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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hangover Remedies Explained

Hangovers. These are the bane of the partyphile’s existence. Every single alcohol-hungry partyphile has experienced the head aches, the nausea, the dizziness, the unsettling feeling in the tummy, and the lack of energy brought about by hangovers. It is one of the lowest down sides of partying, and it still continues to haunt many a partyphile. In fact, whenever I ask for topic suggestions for my radio show or newspaper column, hangovers are always the most popular answer; which is funny because I have discussed the topic on the air and on print at least five times since I started Confessions of a Partyphile. But due to insistent public demand, I bring you this article once again. Is it a rehash of an old article? Nope. In this article I am going to explain what a hangover is, and give you the low down on what you think are the best remedies or hangovers.

What is a hangover? Experts say it is a form of withdrawal; it the reaction of your body to the absence of alcohol that has been in your system for some hours. One of the most popular misconceptions in the Philippines is that a hangover means the same thing as drunkenness. If you think that, you are seriously gross.

For most people, a hangover is the collection of symptoms you experience the day after you go binge drinking. It is like a cocktail made with some or all of these symptoms:

  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Lack of energy
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Pessimism
  • Difficult in concentrating
  • Lack of focus
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of balance

So now that we know what it feels like, we must know what causes it. You know that I don’t like getting too technical with my articles because then it would be obvious that I Googled all the facts I have here, so here is the simple low down: alcohol has a lot of different components and chemicals. These components and chemicals dehydrate you, strip off the minerals in your body, deplete your sugar levels, and make you feel all those symptoms. The sure fire way to avoid hangovers completely is to avoid alcohol completely. But of course we know that is not possible. Thus, we go to the most popular hangover remedies.

I asked my radio show listeners and my social networking friends about what they think is the most effective way to prevent or remedy a hangover. I have their answers here along with a little explanation of my own.

Koi Sevilla suggests: a glass of water before sleeping and milk or Gatorade in the morning.

Partyphile explains: a glass of water (or more) before sleeping is advisable because it helps rehydrate your body, putting in more liquid in your system will help minimize the effects of the hangover (granting of course that those liquids aren’t alcoholic). Milk is known to soothe an upset stomach; one of the causes of nausea. According to studies however, when it comes to hangovers, Gatorade or any other sports drink is equally as effective as water. Since water is cheaper, take that instead.

RJ Mercado suggests: chocolate in any form

Partyphile explains: if you can hold the chocolate down (which I find hard to do when suffering from a hangover), then you may do that. Chocolate has minerals and sugar; two things that are of a shortage when one suffers from a hangover. Is this the best source of minerals and sugar? Not really, studies suggest that honey is the best form of sugar as it is easier to break down. Also, if you insist on taking in some chocolate, try chocolate milk instead. It soothes the tummy as well as provides the necessary minerals you have lost.

Jeremy Yap suggests: raw eggs with Soy Sauce and Milo.

Partyphile explains: I don’t know what’s up with this Soy Sauce cocktail. I would find it hard to swallow this, but if you can, it just may become one of your best bets when it comes to hangover remedies. Salt helps you retain water in your body; one way to fight dehydration. However, since you are already dehydrated, it would be a big help to hold on to as much liquid as you can, so that is probably where the Soy Sauce helps. I don’t think it really helps that much though. Milo is also a good source of sugar and minerals and taking it with milk may help soothe your upset stomach. Raw eggs are the single best (ever) food product you ca ingest to take care of your hangover. Eggs contain a protein that is rich in a substance that is known to fight chemicals that cause hangovers. I could bombard you with the technical terms for these compounds ad elements but you would forget them away. Just keep in mind that eggs fight hangovers; however you have them…especially when you have them raw.

Carlo Violan suggests: ice cold beer.

Partyphile explains: as stated above, a hangover is actually a withdrawal. It is your body adjusting to the loss of alcohol that has inhabited your system for x number of hours. Thus, putting some alcohol back in may seem like a good idea, but it does not really treat the problems, it hastens the process though. So instead of treating the hangover, having some more beer may just lessen the degree of hangover-ness (I know there is no such word; I made it up. So sue me), but extends the time you experience it.

Francis Louie suggests: take a shower

Partyphile explains: this does not help at all. Although it might make you feel fresher, it does not reduce the effects of the hangover.

Marga Ray: take pain killers

Partyphile explains: if you are suffering from a headache, then go ahead and take some pain killers. However, it is all about timing with this one. Some people take pain killers or aspirins before they sleep after binge drinking. This just adds stress to your already stressed liver (thanks to the alcohol you just ingested). You must take the pain killers after you wake up with a hangover and a splitting headache. After taking the meds, go back to sleep. You should feel better when you wake up.

Catch Confessions of a Partyphile’s (The Radio Show) this Wednesday (August 31, 2011) from 6 to 9 PM on 105.9 Mix FM or For comments, suggestions, and more confessions, log on to or follow the columnist on