There is an endless supply of misinformation and mysticism when it comes to a hangover and how to effectively manage one. On this New Year’s Eve, arm yourself with cold, hard facts, courtesy of GQ’s chat with hangover specialist (really) Jason Burke, and act accordingly.
On the subject of “What is a hangover?”
“Most people think hangovers are just dehydration,” says Burke. “If that was the case, a four-hour bike ride would make you feel like hell.” Hangovers, he says, are more like complete system failures. When you drink more liquor than your body can process, your mitochondria, the teensy warehouses in your cells that crank out energy, short-circuit. Your kidneys go into overdrive, so you piss more and, yeah, get dehydrated. But the blood vessels in your brain may swell, which can lead to migraines and vomiting. Levels of glutamine can drop, causing lethargy—and then later soar, scrambling your sleep patterns.
Well, ok. I have a hangover. Now what?
- Don’t go to sleep.
At least not right away. “When you pass out, your organs slow down,” Burke explains. “Which means they aren’t metabolizing as much alcohol.” The more toxins you get rid of at night, the better you’ll feel in the morning. (So drunken late-night sex? Great on multiple levels.)
- Yes, of course, eat something, just not all carbs.
“A huge serving of fries isn’t really soaking up booze,” he says, “because alcohol is also a carb.” Scarf down protein and veggies instead.
- The worst hangover booze on earth: Jäger.
“All of my worst cases have included the stuff. Germans, they don’t even drink it! It’s practically diesel.”
[Image: AC Gears]