Your eyes burn, your head pounds and your tongue feels like a cheap shag rug. It even looks like a cheap shag rug – orange and furry. The color clashes with the red streaks in your eyes. As soon as your eyes focus, you’ll check the obituaries to see if you’re dead. No such luck. You’re only hungover.
There’s no cure for a hangover (you didn’t want to hear that, did you?), but you can feel a little better.
Drunks, doctors, bartenders and other experts helped with this:
• Aren’t you sorry you asked. How long does it take to recover from a hangover? It takes one hour per ounce to get rid of the alcohol you drank.
• Some people take charcoal capsules the next morning. Charcoal is supposed to absorb some of the poisons – and you have poisoned yourself. Some like Vitamin B complexes or Vitamin C.
• A jigger of Pepto-Bismol laced with Coke syrup can help cure a hangover. If you can’t crawl to the drugstore for Coke syrup, try flat Coke from the night before. (Check cans for cigarette butts first)
• Open a can of peaches or any syrupy fruit and drink the juice. It’s quicker and simpler than Pepto-Bismol and Coke syrup.
• Water works. Drink a lot of water and take two or three aspirins when you go to bed. Then, when you get up in the morning, you should drink more water and take more aspirin. This home remedy for curing a hangover works fine, except for those people who are sensitive to aspirin. Then it can irritate the lining of the stomach.
Downing 16 ounces or so of water before bed helps restore lost fluids and cuts the hangover. Sure, you may spend all night jogging to the John, but you need the exercise. There are 120 to 250 calories in a glass of wine and 180 in a mixed drink.
• Move it. Doctors who recommend you work out aren’t being sadistic. There’s evidence that exercise helps. Try it. You can’t feel any worse.
• Hair of the dog. There’s a reason why a bloody Mary makes you feel better. A morning-after drink can make more gradual the sudden change in your body’s alcohol level that left you feeling so pulverized. The trick is to know when to stop. Otherwise, you will have worse problems.
• Some people pop aspirin before a party, to zap the headache before it starts. Don’t do it. Aspirin may make alcohol more potent. Aspirin interacts with even a small amount of alcohol – you can get sloshed on a glass and a half of wine.
• Science backs the ancient bar lore that pure drinks cause the lightest headaches. Congeners – substances that give booze its aroma and flavor – may also put extra kick in hangovers. Of course, if you really tied one on, this is the difference between a flea and a louse.
• But here are the lousiest: The darker the color, the worse the hangover. Vodka and gin are the clearest. Bourbon packs a real wallop. Red wine may have more hangover-causing agents than white. Champagne, because of its peculiar chemical makeup, may give you the worst hangover of all.
Whether it’s aspirin, bananas, orange juice, bed rest or a combination of those and other things, everyone seems to have a favorite way to cure a hangover. The best way to avoid hangover is to drink modestly or not at all. But failing that, the aforementioned ways to cure a hangover may help lessen the symptoms.