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How to Cure a Hangover.

Yesterday I was at the annual smalahove dinner that Ola organizes. And kudos to him for going through all the hard work of organizing the dinner every year for what is probably the most ungrateful pack of dinner guests you can imagine. Half of a sheep’s severed head is not the most appetite-provoking sight and as a result we’re not really giving the impression that we’re looking forward to sitting down by the dinner table.

But of course, it’s not that bad. There is not much meat on the head, but the meat you find – like the chin and a small treasure behind the ear – taste great. If you want to go wild, you can also eat stuff like the parts of the eyes and tongue. Personally, I take rain checks on both. One method we use to make the head look like something we want to dig into is to combine the dinner with massive amounts hard liquor, especially aquavit. As you can imagine, this usually results in a massive hangover as well.

I stumbled across an article on a Norwegian news site today describing various types of food that can potentially help cure a hangover. I just wish I had read the article on Friday, so I would have had time to stockpile the recommendations. The author of the article had used another article as his source, and since hangovers really suck monkey balls, I thought I’d write a summary of both articles here just to make the information even easier to find.

There are four types of food and liquid you should have available the day after a night out:

  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Water
  • Fruit juice

Eggs

Eating eggs the morning after provides energy like any other food, which is the primary benefit. But eggs do also contain large amounts of cysteine, the substance that breaks down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver’s easily depleted glutathione. Therefore, eggs can potentially help mop up the left-over toxins.

Bananas

Eating bananas the morning after a night of heavy drinking provides lost electrolytes like any food would, but it also specifically replenishes the potassium lost to alcohol’s diuretic effect. Other potassium-rich foods such as kiwi fruit or sports drinks work just as well.

Water

Replenishing the body’s water supply after a night of drinking combats dehydration, and it also helps dilute the leftover byproducts in the stomach. Adding salt and sugar to water helps replace the sodium and glycogen lost the night before. Non-caffeinated, non-carbonated sports drinks can achieve the same effect.

Fruit juice

The fructose – fruit sugar – in fruit juice helps to naturally increase the body’s energy. Studies have proven that it also increases the rate at which the body gets rid of toxins such as those left over from alcohol metabolism. Fruit juice is also a good idea the morning after because it’s high in vitamins and nutrients that were depleted the night before because of alcohol’s diuretic effect. Vitamin supplements high in vitamins C and B are also effective.

This means that the ultimate hangover-preventing breakfast would consist of

  • A large omelet
  • Lots of water with added salt and sugar
  • A banana smoothie
  • Fruit juice

Good luck! For me, this information came too late this time.

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