Dealing With The Morning After

Jo McGarry
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Friday - December 30, 2005
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It did strike me as slightly ironic this week that I’m writing a column on whisky while thinking about one on hangover cures. New Year’s Eve has to be the one night of the year when people who don’t usually touch a drink have a glass or two of champagne, and those who enjoy a regular drink go way over the top. Only St. Patrick’s Day produces more hungover people - and at least on New Year’s Eve you have the next day to recover.

But prevention, as we all know, is better than cure, and anyone who’s ever tried to fix a hangover will likely be appreciative of a few preventative pointers.


Sounds silly, I know. You want to get out and get celebrating, and the beer and wine are in abundant supply, but eating as you drink is one of the easiest ways to stay ahead of the evening. An empty stomach and a couple of glasses of wine and you’ll be feeling no pain - until 4 in the morning when you wake up feeling lousy.

Drink Slowly.

Well, reasonably slowly. The liver metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about six ounces an hour, so if you can manage to slow down your imbibing, you’ll feel great on New Year’s Day.

Drink Water.

And not just right before you go to bed. Balancing a glass or two of water with every drink you have will almost always ensure that you wake up headache-free. Hangovers are all about dehydration - and while hydrating in a hurry before you go to sleep will help, drinking water alongside your wine is a surer way to stay in good shape.

Don’t Mix Drinks.

Or if you do, make sure that you get the order right. Ending the night with champagne might sound romantic, but it’s rarely a good idea. All those lovely bubbles should start your evening off - not end it. So champagne first, then wine and then, if you must, beer. Try it the other way around and you’ll feel horrible come morning. Here’s an easy way to remember for those who can’t stick to one type of drink: Beer after wine, you’ll feel fine. Wine after beer, you’ll feel queer.

And, no, please don’t ask how many times I’ve sat and chanted that with friends at 3 in the morning.

Eat a Banana.

Bananas have lots of sugar (useful in burning up residual alcohol )and a ton of potassium ( one of the things you lose while you’re drinking too much). They’re also a natural antacid (can help with nausea)and they are high in magnesium which can help to relax blood vessels (helping to relieve the pounding in your head).

Have a Bloody Mary. Tomatoes are just packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Gather as many as you can, add Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper and celery stick and blend them into the world’s favorite hangover cure.

Oh, and don’t forget the vodka.

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