How to beat the Halloween Hangover
Hanging. Pretty much a near death experience. The feeling that you cannot function in any way, shape or form. Gone is the ability to speak, lost is the will to open your eyes, forgotten are the means to move a muscle without an accompanying groan. If communication is attempted, and this only when completely necessary, it comes in the form of grunts and sighs, or if you try really really hard, a monosyllabic word. Every limb feels weighted down, yet your insides feel hollow. You are a shell. A shell with horrendous breath and hair stuck to your sweaty brow. Beneath this dripping forehead your brain seems to be trying to escape, pushing at your skull in an attempt to break through and crack it. It seems to respond best to noise, any little sound reverberates through and spurs the head explosion on.
Is this death? Have I gone to hell? Am I even still a human being? No human has surely ever been capable of withstanding pain such as this. Oop. What’s that? A new burning sensation. Yes I am in hell!!! It’s climbing, rising uncontrollably through my insides; are Satan’s flames within me? Bleugh. Nope. Wrong. It was vomit. Yummy. Surely there is some way to stop this? Well yes there are some ways. I cannot promise them to be miracle cures and wipe away all the devil’s wrath, but they will indeed soften the blow.
Prepare your insides
Having a decent meal before hitting the town is essential. It will slow the absorption of the alcohol, meaning you will also avoid being labelled as the pathetic lightweight of the crew that had to be escorted home early whilst protesting profusely from a crumpled heap on the pavement. Fatty meals are best as they help protect the stomach lining from the irritation that alcohol causes.
Now a hangover is, in essence, dehydration. So, fill up your water tank before the dehydrating effects of the alcohol commence. This is annoying, I know, because it contributes to the pressure building before that pivotal moment of breaking the seal, but you’ll thank me in the morning.
If you want to get a bit fancy and invest in some useful vitamins, take B-complex and vitamin C before and after a night out. Thiamine (B1) aids in breaking down alcohol; interestingly this is also found in beer, do with that what you will…
On the night
Dark drinks are your enemy! They contain evil congeners which cause headaches, the darker the alcohol, the more congeners it contains. So for example, the best drinks to avoid a hangover are in order of preference: vodka, gin, rum, bourbon; red wine also has more congeners than white. It is also better to go for the more expensive brands of spirit; the cheap stuff has not been through as sophisticated a distillation process which is responsible for removing congeners.
Carbonated beverages speed up the rate at which alcohol enters the bloodstream; if you’re being good and drinking soft drinks in between alcoholic ones (well done, hats off to you), just make sure they aren’t fizzy! Another annoying piece of advice is to not mix drinks, we’ve all heard this one, and probably proved it to ourselves, but scientifically it is true. Damn proof! Mixing drinks makes it harder for the body to recognise each individual alcohol and it is therefore slower in metabolising each one. It’s a bummer, and a bore, but perhaps something to bear in mind if you want to go out and look deceptively fresh faced for the boss the next day.
At the end of the night
Have breakfast in bed. And no I don’t mean bunking work in the morning, do this when you get in at the end of your night. A couple of slices of toast will sort out your blood sugar levels. You know that shaky feeling you sometimes get? This is caused by a lack of sugar and toast will help prevent it. Team this with a nice glass of orange juice, the vitamin C will speed up the liver metabolising the alcohol. Grab a banana too, this contains potassium which regulates water levels. Some people swear by rehydration tablets (often used for diarrhoea), take one before bed, or in the morning if you’re still feeling rough. And of course, try to remember to drink water before the inevitable passing out.
In the morning, if you’re still struggling, swap coffee for coconut water. Coffee, like alcohol, is a diuretic, whereas coconut water contains potassium and electrolytes which rehydrate you much more effectively than regular water.
So good luck party people! You’ll be spritely for work and your boss will never know, apart from the left over face paint…