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It's that time of year again.
The time of year when websites far & wide gather together in solidarity to take part in the time-honored tradition of posting Holiday Hangover cures.
And not a moment too soon.
If you're like me, the stress of the holidays, combined with the outpouring of good emotion when getting together with loved ones and friends during the season, invariably leads to some drinking.
Rather than contribute to the cornucopia of hangover advice that will inundate your throbbing skulls this holiday season, I thought that I'd run through some examples of the sage advice and let you know what works - and what doesn't work - for the Dude's hangovers. This is based solely on my own experience, and is not intended as a warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. Your mileage, as they say, my vary...
Let us take a list from the self-help site Lifehackery.com, from their post 9 Ways to Deal With a Hangover. For the purpose of making my post more humorous, I've combined and condensed the list into 7 methods, and added my own two to start. So we're back to nine hangover-related items, just not the same nine as on Lifehackery.com though all nine from Lifehackery.com are actually included. Got it? No? Crap. Oh well, let's get started anyway.
9 Methods for Dealing with a Hangover - What Works, and What FAILS
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is really and truly only one surefire way to prevent a hangover, and that is to Abstain from drinking alcohol, or at least to drink in moderation. If you're like me, this may start out as a well-intentioned option during the holidays, but the road to Hangover Hell is paved with the puke of the well-intentioned holiday party-goer...
Dude's experience: RECOMMENDED (but unlikely).
Most hangover symptoms are caused by dehydration. So, logically, drinking oodles of water to hydrate yourself when drinking alcohol will, in theory, help to prevent your hangover. This is really only effective when combined with a) relatively moderate consumption (of the booze, not the water) and b) maintaining adequate mental capacity to remember to drink oodles of water while you're drinking your oodles of wine. Whoops!
Dude's experience: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
- Sports Drinks & Fruit
Fast-forward to the dreaded morning after your revelry. The theory behind these suggestions is that they a) help to hydrate you more quickly than water alone, and b) contain Vitamin C, both of which may help to decrease the length and amplitude of your hangover pain curve.
The problem is that they also typically contain a relatively high acidic content - good luck keeping that down when you're nursing a fragile hangover stomach.
Dude's experience: NOT RECOMMENDED
Sure, sleep will help, and it has the added benefit of delaying a possible awkward meetup with the person that hooked up with the previous evening. You're just not likely to get enough of it. Personally, I find it very, very difficult to sleep once the alcohol starts to leave my system (note: additional alcohol intake to promote further sleep is NOT recommended here).
You might feel better when you yak, but when I toss the cookies, it lays me out and I'm useless for the next 30 hours or so. Not everyone feels better when they puke - some people actually feel worse.
Dude's experience: USE CAUTION
- Swim / Cold Shower Hmm... uhmmm.... riiiiight. I suppose that hypothermic shock would make you forget about your hangover for awhile. This so-called advice feels more like the prank of sick and twisted miscreant. Bottom line is that if someone recommended this "remedy" to me, and I was insane enough to actually try it, once I recovered I would hunt that person down and kick the living crap out of them.
Dude's experience: NFW. EPIC, EPIC FAIL!
- Sweat / Urinate
People, this works. First, you need to ensure that you get water into your lame hungover self pronto after waking up. More water will help you flush out the nasty stuff in your system (like ethanol!) that is fueling your hangover. Additionally, moderate exercise (don't overdo it there, Hercules!) can help get you moving, get your blood flowing, and get your sweat carrying off some of that nasty stuff as well. Just don't forget the water!
Dude's experience: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
- Hot & Spicy Food
You need to be careful with this one, but I've found that it does, indeed, help to mitigate the effects of a hangover. Hot food - in terms of temperature and spice, will promote sweating, which will help to flush out your system. Go for a hot & spicy soup for bonus points, since that combo will also help to rehydrate you.
Dude's experience: RECOMMENDED (just not first thing the monring!)
- Baking Soda
Apparently, mixing Baking Soda with water and drinking it is purported to help ease a hangover. I've got no idea if the science behind this is sound - or even if there is any science behind it. I just know that baking soda seems like something I would NOT want to be tasting when I'm nauseous.
Dude's experience: UNTESTED (but NOT recommended)
Magnesium is a migraine treatment, and therefore consuming foods high in magnesium might help to mitigate your hangover headache (assuming you're not too nauseous to eat, that is). Veggies, nuts, and some teas are good sources. I haven't tried this one myself, but I like veggies, nuts, and tea so I'm going to go ahead and recommend it - at least it's good for your diet if not your hangover!
Dude's experience: RECOMMENDED
(images: 1WineDude.com, joemonster.org, sororitysecrets.com)