We’ve all been in that situation where we have gone out for a “quiet” drink and then many hours later you wake up to what feels like hundreds of little men kicking our brain and doing the backstroke in our stomach. The hangover is the curse of any night on the turps and one that grows with intensity and duration as you age.
At the beginning of the night, we lie to ourselves and say “I'll come out for one drink” so too in the morning we lie to ourselves and say “I'm never drinking again”. While we don’t condone the irresponsible consumption of alcohol there are some instances where getting a bit carried away is unavoidable. As a result, we thought we’d whip up a list of hangover cures that won’t make you feel 100% but will help you get through the day that little bit easier.
A Bloody Mary is one of those drinks that most will resort to on a Sunday morning/early afternoon after a big night out. While I’m not a vodka drinker nor am I a fan of tomato juice but there is something in the chemistry of a good bloody mary that makes you feel a lot better about your station in life.
A great Sydney bartender once told me that if you have 6 shots of Fernet Branca in your life you will go from hating the vile black liquid to loving it. I didn’t believe him until over the weeks he had bought me my 6th during his round of shots. He was right, I love it.
Fernet is an Italian herbal based digestive spirit that is either served before a meal as an aperitif, or after a meal as a digestif. While the initial taste is reminiscent of some old world medicine or a crappy toothpaste or a toilet cleaner depending on people's past experience, the effects of this miracle liquid are quite amazing. I don’t know the science behind the stuff but if you have a stomach ache, in a few minutes post shot your knots will be untied. While ferent won’t cure a headache it will fix your stomach up quick smart.
Now any drink with the word sweat in the name sounds like something you should avoid, but I’ll tell you gents, the beautiful elixir that is Pocari Sweat has sorted me out many a time. Pocari Sweat or “liquid Jesus” as I call it is a Japanese sports drink/ion supply drink. It has a mild grapefruit taste and is packed full of salt which is good because you lost a heap of it the previous night.
For me, this is a better alternative to Powerade or Gatorade but is a little harder to find, so when you do find it buy a carton. You can find this bastion of mental restoration at most Asian grocery stores, this coupled with a packet of pokki (pretzel like biscuit sticks covered in chocolate) before you crawl back into bed will make you feel a million times better.
Action & Adventure films
A great adventure film does something to the mind of someone suffering from alcoholic PTSD. There is something magical about laying in bed all rugged up nursing last night's wounds watching something like “Big Trouble in Little China” or the “The Temple of Doom” or even a Nick Cage flick like “ Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. Your brain obviously isn’t working the best so watching and action movie won't stress your brain out too much.
An important note is to watch a popcorn action movie, not a 3-hour war drama, it’s not about the violence it's about switching off. I remember coming down from my girlfriend's bedroom one day and seeing her housemate watching “Band of Brothers” in the living room on the back end of the big night, he was crying and shaking...he was obviously watching the wrong kind of action movie. Another good tip is to watch something that has a sequel or is part of a trilogy, this will make it a whole lot easier to pick the next movie, and this is important because hangover decision making is horrible.
Hair of the Dog
Everyone has heard the expression “The hair of the dog” and while we know that it means drinking alcohol the next day during a hangover, the origin come from a belief that if you consume the hair of a dog that bit you would be cured of rabies. For the most part, this method works (the drinking bit not the dog bit) in prolonging the effects of the hangover rather than curing it. The way in which this works is all to do with how methanol is metabolised, it is methanol which is linked to how severe the hangover and when you consume more alcohol your body processes ethanol instead, which is more favourable for a hangover.
Ramen or Pho
When it comes to digesting things after a big night out it can be very difficult, but the need to replace the lost salt, protein, fat and restore energy is imperative for returning oneself to a seemingly functional member of the community. The best way I know how to do this is with Asian noodle soups.
A Japanese Ramen or a Vietnamese Pho is a big bowl of liquid protein that doesn't involve a lot of energy to consume, the serving sizes are always large so you can replace a lot of the lost fluids, there is a little bit of veg to replace some lost vitamins and if you are like me and like a lot of chilly this hot broth will help you sweat out all the toxins and last night's shenanigans.
This seems like an obvious one but the main cause of hangovers is dehydration. Prevention is better than the cure, so maybe have a glass of water between drinks to stop yourself from having a romper headache the next day. And fellas having a beer in between whiskeys does not count as hydration, you need some pure H2O for the water to work. Having a litre of water before you go to bed is also a good step if you have forgotten to drink throughout the night.
If you're going to flog out of an evening we advise you to take care and take some steps so that your next day/days aren’t so devastating of an experience. However if you have already done the damage hopefully these tips might help you on your road to recovery.
If you have any other hangover cures we’d love to hear them, shoot us a comment below.
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Author: Kareem Ghaly
Editory: Ben De Campo
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