In the words of Dwight Schrute: False.  This is only true in extreme alcoholism where the body goes into potentially fatal shock when alcohol is not consumed.  If this is you, go pull a Lohan and check your ass into rehab.

Over the Counter Meds

The CVS approach can work well, but use extreme caution.  Certain medications may provide relief for hangover symptoms.  Antacids can help alleviate nausea and stomach pain.  We have friends that swear by Alka-Seltzer.  Asians even report that antacids can effectively combat the Asian Glow if taken before drinking.  Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., ibuprofen or naproxen) can help with headaches and muscle aches associated with a hangover but should be used carefully, as these drugs are gastric irritants and may intensify alcohol-induced stomach issues.  Read this carefully: Acetaminophen should be avoided during and after drinking because alcohol metabolism makes the liver more vulnerable to acetaminophen’s toxicity.  You can develop what is known as alcohol-acetaminophen syndrome which can cause acute liver failure.  In other words, game over.  Time to take the first bus back from Jersey Shore.  Your days of fist pumps are numbered.

Marijuana

Weed has a magical property that somehow alleviates any depressive mental symptoms (PABs) and definitely eradicates any lack of hunger.  Taco Bell and Domino’s have taken this concept straight to the bank.  Some people report that ganja helps with headaches and nausea as well.

Some negative side effects may include the need to wear hemp bracelets and play Xbox for 5 hours straight.  Here’s a very important point that many stoners forget to keep in mind.  What is the main goal of getting rid of a hangover?  To get rid of the terrible symptoms that are preventing you from doing anything productive.  Well guess what, unless you’re one of those 1% that actually functions better when stoned, you’re not going to be doing shit all day but laugh and eat Cookie Crisp.

Alcoholism

Some people actually go with the approach of using consistent drinking, such that they become accustomed and tolerant to hangovers.  The logic is sound.  Anything that you experience on a regular basis becomes routine and tolerable.  And you know what?  This actually works.  Any college kid can out-drink a 30 year old and bounce back the next day with no hangover.

A truly professional drinker will be hungover on the daily.  Soon enough, tolerance builds and the hangover is thwarted.  However, on the flip side, you sell your soul to the devil for a beer gut, shit skids and a shoe-in for the Jerry Springer show.

More to come soon, as we Mythbust commercial hangover relief pills, greasy food, caffeine, and exercise.

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