We can all collectively agree on one thing that a hangover is the worst possible way to start off a New Year morning, or any morning for that matter. If you are a PG Wodehouse fan, you'd be aware of the defining moment when Jeeves gets hired as Bertie Wooster's valet, thanks to his timely administration of an extremely effective anti-hangover remedy. "Gentlemen have told me they have found it extremely invigorating after a late evening," says Jeeves while handing him over the potion made using raw egg, Worcester sauce, and red pepper.
While I love this scene, in reality, I wouldn't dare combat a hangover with a raw egg. Double puke!
So what are the tested ways to deal with a hangover or to be even smarter and bypass it entirely?
Eat up some protein rich something like cheese, yogurt or a chicken sandwich before you head out on your drinking evening. The protein helps slow down the processing of alcohol, so you wont get buzzed as quickly when you start drinking, compared to someone who drinks on an empty stomach.
Pace Those Drinks
We all know the temptation of the all-you-can-drink (and eat) passes one gets for New Year's Eve parties and the likes, leading us to downing one too many drinks, to vasool (justify) the cost of the pass. Typically, an adult of average weight takes an hour to metabolise the alcohol in one drink*. So simply put, have one drink over an hour. If this means you start your party at7pm, so you can have your five drinks until midnight, so be it.
*Just a little clarification here--one drink is calculated by the percentage of alcohol in your drink, so it varies with the kind of spirit and even within spirits, the percentage of alcohol.
One drink = 340 ml of beer (5% alcohol) / ~140ml of wine (12% alcohol) / 45 ml of other spirits like vodka, rum, whiskey with ~40% alcohol.
Single malt lovers, please note that cask strength whiskey can have ~60% alcohol, for eg. A Laphroaig Cask Strengh has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 57.8%.
If you love absinthe, you might as well know that it could have 55-90% alcohol, so one drink here could be just 20 ml.
Check a website like alcoholcontents.com for more info and get to know your poison better.
Water It Down
Alcohol causes dehydration, which should be common knowledge given the number of times one ends up going to the restroom. Dehydration further increases the chances of a hangover and amplifies the effect of one. Always order a tall glass of water with every drink and don't get to the next drink until you finish this glass (and, hey, get a table near the loo). You may not look cool sipping water, while the rest are guzzling booze, but trust me, your head will thank you for this, the morning-after.
However zoned out you are, make sure you guzzle a bottle of water before you hit the bed. This one is a tried and tested avoid-the-hangover remedy!
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are your friends, use them wisely. End your night of revelry with an NSAID (commonly known as painkillers - Aspirin/ Ibuprofen etc.) but after eating some food. A word of warning here--do consult your physician well in advance and get a prescription for an NSAID best suited to you, as it may not be the best idea to experiment with a new drug when you (your liver and stomach lining) are already in a fragile state after one too many drinks. One of these before going to bed, may help you wake up without the dreaded headache that accompanies a hangover. And don't forget to chase this with lots of water. Doctors believe that Paracetomol or Crocin/Tylenol may not be the best option here as they add more burden to a liver already struggling with the alcohol.
Electral or Gatorade
Unless you are puking your guts out the morning-after, just the alcohol-induced dehydration doesn't warrant drinking electrolyte drinks. They don't seem to have any added advantage over water when it comes to making you feel better. You can try your luck with coconut water too, but going in pursuit of a nariyal-paaniwala in the hangover induced miserable state, doesn't seem like a great option.
Some people swear by coffee to help snap out of a hangover. But this one differs from person to person. Make sure you drink enough water with your coffee, as a caffeine again can lead to dehydration. Some experienced people recommend a bloody mary or in other words curing a hangover with some more alcohol, so the blood alcohol doesn't sharply dip and cause symptoms. A few claim that sweating it out on the treadmill or under the sheets helps. In my opinion, if you can run or have sex, then you are in fine fettle and can forget that you are having a hangover.