Monday Morning Hangover: The Race For The Cure
This is the first installment of a, hopefully, weekly series involving tips and tricks surrounding drinking and drinking’s aftereffects. I say hopefully because I only have about six weeks of material right now…
It’s Monday morning, and like most other Monday mornings, this morning finds me hungover from a drinking event with my fellow J Street-ers while watching my fantasy team AND the Cowboys go down the shitter. While I’m not in the state I was on NFL opening weekend (literally did not remember the end of the Cowboys-Redskins game until my Philly-fan friend decided to make me suffer), I am in hangover hell. To make matters worse, I’m sitting at my desk in a windowless, florescent-lit room that I call “cube-ville”. Perhaps you are in similar pain because the weekend is too short and D.C. now has too many good beers on tap – either way, read on as I delve into one of my desk drawers that I lovingly refer to as my Office Hangover Arsenal:
1) Start off popping some Advil gelcaps. According to my college roommate, Advil is better than Tylenol as Tylenol attacks your main allies in your war against the hangover, your kidneys and liver. Gelcaps release faster than the brown pills. I had a friend once take too many Tylenol; her doctor told her she should not drink for the rest of her life – we don’t want that.
2) Chew some Tums. This is purely optional step – I just usually pop Tums no matter what the problem is. However, it does seem to settle my stomach to the benefit of anyone within 20 ft of me…
3) Carbonated Water. I picked this one up on a trip abroad. The carbonation further settles your stomach and provides a little Coke-like fizz taste, but without the caffeine. At the same time, you’re getting high-quality H2O and look classy doing it. If I can’t find carbonated water, I grab a bottle of regular water and a Coke and skip the Gatorade and coffee.
4) Gatorade. There’s a reason you drink this during sports – it rehydrates you quickly and replenishes minerals. I usually only drink a small bottle of it since it has so much sugar in it.
5) Caffeine. I usually shoot for coffee and save the Coke for later in the day, especially if I’ve had a Gatorade. Caffeine tends to dehydrate you, so you don’t want to overdo it. That said, I usually do need something to make me at least appear awake. Also, watch out for even more complex sugar intake with the Coke.
Test the waters
6) Eat bread or something greasy. My favorite in Austin were these huge breakfast tacos stuffed with bacon, egg, roasted potatoes, sausage, cheese, dragon tears, etc; now, I’m more likely to devour pieces of toast. All of this will settle your stomach, create a balance between liquids and foods, and help soak up some of the remaining fluids. Or, it will just make you throw up whatever alcohol is left in your stomach – either way, we’re making progress.
7) Nuclear Option – Shot of whiskey. This last item in my Office Hangover Arsenal is only deployed in emergency situations (this is even after the can-I-just-go-home-sick-today thoughts have been dashed).
Things to keep in mind
1) Exercise and the outdoors are usually the best ways to defeat a hangover. Both are extremely hard to do when you’re having a mental discussion about whether it is worth it to get out of bed to close the blinds b/c it is too bright. (Some pansy is going to say something like “the best way to beat a hangover is to not drink too much in the first place.” I tell this person to go f*ck themselves.)
2) Don’t drink too many fluids at once. Chugging drinks is what got you hungover in the first place, but two wrongs don’t make a right. You really only want to have about 12 oz of each drink above and consume them over about an hour. I find my hangovers become worse after I pound big bottles of water and Gatorade.
What’s your way to beat hangovers? Any suggestions?