Hangovers are the bane of most students’ lives and curing them is a silky science with no uniform remedy; what works for one may not work for another. But that’s not to say that there aren’t a few basic tips every fresher should know.
Before we begin, I feel I should write some sort of disclaimer: the best way to cure a hangover is obviously to drink in moderation and not to the point where an aching head becomes an inevitability. The prevention is better than the cure. But it’s Freshers’ Week, so I know you’ll all ignore me anyway.
Freshers’ being what it is, there is a sense of foreboding regarding hangovers. For most of you the best way to cure your hangover is, unfortunately, just to crack on and deal with it: sleep in, take some Paracetemol or Alka-Seltzer and get on with the day. If all you have to deal with is a slight headache and a queasy stomach, suck it up and and ready yourself for another night of drinking.
As the week progresses and you are enjoying your fourth or fifth night out on the row, however, ‘just dealing with it’ becomes more and more difficult. This is where the two golden rules of hangovers come in to play.
The first golden rule: drink water, but not gallons of it when you come in. Most people suggest one pint of water for every unit of alcohol consumed in order to keep the body hydrated. Additionally, the process of sitting down and drinking some water allows your body some time to gather itself before bed. Usually at least two pints of water, drunk slowly, with an extra pint glass of water by the bedside is enough to beat the worst of a hangover.
The second golden rule: do not eat until after midday the day after. Doing otherwise usually involves seeing last night’s Empire again, which is never a pretty sight.
While these two rules form the most basic of hangover cures, I am aware that Freshers’ Week will provide ample opportunity for many to take their hangovers to a more professional level. Which is why we will be crossing into the land of old wives’ tales and superstitions for drinking. Some can be very helpful, such as a large glass of milk to line your stomach before a night out, while others can be seen as tempting the worst, such as the Russian hangover cure of a large shot of vodka as soon as you wake up. The best thing to do is take a trial and error approach to these remedies. Some will work wonders, others will not.
The morning after is arguably the most important time in the hangover cycle. Remember the golden rule of no eating before noon, as not only does this allow your stomach to settle but it also lets you to build up an impressive appetite that will help overcome your hangover. Personally, I favour cold, fresh orange juice and a breakfast sandwich of sausage, egg and bacon. This will replenish your strength and give you the courage to get up and face all of last night’s bad decisions. For the vegetarians among you, do not fret – a large batch of pancakes works equal wonders.
The main point here is that you should go for carbs. There’s no point worrying about your diet as, unfortunately, hitting the booze is far worse for your figure than a few bits of bread. As the day progresses you will hopefully feel yourself getting back to normal. But remember to take it slow, keep hydrated and you should be ready for the next party.