How to (really) Cure your Hangover
The first Jam session of the academic year is tomorrow, and as always, it’s a very welcome opportunity to get (how to put this...) smashed on cheap booze with your fellow UCG students. Now before you look down your beer bottle a bit too far, I want to give you some tips on how to not die the next morning, when you have to wake up for that 9 AM class. Let me start by saying: there is no magic vegetable, leaf or mixture you can consume to instantly be cured. If you went too far, you will pay for it.
So how exactly do you alleviate the painful experience of having a hangover, or, as us Germans call it, “einen Kater haben”—which literally means “to have a male cat”. First of all, alcoholics as we Germans are, we like to have a “Konter Bier” the next morning, meaning to drink more alcohol, in an attempt to fight the hangover. I believe the Brits like to call it “Hair of the dog”. This might work if you are at a festival, but maybe, just maybe, that is not the best thing to do if you have a class in the morning.
Amongst the things you should also avoid is (I am so sorry to tell you this): coffee! As you probably know, the reason your head is banging and your body aching is the dehydration caused by all the alcohol you drank. Coffee is just gonna make you feel worse, as tempting as that caffeine rush might seem. Besides dehydration, the causes for your discomfort are vitamin loss, low blood sugar, and sleep deprivation. Some factors that might also affect the degree of your unwellness are the type of alcohol you drink, your age and your genetics.
By the way, if you are one of the people who just don’t get hangovers (I see you, Sush), screw you, lucky bastard. But back to the remedies. I know, I know, this is an obvious one, but as an ‘experienced second-year’ (= being at UCG 13 months) I feel obliged to tell you anyway: just drink your goddamn water. And do it before the night ends. After every alcoholic drink, try to get a glass of water, juice, Ice Tea, or anything to hydrate your poor young bodies. You will thank yourself the next day. If you don't wanna pay for a non-alcoholic drink, just go to the bathroom and drink out of the tap, which (lucky us) is some of the best tap water in the world.
Next step: get enough sleep! I know I sound like your mom but there will always be another party and another weekend. If you are tired, just go to sleep. You don’t always have to be the last person in the club/bar/house party (I see you, Sush, oh no wait). Ultimately, only time can truly save you, as it takes 8 to 24 hours for the symptoms to disappear. And the best way to spend those miserable hours of hangovernism is with your eyes closed. Please don’t be like me last year and show up to every single Friday class looking (and smelling) like a hobo,
or drunk. For your own sake and that of the people around you, you should probably shower and wash off that gross alcohol sweat.
Take the time to eat a healthy breakfast. No, Nutella and toast do not count as nutritional. Your body is completely washed out of vitamins and nutrients, so you gotta eat your fruits kids. While we are talking about nutrition, I heard exercise should also help, but I totally understand; I don’t even work out when I’m fine, how the hell should I do this when I am feeling like a horde of rhinos just tap-danced over my head?
Now, for the more gullible drinkers out there, I have some cures that belong more in the pseudoscience category: Coca-Cola (editor’s note: this one actually works. Get an ice-cold 330 ml can), Kombucha (that fermented hipster tea drink thingy), asparagus, artichokes, ginger, tomato juice, pickle water (I’m dead serious), coconut water and honey.
I’ll leave that for the lab rats out there to try. Keep us posted. For the rest of us: follow the above tips and you’ll be good (we’re not liable though).
Worst case you can always pop an ibuprofen or three. Happy drinking, and stay hydrated.
See you on Thursday,
PS Do you have something to say? We thought so. Join the Extended /SLASH/ group chat and become a contributor!