For every nationality there seems to be a different, traditional cure.
The Irish recommend getting buried to the neck with moist river sand. The Polish prefer to drink pickle juice. Burnt toast, vitamins, ginger, prickly pear cactus and a slew of weird-sounding homeopathic supplements are recommended as cures by many sources, but the real question is: What really works?
Advice from the American Indians and Africans could give clues about more natural options. The American Indians recommend eating almonds before drinking. And an African prevention technique is to eat a spoonful of peanut butter. Peanuts and almonds have different ratios of unsaturated to saturated fat, so in order to see if either of them work, it is probably best to try both remedies at the same time.
Eating peanut butter and almonds before a night of drinking didn’t prove to be successful. The hangover still showed up. Sticking to the natural remedies, eating an apple and a banana, seemed to be the next best step to take. The banana didn’t do much at all. The apple was refreshing, but didn’t exactly cure the hangover. Juice and coffee were needed to bring the body back up to a comfortable, functioning level.
On the opposite side of the spectrum from natural remedies are the so-called “hangover cures”. One such cure is Chaser. Chaser promises “clinically proven” freedom from hangovers. The pills come with instructions to take two pills initially and then another pill every three to six hours, or every five to six drinks. It also recommends drinking water or sports drinks while drinking.
Chaser did provide some morning hangover relief, but it was still present. The mildness of the symptoms is likely to have come from the water that was drank in order to take the pills – in addition to the recommended sports drink on the side – as well as the pills themselves.
Matthew Taucher, a senior economics major, said he doesn’t take the pills, but vouches for the sports drink.
Taucher said he takes a Pedialyte that he drinks before bed and takes two Advil liquid gels in the morning.
Pedialyte is full of electrolytes just like Gatorade and Powerade.
Somewhere in between natural remedies and pre-packaged pills is the road that many college kids may take for hangover relief. This could involve a combination of Emergen-C, greasy food and, when necessary, a hair of the dog that bit you (drinking more in the morning).
Chad Lewis, a recent CU graduate, said he uses Emergen-C.
“Emergen-C is the end-all, be-all cure of hangovers,” Lewis said. “Unless you drink a gallon of water before bed, Emergen-C is your next best bet…”
Greasy food helps to slow the absorption of alcohol into the system. Because it slows down the rate of absorption, the body has more time to fight off the harmful effects of John Barleycorn.
This explains how greasy foods makes sense to eat the night before, but there is some relief to be had in a good, old-fashioned greasy diner breakfast of bacon, eggs and hash-browns. Eggs have an enzyme that helps the liver fight off acetaldehyde, a powerful toxin that is more toxic than the alcohol itself.
Alcohol is a diuretic. It sends liquid directly to the bladder, which does not give it any time to get absorbed into the system – this is why the rate of urination increases with drinking.
Bill LaHaye, a lab technician at Wardenburg, said this means the body is in need of water after a good night of drinking.
“A lot of a hangover is dehydration,” LaHaye said. “Alcohol dehydrates you badly.”
LaHaye said he recommends, “before you go to sleep, drink about sixteen ounces of water and take a couple of aspirin.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Seth Gitner at Seth.email@example.com.