We all know the saying about a pound of prevention, but sometimes no matter how hard we try, or what we tell ourselves is the plan for the evening, we fail to limit our wine consumption, and we suffer for it. It’s easily forgotten, the previous time this happened when we all but tore the porcelain god out of the floor as we wretched and tried to keep the bag of ice on our throbbing head. We all have paid the enormous price of the dreaded hangover, and always profess that we will never subject our body to another. Right!
This badly needed article can be a lifesaver in times of massive trauma, and with some knowledge can actually help you prepare for the next hangover, or keep you from having one. There are precautions that will help, some that you have probably heard before. The trouble with many of us is that we can’t or don’t always have the ability to forecast a hangover, or we attend a party with the intent not to drink at all, but do.
Unless you have lived under a rock your entire life, you have heard that you should always eat before consuming any kind of alcohol. Food in your stomach will help absorb the alcohol and you will be less likely to have a serious hangover. Just like preparing for a long distance run, a plate of pasta and or bread will help prevent that morning of hell. The next advice is also of scientific discovery, and many drinkers swear by it, water. Putting alcohol on your skin will dehydrate it and dry it out. It will do the same thing to your insides, it will dehydrate you, and that is where the headache comes from that makes it impossible to pick your head up from the floor in the morning. The best method is for every glass of wine you drink, down a glass of water right after it. Chances are your morning after will make you a believer.
So you arrive at the social function, unprepared for the night of multiple bottles of wine being opened. Finding some food and water is usually never a problem, so you now have that going for you. Next it’s necessary to know about wines and their effect on different people, and which ones will be more apt to affect you tomorrow. Different people are affected differently by different wines. Red wines seem to have a greater “headache rating” than do most whites and that is because of a chemical called “congeners”. These congeners are actually a byproduct of the fermentation process. There are also people sensitive to sulfites which they seem to eliminate when drinking organic wines that don’t use sulfites.
Well, you didn’t plan on drinking that much wine, but you did. You barely make it into the house (from the Taxi of course), and upstairs to the master bedroom where you realize you are in trouble again tonight, as well as in the morning. What do you do to prevent the end of the world in the morning?
The first thing that you should do is drink plenty of water before going to bed to help re- hydrate your body. You also may want to take aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen with that water, and again in the morning as soon as you wake up, or try to. You usually can at least get one eye partially open to find the pill container and glass of water on your night strand. Of course, raising your head off the pillow enough to drink the water can be a challenge. Please be aware that prescription pain meds as well as over the counter drugs aren’t always suggested and can cause more problems than good, and never take Tylenol. Maybe next time you visit you MD, ask.
Curing a Wine Hangover
The plain horrible truth is there isn’t any cure for a hangover. If there is any “magic” answer, the only one guaranteed is to avoid drinking alcohol, and you will avoid the hangover. You can lessen the affects by doing what was suggested previously in this article. You can also limit the amount of wine you consume, or stay away from red wine if you know that it is a problem for you. Another not scientific approach and one used when drinking hard liquor is to only drink the best of the best. Most wine indulgers find that they have less morning after problems when they drink really good and expensive wines, however maybe that’s because they open less bottles?
Some do’s and don’ts that you should pay attention to. Try to avoid drinking coffee, which we have always heard is the thing to do to “wake you up”. Caffeine is a diuretic and will compound the effects of the alcohol, and probably intensify your headache in the morning. Try eating a banana, as it will assist in the processing of the alcohol as well as ad potassium to replace what you have lost drinking. Along the same lines as drinking plenty of water, try drinking a sports drink containing electrolytes. And most importantly for those suffering from a hangover, stay in bed and get as much sleep as you can. Your body has been put through a wringer and will require some kindness.
Two more things to always avoid, is anything with a label stating it is “guaranteed to cure a hangover”, or one that says it will “prevent a hangover”. Another is any suggestion from a “friend” that all you need is the “Hair of the Dog”! Big mistake there my friend. Although it may seem to make you feel better, all it really is doing is prolonging the inevitable headache or even intensifying it. Luckily, most people who find themselves in this situation, are on the bathroom floor, and will be unable to make it to the wine cellar for another bottle of wine. In fact, the very thought of it will probably cause a violent reaction.
One last “cure” for the hangover that although not proven scientifically, is one that I would never say don’t try, is sex. Yes, the cure for many other ailments has been suggested by some as the ultimate cure. As stated by Joris C. Verster, PhD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, “There is no research that shows that sex will make a hangover go away, but maybe it will make the time go faster”. In hindsight, maybe the cure for the wine hangover is Cialis?