How to not get a hangover, how to cure one

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“You’re not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.” — Dean Martin

Almost all of us have been here at least once: laying in bed the morning after an amazing night, pondering some very important questions.

What happened last night?
Why is it that when I roll over, I can literally feel my brain move, too?
Why can’t I open my eyes in the light?

Not long after the self-interrogation, I begin reviewing the range of alcoholic beverages consumed the night before. I try to determine the culprit, and in so doing the nausea settles in. I run to the bathroom to clutch the toilet with all my might. And soon thereafter, the prayers begin. “God, I promise I will never drink again if you cure me of this hangover.” And without hearing His/Her response, with the silence and continued hangover, I know the answer must be along the lines of, “How many times are we going to have this conversation?”

To say I haven’t asked myself the same question over and over again would be a lie. As I mentioned last week, one of the worst parts about growing up is the lack of “bounce back” I have after drinking. And despite having to navigate post-grad “adulthood,” the goal is ultimately still the same: to get wasted.
Seeing as not drinking isn’t an option for many of us, I have started to gather a list of preventative measures and “remedies,” tactics if you will, against the war on hangovers. Many of these we’ve all heard before, but let’s get this cheat sheet in one place, shall we? (By the way, these are in no particular order.)

We could argue which is more important: prevention or recovery. But whoever won the argument about the chicken or the egg? No one, the answer is just eat chicken and eggs.

• Drink lots of water and electrolytes. Making sure you are hydrated before drinking will reduce the negative impact alcohol has on your water levels. Also, alternating your alcoholic beverages with water while drinking supposedly does the trick too. Personally, I just think it’s a distraction tactic to keep you from consuming more alcohol, but hey, it works either way I guess.

• Consume a large meal with carbs/fats/grease before drinking and before bed. This will line your stomach and delay alcohol absorption. Food for thought: the best fried chicken in Charlotte is at the Shell gas station at the corner of South and East. I know that sounds crazy, but seriously, you have to try it. And guess what? It’s open 24 hours!

• I’ve read quite a bit of articles, and one thing many agree on is the use of ibuprofen. Even before passing out, it’s supposed to help.

• Carefully choose which drinks you drink. We’ve all heard that mixing isn’t a good idea, especially when it comes to liquors. So choose wisely. I will say, however, I watched a Mythbusters show (with actual doctors mind you) and they said the mantra “Beer before liquor never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear” is a myth! What? That has always been my rule of thumb. I was doomed from the get go.
If the hangover has already hit, and you’re crawling around begging for answers ... or death ...

• Just sleep.

• Hydrate again. Drink lots of water, soda/coffee (for the caffeine), Gatorade/Pedialyte or coconut water. I’m not going to lie: Pedialyte and coconut water are both disgusting, but they may help you out in the long run. Also, ginger or mint tea are great for handling nausea.

• Take AlkaSeltzer. Apparently, it’s one of the oldest tried and true remedies. I called myself being an adult one day and tried it. Disgusting.

• Speaking of those chicken eggs everyone is arguing about, apparently consuming them can do quite some good in helping you get over a hangover. Something about the protein and amino acids will remove alcohol toxins? The best huevos rancheros are at Charlotte’s own Zada Jane's Corner Cafe in Plaza Midwood. Not to mention, many places actually name their versions of huevos rancheros “The Hangover Cure.” If you can’t manage? Bread, bread and more bread.

• Last but not least, you could keep drinking? I know it sounds insane, but I tried it not too long ago, and it worked! I’m not even a fan of Bloody Marys, but the one at Tupelo Honey is amazing. Three words: It. Has. Bacon.

My own favorite hangover cures are a Chipotle bowl with HOT salsa or California roll with a slice of jalapeno. Maybe it’s the spice that settles my stomach?

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