Hangover cures range from the silly to the sensible, but steaks, Sprite and Pedialyte? Seriously?! | VailDaily.com

Hangover cures range from the silly to the sensible, but steaks, Sprite and Pedialyte? Seriously?!

Like most tattoos and all political affiliations, over-imbibing the night before seemed like a good idea at the time.

And like most tattoos and all political affiliations, your morning after hangover is a self-inflicted wound.

When you regained something resembling consciousness this morning, there was a fleeting moment when you found yourself in the make-believe land between asleep and awake — where Tinker Bell lives. Tinker Bell doesn't really live there, mostly because she doesn't want to hang out with hangover sufferers whining about their self-inflicted wound.

Yet here you are. Your tongue feels like 10 miles of Mississippi dirt road and your eyes are on fire.

You have a hangover.

Now what

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None of us are surprised, least of all you.

If you've invested enough time and energy to read this far, you want to know what to do about it.

Parents of small children have known for years.

Grab some of your children's Pedialyte from the refrigerator and drink it. Then drink some more.

If you're feeling adventurous, dissolve powdered Pedialyte in a glass of Sprite and drink that. Even diet Sprite works.

Use the concoction to wash down a plate of eggs and some aspirin (actual aspirin, not the other stuff) and you should start to feel better. Eggs contain N-acetylcysteine — an amino acid supplement that is pretty much a magic ingredient in treating hangovers.

Pedialyte is a low calorie electrolyte drink originally designed to help sick children rehydrate. The parent company, Abbott, is embracing its once-underground status as a hangover cure for adults … but Abbott is sort of embracing it as you might embrace your eccentric aunt who wears way too much face powder.

Actually, Abbott launched a fortified bubbly drink mix called Sparkling Rush powder packs. They're pretty darned excited about it.

"You get the electrolytes you need with that great tasting fizz. It's a really exciting product," Chris Calamari, Abbott's vice president of pediatric nutrition, told USA Today.

Abbott's lawyers apparently made the company stick a disclaimer in the press release, insisting with a wink and a nudge that "Pedialyte is not a hangover cure, but it can help with the dehydration you may experience after a couple of cocktails."

That disclaimer is directly below a photo of a clearly hungover man pouring Pedialyte powder into a glass.

And why Sprite? We're glad you're thinking clearly enough to ask.

When your body processes alcohol, it produces acetaldehyde, which is the villain causing much of the awfulness associated with hangovers. You probably cannot pronounce "acetaldehyde," but trust us, it's your enemy.

Eventually, acetaldehyde turns into acetate. When that happens, your hangover symptoms begin to clear and you feel better.

Scientist actually study this sort of thing.

A scientific study published in "Food and Function" by actual scientists and not your bar-hopping buddies, found that drinking Sprite accelerated the body's process of converting acetaldehyde (the bad stuff) into acetate (the good stuff).

And that cures your hangover faster.

It might also help if you eat a big meal before you tie one on. The food doesn't absorb the alcohol, but pushes some of it through your system before it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through your stomach lining.

Occasionally you'll run across some Fraternity Fred or Sorority Sue encouraging you to eat pasta, because … "look how well it absorbed water when you cooked it! It will absorb alcohol the same way."

This is, of course, foolish. Fred and Sue are probably majoring in silliness studies.

Be like your beloved Uncle Randy and combine the two great elements of man cuisine: chunks o' meat and fire.

But let's be clear: steaks, Sprite and Pedialyte are no substitute for avoiding silly-headed behaviors in the first place.

It's like going to the doctor and complaining:

"Doc, it hurts when I do that."

"OK," the doc says, "don't do that."

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.