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A lot’s been written about hangovers, but hell with it, it’s the day after St. Patrick’s Day, and we’re guessing a lot of you are desperate for suggestions. Here’s a quick rundown for those of you who have to be able to perform your daily affairs with something resembling dignity:
1. Sleep – If you were out until the wee hours and get up a couple of hours later feeling perfect, for the love of god, don’t be fooled: you’re still drunk. That feeling of optimism, that giddy high off of having an awesome night, that surprise that you look pretty well put together when you look at yourself in the mirror? All of those are just phantoms of your booze-addled brain. Go drink as much water as you can without making yourself sick, and just put yourself back in bed and reserve your energy for the inevitable doom awaiting you.
2. Sex – Speaks for itself, but be careful with this one. If you wake up next to someone that you really shouldn’t have slept with, follow-up sex will add to a general sense of doom later on in the day. If you wake up next to your girlfriend, wife, or especially accommodating friend, go for it. At the very least, it’ll reassure you that there’s someone out there who can still tolerate you after your drunken antics the night before.
3. Coffee – There’s a bit of controversy on this one, as caffeine can amplify that jittery, cracked-out feeling and the constant paranoia about what the hell it was you were saying on the phone to your ex at one in the morning. It does have three benefits, though: it’ll wake you up, you don’t have to add ‘caffeine withdrawal’ to your list of ailments, and oddly enough, it’ll protect your liver from damage.
4. Smoothies, supplements, etc. – One of the reasons you’re feeling like roadkill is because alcohol takes a lot more out of your system than just water. There’s a good chance you’re low on electrolytes, vitamin B6, even oxygen. To that end, try some Gatorade (good for electrolytes, although it might be a bit sugary), Kombucha (a kind of hippie tea that’s loaded with vitamin b-complexes), or just a straight up smoothie. The best hangover mixture we’ve tried is a mixture of honey, bananas, and brewer’s yeast.
5. Spicy food and the hair of the dog – Both of these go into the same category since they both do the same thing – put your hangover on pause. When you put more alcohol or some hot peppers into your system, you’re giving your liver something else to process for a little while. If you’re looking for a permanent fix, this isn’t it, but if you have a meeting to attend or need to look put together for a little while, these are decent options.
6. Greasy food – A bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich is your best friend. Eggs have cysteine, which has been proven to shorten hangovers, and greasy food in general helps settle your stomach. Perhaps the finest hangover sandwich ever created is the Reggie Deluxe (made famous by Portland’s Pine State Biscuits): Egg, cheese, fried chicken, bacon, and gravy on a biscuit… even Esquire and Oprah are down with it. If that's not an option, just about anything on the Waffle House menu will do.
Bonus tip: Keep a boozy sort of aftershave or cologne on hand for days like today – bay rum helps pretty handily in covering up that whiskey and old beer stench, at least from a few feet away.
So there you have it. Rather than flopping around making grandiose statements about never drinking again, try a couple of these, buck up, and get back to work.