Hangover help: Water, drinking in moderation best solutions
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 4:51 AM
Related story: High or dry? Staying sober for New Year’s Eve.
Hair of the dog.
Coffee and aspirin.
Sports drinks, crackers, greasy food.
Answers to "What cures a hangover?" vary widely, but two words pop up frequently: moderation and plain ol' prevention.
"Your mother, your priest and your doctor are all going to tell you that moderation is the key in not getting a hangover," Noah Bush said. "I think moderation should be used moderately."
Bush is the co-owner of Hodges Bend, a wine-coffee-cocktail spot set to open later next month at 823 E. Third St. He's also a Certified Specialist of Wine, a certified sommelier and a well-respected bartender around town.
All that to say, he's acquainted with hangovers, which are commonplace the first morning of each new year.
But is there really such a thing as a cure for them?
"The best advice I can give people on hangovers is to explain to them how the hangover works," Bush said, explaining how the body goes through steps to expel alcohol from itself: chemically, through the liver; digestively, through urine; and through the lungs, which is "why Breathalyzers work."
A chemical in the liver can break down some of the compounds in alcohol, but methanol is treated like a poison in your body.
"This is the reason you get blurred vision," he said. Cheap wine, cheap liquor - especially dark whiskeys and rums - have higher levels of methanol and other chemical substances that the body has trouble breaking down and expelling.
"This is also the reason for the adage, 'Don't mix drinks,' " he said.
So the remedy is ...?
"Drink better booze," he said. "This doesn't necessarily mean breaking the bank but spending your hard-earned cash on something quality that tastes better. There is value in sipping on something that has great flavor and aromas."
Or go for clearer spirits, as these have been filtered to remove many of their chemical substances.
Just be weary of the "multiple times distilled" marketing, Bush warned. "That usually means they started with a less-than-quality product and had to distill it a number of times so that you are none the wiser - until the next day, of course."
When the alcohol you consume reaches your bloodstream, it causes the brain to block an antidiuretic chemical, Bush explained. Your kidneys want to flush everything out and not reabsorb the alcohol.
"We've all been drinking beer and had to go to the bathroom more than usual after the first trip," he said. This flushing of water from the body makes us and our brains dehydrated.
"The best remedy is to drink water while you are drinking your alcoholic beverage," Bush advised. A good rule of thumb is to have one glass of water for every two drinks.
"So the best remedy I can ever tell someone about a hangover is prevention," he concluded. "Drink better quality booze, and drink water to keep yourself hydrated."
Sometimes, he will chug a few glasses of water before bed after a night of drinking.
What if you're already hungover?
"My favorite remedy is brunch with a bloody mary or two," he said.
Eat before you drink
If you know you'll be drinking on New Year's Eve, plan ahead.
Eat a nutritious meal - including some fruits and vegetables, maybe some whole grains - before you imbibe, said Sharon Stroud, the healthy eating specialist at Whole Foods, 41st Street and Peoria Avenue.
Eat nutritiously after drinking, too - not some grease bomb at a local all-night diner. If you eat out after midnight, ask about veggies. Dark, leafy greens will help replace nutrients lost because of dehydrating alcohol, Stroud said.
You can also pop a pill. Whole Foods sells Hangover Formula by Source Naturals. It's been a popular supplement for years, Stroud said. Take three tablets after drinking alcohol. If a hangover rears its head the next morning, take three more.
Basically, it contains water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and a B-complex, as well as sodium and calcium magnesium - stuff that gets flushed out of your body when you drink alcohol. Prices range from $10.50 to $37.50, depending on the size bottle you buy, according to the product website.
You'll find copious suggestions for hangover cure claims online, but we gravitated toward those on health sites, such as Health.com.
One of their first suggestions pertained to oatmeal the morning after imbibing - specifically, a recipe with vanilla and cinnamon that gently stimulate taste buds. (See the full list of hangover suggestions at tulsaworld.com/healthhangover.)
Other websites regurgitate the same information - mostly myths and people's personal preferences - about coffee, sports drinks, even having sex as a remedy.
"We just need to party smart," Stroud said. "Just like everything, moderation is the key."
Breakfasts for hangovers?
Here are two recipes adapted
from Nisa Burns’ “Kitchenability
101: The College Student’s Guide
to Easy, Healthy and Delicious
The first one includes Nutella,
which is a good way to “sop
up all that alcohol,” Burns said.
“Sweet, comforting and filling, it
is the perfect dish for your worst
NUTELLA FRENCH TOAST
2 tablespoons Nutella
4 slices bread
1 cup chocolate milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter or cooking
1 tablespoon whipped cream
1. Spread the Nutella on one side of
each slice of bread.
2. Slice the bananas into ¼-inch
rounds. Place the banana slices
on the Nutella on two slices of
bread. Place the other slices of
bread, Nutella-side-down, on top
of them, creating a sandwich.
3. Mix the eggs, chocolate milk,
vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl.
Whisk them all together until
everything is mixed.
4. Place butter or cooking oil spray
in a frying pan over medium-low
5. Dip both sandwiches in the mixture,
coating both sides and soaking
the bread. Pick up one corner
of each sandwich with tongs or
your fingers, and let the excess
mixture drip into the bowl.
6. Place the sandwiches in the hot
pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on
each side, until they are golden
brown and slightly crispy. Top the
French toast with more banana
slices. Add the whipped cream, if
desired, as well as syrup.
After a night of New Year's Eve partying, potassium-rich bananas are your friend and can help take the edge off the headache and nausea, Burns wrote.
This easy-peasy waffle sandwich is good on-the-go, too. Serve with coffee and aspirin. Makes one serving.
BANANA CINNAMON WAFFLES
2 whole-grain toaster waffles
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Toast the waffles to desired crispness.
2. Spread the peanut butter on one side of each waffle.
3. Slice the banana into 1/4-inch rounds. Place the banana and honey on one side of the waffle, and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Close like a sandwich, and enjoy.
Original Print Headline: Hangover help
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
JASON POWERS/Tulsa World