Today: Apr 21, 2024

Hangovers 101: Handling that headache


The Hangover
We hope your hangovers don't involve missing teeth and tigers.


For my birthday, one of my aunts got me a hand-painted drinking glass that says “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” The glass also has a beer mug, a palm tree and a clock painted on. Of course, this is a reference to Jimmy Buffet’s song “Margaritaville.” Let’s be honest, this is a great motto to live by, especially as a college student, and chances are you’ve probably suffered from a hangover at least once in your life. Hangovers come at all different levels, from a mild headache to waking up practically disoriented. But how do you deal with them? Never fear, the hangover honey is here.

Get Wild With Water

I swear, water is one of the best things you can do for your body, and it doesn’t have any calories either! It also comes in handy when you’re drinking. This may sound like an annoyance, but if you’re spending the night drinking, try to have a least a couple of glasses of water in between alcoholic beverages. Alcohol actually dehydrates your body, and you want to stay hydrated. This is especially true in the summer when it’s warmer and you’re more likely to sweat. If you drink more water, chances are you’re going to have to urinate more, unless you have a diesel bladder. But drink water anyway. You can even try a water-chugging contest with your friends. Or not, but I thought it was a good idea: you won’t have to worry about your clothes smelling like beer later on.

The morning after a night of drinking should be all about water too—not just to wash down your pain killers. You need to give your liver a break once in a while, even if it’s only in the a.m. Drinking water instead of alcohol once in a while is also good for your overall health because you won’t be consuming as many calories as you potentially could. People like Jelly Bellies, not beer bellies.

Polly Want Junk Food?

When I’m hungover, just the thought of food makes me feel like I’m going to get sick. However, it’s generally a good idea to get something in your body. I would suggest dry toast—that way you aren’t eating anything that will upset your stomach. However, some people prefer junk food the next day. If your stomach requires grease to soak up the booze and you can smell something greasy without wanting to throw up all 20 bottles of beer, be my guest! Take that drive to McDonald’s and get that order of large fries. If chips are more your style, go for it! But if your stomach can’t handle it, don’t push your body either.

Jagged Little Pill
The morning after a night of drinking, you may wake up to find yourself in your best friend’s boyfriend’s bed, or you may find your head throbbing. Most of us hope for the latter of the two, since this is typically an easier fix. If your head feels like the size of a balloon, look to Advil, Tylenol or Ibuprofen. I always try to carry Ibuprofen on me, just like I always carry Bert’s Bees. Trust me, both of them come in handy on a regular basis.

A lot of times a label will recommend taking two pain killers at one time, but if your hangover is super bad, try taking three or four. Now don’t go popping pills like they’re Smarties— you don’t want to overdose. And when you’re taking these pills, take them with water, not that stale, warm Bud Light that’s been sitting out for at least a handful of hours.

Tricks are for Drunks
I’m sure we’ve all heard of tricks to deal with hangovers, and the person will swear it works. Last year one of my classmates said after drinking she would have a few crackers before going to bed so she would have something in her stomach, and she wouldn’t wake up the next day with a hangover. Then there’s one of my friends whose hangover cure is a Tropicana coolata from Dunkin’. I’ve also (oddly) heard eating a banana when you’re hungover works as well. The most recent hangover I’ve had, I found myself eating strawberry and chocolate ice cream. It didn’t make my headache go away, but it did make me feel slightly better. I’m sure there are plenty of tricks out there drunks around the world use, so the possibilities are virtually endless. But it wouldn’t hurt to try (the word is, the bananas work)!

Disguise the Dreaded Hangover
If you want to completely avoid the possibility of having a hangover, I have the perfect solution: when you go out, order a non-alcoholic beer. Whether you’re laughing or rolling your eyes at this suggestion, I figured it was worth a shot. Chances are you’re going to drink anyway, which is OK. But when you drink on a school night, at least try to cover up your drinking the next day. My favorite option is sunglasses. If you’re a girl, there’s a decent chance you’re not going to bother with make-up; sunglasses hide those bloodshot eyes and dark circles.

Let’s not forget the process of just waking up, which can certainly be a challenge. I suggest setting extra times for your alarm to go off. That way, in case you don’t hear the first alarm, there’s another one or two (or five) alarms to help get you up. We all know waking up can be especially difficult if you have an early class and had a late night, so you’d rather be safe than sorry. Mouthwash may also be a good idea, particularly if you still smell like whiskey or beer. Last, but certainly not least, let’s not forget about comfortable pants and a hoodie. Let’s be honest, when you’re hungover, comfort comes first and you couldn’t care less about how you look.

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