We’ve all been there: the pounding headache, the slight queasiness the unrelenting brightness of any and all lights. Yup, congrats, it’s a hangover.
There are quite a few hangover remedies floating around the Internet: Sprite, chugging water and the ever-popular solution, a few Bloody Marys around brunchtime.
It can be hard to figure out what will work and what’s a sham.
Dr. Colin McLeod, a naturopathic doctor in Upper Tantallon whose practice encompasses natural, traditional remedies and modern research-based medicine, says one remedy is obvious.
“Although it might not be the most sexy answer,” he says, the key is “trying to control the amount you’re taking in, and preventing the hangover from happening in the first place.”
McLeod recommends the classic “one water for each drink” strategy, and sticking to one kind of drink.
McLeod doubts some of the research and theories surrounding hangover cures, and says it’s a grey area.
A recent Chinese study tested the effectiveness of Korean ginseng and red ginseng, two roots with medicinal effects. They were found to help alleviate the pain of a hangover.
“That is something that has a positive effect,” McLeod says.
“But other than that, there’s not really a lot.”
Chris Baldwin, a fourth year early modern studies and history student at Dal, usually fills his stomach with soda crackers the night before.
Food helps to break down alcohol, and makes the morning a little bit better.
“Blue Gatorade is key,” he adds. “It gets the electrolytes going.”
Some “remedies” make a hangover victim feel worse.
Caffeine is a big culprit. Caffeine dehydrates and to come out on top in the hangover game, hydration is key.
“One of the big reasons you feel sick when you’re hungover is dehydration,” McLeod says. “The caffeine adds onto that.”
A potentially dangerous combination after a night of drinking is Tylenol.
The pain reliever is the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S., and can wreak havoc on the liver when combined with alcohol, even in relatively small doses.
Ibuprofen, however, doesn’t have the same effect.
In terms of recovery, McLeod had a few other tips.
He recommends “a little bit of light exercise” and a trip to the gym. In the world of hangovers, feeling sorry for yourself only makes it worse.
Laziness isn’t all that bad.
Mike Tucker, a third year contemporary studies major at King’s, usually lies in bed and makes a large breakfast.
“Usually, I make two eggs, some toast with cheese, and I curl up on the couch next to a bottle of Gatorade.”
Tucker also says that Gatorade is “God’s elixir.”
For those with the money and time to spare, intravenous hydration, under the care of a doctor, is also an option.
Intravenous hydration injects fluids directly into the veins, and although McLeod has never treated a hung over patient in his practice, he has used the method on people who were feeling under the weather.
In Las Vegas a private company, Hangover Heaven, treats those who can afford it to a private spa room, vitamins and an IV full of fluid.
Most of us, though, pay for debauchery by waiting for a hangover to run its course.
Well, cheers to that.