Monday, January 13, 2014

BREWniversity: The Hangover

No this is not going to be a movie review. Since everyone just finished with their New Year's Eve celebrations, I'm willing to bet there were a lot of people who woke up with the all too familiar pains of the hangover. Since this is a problem that affects beer drinkers, wine drinkers and your every day alcoholics all the same, I thought it might be important to show you some remedies to cure this most vile of self induced illness.

A hangover is anything from a nasty headache (normally caused by dehydration or constricted blood vessels due to alcohol), an upset stomach (because boozing causes your stomach to produce more acids) or even some crazy amount of disorientation and general foggy mindedness.

Before you drink: Make sure you have a solid base. This means eat something with plenty of carbs and protein. This is helpful in two ways. First off the prime cause of a hangover is the acetldehyde a toxic chemical the body filters out of booze. A big meal allows the body to absorb the toxins a little bit more slowly and at an even rate. That way the bad stuff doesn't hit you to hard. Secondly it gives you a good base that makes it so you can't pound beers too fast because your already a little bit full.

While you drink: Drink water while your drinking beer. A guy in my tasting group drinks a full glass of water for every glass of beer he puts down. Yeah sure, he pees every five minutes, but it forces him to pace how much alcohol he's drinking as well as keeps him hydrated. The more beer you drink, the more dehydrated you get. This leads you to start drinking brews faster and faster and even the most experience beer drinker can become a out of control freight train of fun.

Before you go to bed: Take a multivitamin and if your hangover normally has a belly ache along with it make sure you pop a few tums. Stay up a little bit longer, and maybe even do something to keep your metabolism going strong. This helps work the booze out of your system. Drunken sex, although sloppy, does a great job getting the blood flowing before you pass out. Doing this before you go to sleep helps mitigate the pain you'll feel in the morning.

When you wake up: HYDRATE! hydrate is the number one way to fight your hangover. Now most of you are saying, "no shit." Every freshman college student in the dorm knows this. What you may not know is to avoid coffee. Caffeine and other substances in coffee cause it to dehydrate you big time. Now while you think you're getting yourself back to normal all you're doing is continuing to dry your body out.  Coffee also irritates the stomach and can accent any queezy feelings you had before. Chemicals in alcohol make you seem hungrier than you actually are. What your body really needs is sugars, not necessarily food. Drink sugary juices with plenty of vitamins. Avoid fried or fatty foods... this is my favorite hangover cure but it really doesn't work. Trying to digest fats puts extra strain on your stomach and can make you feel sick longer. Fats may be a no no but salts are a must. Make sure you start replacing the salts in your body just like Olympic runners have to do. This makes energy drinks great for re-hydrating after a long bender.

So to hell with the science. Sometimes an old wives tale is better than modern medicine right? I decided to ask everyone to pass on their personal hangover remedies:

The Big Guy: My remedy has always been scrambled eggs with plenty of salt, on toast with a huge glass of juice. I'm also a big fan of tums and ibuprofen, some people avoid pills but I embrace modern medicine as much as possible.

The Little Lady: My remedy comes from my mother, who's a former nun so you know it has to be good. She and I both swear by cheeseburgers, super salty fries with extra ketchup, and the largest cola product you can find. I also add in a long shower to help jump-start the rehydration process.

El Duque: I don't usually get hungover, so when I do, it's pretty severe, so I have a multi-step process to kick my ass some more.

1.) Brunch: I know that fats only increase the amount of time a hangover lasts, but the delicious grease in a big brunch of salty eggs, bacon, and taters helps calm the tumultuous stomach.
2.) The Holy Trinity: Water, Coffee, Greyhound (vodka and grapefruit juice).  Some people like a Bloody Mary, but I like the sweetness of the juice to help with recovery and balance out the salty umami of my brunch.  Hair of the Dog doesn't really help, but the addition of fresh, unprocessed alcohol makes the liver switch to the easier breakdown of unprocessed alcohol and not its byproducts, so it gives me a small window to cram my body full of water and nutrients before the hangover comes back.
3.) Post Meal Recovery: Beer stein of cold water, coconut water if I have the gumption to get some, and a BCAA drink.

By the end of this now routine process, I have all the wonderful sugars, salts, proteins, and essential and non-essential amino acids to help my body recover from me poisoning it.

Guest Suggestions:

Beerdaddyblog: You can see all of his opinions at his blog, but he swears by Pedialyte in between beers. Its a unique way of double fisting.

Redheadedfilm: My film making brother, needs energy drinks and a nice long run. Getting electrolytes back into the body and then forcing oxygen into your muscles helps sweat out the toxins.

D_jermz: Menudo, mexican soup made with cow stomach,

Gsimonson01: Eat before you sleep. Then put a huge glass of water by your bed, and everytime you wake up to use the little boys room, take a drink of the water. Follow it all up with a big ass breakfast including a banana and coffee.

Mreyez1: Three Excedrin migraine or tension headache and a bottle of pedialyte, followed by a bomb ass burger and fries from Five Guys.

Marathondan: Nuun Hydration, I use it for running. It works equally well for hangover prevention / recovery. Also, a Hoosier classic, biscuits and gravy in the morning.

Jake from HBG: Arizona Sweet Tea


1 comment:

  1. great post andrew! totally agree with the dude who said 5 is awesome for many reasons. cheers!