The Prairie Oyster
The Best Ways to Beat a Hangover
“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” ~ Frank Sinatra
Once, there was a time when the gods convened to give man the ability to drink without recourse. Typically around college, kids seem to have the ability to drink shot after terrible shot, raise Cain deep into the night, and then wake up early-ish the next and run a marathon.
There were times even during my college days, we could throw a party one night and play a doubleheader the next day. In fact, my college first baseman played better with a hangover, although no scientist could ever prove it.
Today, however, hangovers are a thing. They creep up on you. One day you are sipping gin and tonics on the golf course with your buddies, the next, you wonder if you contracted some sort of virus. Then, slowly but surely, every night outcomes with a morning in. Drinking is a chore, and you must weigh the consequences.
The gods have rescinded their offer, and you are mortal once again.
Luckily, man has been trying to figure out ways to fight off the too much of a good thing for generations, and that rough concoction of pity and remorse can be stayed off. While Cowboy Bebop’s Jet recommended something called a Prairie Oyster and drinkers, the world around has been crying “Hair of the Dog” for centuries. There are better options to beat a hangover.
“Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.” ~ Winston Churchill
This recommendation has to come before every tip on drinking. Alcohol is one of the pleasures of life, but like most vices, it is a poison. While wine and wormwood make the world go round, they also make it come crashing down.
As a bartender, you are a legal drug dealer to one of the most dangerous liquids on the planet. Hangovers are, in many ways, the price we pay for drinking. Drinking is a choice that elucidates some of the greatest moments we may never remember, but all choices come with consequences.
“The hard part about being a bartender is figuring out who is drunk and who is just stupid.” ~ Richard Braunstein
Drunks are no good for anyone except liquor stores and stock prices. Sure, in college, you may have been legendary for the amount of beer you could drink during flip cup, but you are just an accident waiting to happen in life.
Know when enough is enough. That sixth drink doesn’t make the second anymore effective.
Otherwise, remember the Porter:
“Drink sir, is a great provoker of three things… nose painting, sleep and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire but takes away the performance.” — Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Some night’s come as a surprise. Happy hour turns into shots, and there is no saving your soul. Drink water and pray.
On the other hand, most people plan a night out on the town, and therefore, we can plan for it.
Alcohol is a diuretic. It drains the body of liquid and vitamins. The best option is to play prevent defense and prepare your body for the night out. That is to say, drink plenty of water and take a multivitamin.
Or at least, that would have been the advice years ago. Today, we’ve pushed our abilities even farther, like some sort of mad Tony Stark. Like scientists, we’ve searched for the superhero serum and found plenty of options to fight back the demon.
First, opt for something like an Emergen-C pack. Yes, those little packs of cold cures are great for assisting your body in warding off that poison. Packed with electrolytes and B-vitamins, this Cold Cure is perfect for overloading your body with its nutrients. However, make sure to only take one, as this is not something meant to pound with every drink.
“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.” ~ Oscar Wilde
During the Game
Ever notice that athletes don’t drink sugary water during the game anymore? That’s because it serves no purpose but to slow your body down. Sure, you see the branding everywhere, but typically inside those cups is nothing but water.
If you’re boozing and you’ve got a big day tomorrow, opt for this same strategy. Drink at least a glass of water for every glass of booze. Is this going to help your buzz? Of course not. But it will keep you hydrated.
Another option is to stick with what is known as “The Bartender’s Cocktail” or vodka and club soda with some fruit. This is a drinker’s drink because it balances itself out. It doesn’t taste like much, but if you are worried about tomorrow, then this is your best choice.
If this stands at odds with your machismo, then ask yourself this question, “What professional athlete plays every down?” Tom Brady doesn’t throw every ball, nor does he play defense. Lebron James rests, hell Kwahi Leonard is on load management. Aaron Judge sits for half an inning.
“I drink to make other people more interesting.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Now comes the pivotal moment: recovery. Just like a post-workout shake is needed after the gym for maximum recovery, so too does your liver need a boost before bed.
Avoid painkillers. Aspirin and its kin are blood thinners; therefore, they will only add to the booze’s strength in your system.
Instead, hit the supplements. Something like Cheers is a great choice. In fact, anything with Milk Thistle is a great choice to help combat the night to come.
Magnesium and melatonin are great additions here as well. While the drink may help us to go to sleep, it does not help us stay asleep. Once the alcohol makes it into your bloodstream, it switches from a depressant to a stimulant, thus preventing REM.
Sleep deprivation is actually one of the big kickers in a hangover. So look to make as good a rest as you can. Keep out light and other distractions. Wear a mask and keep the room cold and dark.
The key is to stay hydrated. Opt for something with some extra kick: Gatorade, Pedialyte, Liquid I.V. Pedialyte has embraced their new market and created sippers specifically for this cause.
“The only way that I could figure they could improve upon Coca-Cola, one of life’s most delightful elixirs, which studies prove will heal the sick and occasionally raise the dead, is to put bourbon in it.” ~ Lewis Grizzard
The Morning After
The secret weapon. A friend of mine gave me this tip a long time ago and it has stood the test of time. Pope a couple of Midol to start the day. It helps fight the headache and the nausea, as well as a boost of caffiene that’s easier on your stomach than coffee.
This drink works wonders. Although lacking the drugs of Midol, the pair work great in tandum. Morning Recovery has Milk Thistle as well as electrolytes to help ease your way into the day. If there ever was a bio hack, this is one.
Essentially, this is Midol but in an Alka-Seltzer like form. Specifcally designed to help hangovers, this combines a little of the idea of Morning Recovery with the drugs of Midol; however, it doesn’t have the Milk Thistle or the DHM.
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
- Drink, Water, Repeat
- Cheers and Pedialyte
- Midol and Liquid I.V.
- Coffee, Bacon and Eggs (Optional)
Final Note: Your going to pee, a lot. Also, notice the additional amount of money you are spending to drink extra. Maybe, just maybe, drink for quality over quantity and spare both your liver and your waller. No? Well, I tried.