It pains me to say this but, sadly, some people I know – naturally, they are not close personal friends – do, regrettably, sometimes over-indulge in strong drink. I wouldn’t mind their being alcoholic, if only they were anonymous at the same time.
Mind you, I have found over the years that the more I drink the more interesting other people become. I also become far wittier, even more alluring and even more charmingly sophisticated. My singing voice rivals Pavarotti’s and my dancing makes Nureyev look like a beginner.
But do I get drunk? Never! If I accidentally fall over I can lie on the floor without even having to hang on which proves I’m not drunk, doesn’t it?
Of course, this over-indulgence, this terrible weakness, this lack of true character and steely resolve by some of my acquaintance, inevitably leads to hangovers. Well, so I have been told – not that I have ever fallen foul of one myself. I believe it is important to know the limits of your drinking because otherwise you might not drink enough.
Some have argued that the only true hangover cure is to never stop being drunk. An acquaintance of mine once tearfully admitted that he had said no to another drink the night before but that it didn’t listen. I could tell he was in the grip of some terrible malaise when he had to wear sunglasses to open the refrigerator.
Now, in the interests of all, I have consulted recognised authorities and come up with a list of foods that can help cure or, at least, minimise the crippling effect of hangovers. For a start, you can forget the hair of the dog, greasy breakfasts and gallons of coffee.
Eggs: They contain protein and amino acids which help break down toxins that your body cannot cope with on its own. They are also high in vitamin B which has been found to reduce symptoms.
Coconut water: Alcohol molecules stick to water so your whole body, including your brain, will be dehydrated. Coconut water not only replaces the body’s lost H2O but it is also full of essential electrolytes your body will be craving.
Ginger: A small amount will ease a shocked digestive system which helps ease constipation, gas, bloating, indigestion and even vomiting.
Tomato juice: With your body suffering the effects of processing all of the booze you drank last night, it can’t make all of the essential sugar that your body and brain needs to function. It not only helps with dehydration, it is packed with the natural sugars your body needs.
Bananas/Kiwi Fruit: With alcohol taking water out of your blood cells, you will be left with a potassium deficiency which causes achy, shaky muscles. Both are a great source of potassium.
Toast/bread: They can help bring your blood sugar level up, especially at a time when your liver has other things on its mind.
Chicken noodle soup: It provides a fantastic body boost with energy from the noodles in the form of carbs and cystine from the chicken which helps your poor old liver out no end. And there is lots of sodium.
Oats: They contain vitamin B, calcium, magnesium and iron and can neutralise acids in the body and raise blood sugar levels.
Asparagus: Perhaps eat it before going on a binge as it contains enzymes known to help break down alcohol.
All of that brings to mind Frank Sinatra who once observed, “I feel bad for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they are going to feel all day.” It’s hard to disagree with him whether you are a raving alcoholic or a Salvation Army temperance preacher. I also rather like Frank’s, “Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy but the Bible says love your enemy.”
Who would have guessed that Frank was so religious? This is a man who, when alive and produced a urine sample, it had an olive in it.
Then again, there are those who drink because they have a social conscience.
I’m one of them to be sure and I can do no better than quote American commentator Jack Handey who has so wisely said, “Sometimes when I reflect back on all of the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than to be selfish and worry about my liver’.”
In defence of my modest and moderate drinking habits, I quote Oscar Wilde who said, “Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”
Since I am happily retired and not working, clearly I am not one of the accursed “drinking classes”, am I?
Tell us, what works for you?