Random Appetites: Hangover Cures


Ah, yes, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Had a little too much fun at a party or just a night with friends at home and you find yourself a little green around the gills the next day. I know I’ve been there, but thankfully it’s a rare visit.

Now, most of us know that the biggies that cause that icky morning-after feeling are dehydration and stomach acid (oh, wait, you didn’t? now you do). Which is why the guidelines for staying safe are to drink a glass of water for every cocktail or beer you consume and then an extra glass or two before you turn in for the night (morning). That (and a couple of aspirin or ibuprofen before bed) will do a lot to prevent that splitting headache and squinting at the light the next time your eyes open.

The other issue, the sour stomach of too much sugar sent down the pipe (again, alcohol is sugar, folks, all breaks down to the same carbs, carbs, carbs in the final equation), can be both more or less difficult to manage, depending on your point of view.

A lot of party-goers know that a stop by the local all-night drive through (or stumble-to, judging by my last such experience) will make one feel better. The reason this works is that the fat helps coat your stomach and protect it from some of that excess acid that gets churned up trying to deal with the excess sugars in your system. Plus the protein from a burger or chicken finger will give your body something else to work on in the interim.

When I was in culinary school the subject of drinking came up (go figure). You know why so many chef’s drink? It’s because you stare at food for hours and hours, late into the wee hours, and need to do something else when it’s all over (or to get through, depends on the chef); at least that was our chef’s position on the matter. As such, chef’s have a great wealth of ideas on how to get rid of (or prevent) a hangover. This was my favorite.

Hangover Sandwich

2 slices of good bread
Smoked salmon
Horseradish or mustard (optional)

Spread the butter on both sides of the bread and saute in a hot pan until golden, essentially making two large, French-style as opposed to salad style, croûtons. Spread some mayo on one side of each crouton and layer on the smoked salmon and bacon. You can add horseradish sauce or mustard to taste, it’s up to you, but the butter, salmon and bacon really are the key parts due to the fat and protein gains. Eat up!

I’ve never actually had to make use of that recipe, but it’s nice to know I’ve got it in reserve.

There other prevailing theory on hangover cures seems to revolve around the idea of “hair of the dog” in one way or another.

First off is just to get up and keep drinking. Not necessarily a lot, just enough to take the edge off; a good time for a Bloody Mary or Mimosa. Speaking of Bloody Mary’s, it occurs to me to wonder about adding more acid to an already roiling stomach. Aside from the nutrients and vitamins in the tomato juice (or o.j., for that matter), adding more acid is the hair of the dog, as well, just a different breed. But I still think water is the best thing to drink after a late night with one (or three) too many.

Another popular remedy that I hadn’t considered before is eating spicy food. Now, I don’t know about you but I’m not really down for Mexican or Thai when I’m feeling green, but some friends swear that the spices help to “sweat out” the toxins and speed the recovery process. I’ll leave that to them, frankly, and just try not to over-indulge in the first place.

* * *

The holidays are rapidly approaching and, with them, holiday parties galore. We here at Random Acts… support responsible behavior and knowing your own limits. Please be safe, designate a driver and all of that, and try to have the kind of fun that you’ll enjoy thinking about in the morning, not just wondering where you left your pants.

2 thoughts on “Random Appetites: Hangover Cures

  1. Pingback: Dog Tails » Random Appetites: Hangover Cures
  2. Ugh, I swear after every hangover that there will never be another one. But there it is, some new party and me looking for my pants in the morning.

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