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Hangover helper

Charlie Owen
Dominique Taylor/The Vail TrailPossible hangover cures to help get you through the work day.
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Liquor is flying off the shelves for holiday parties and apres celebrations are becoming routine. Chances are a few people will be drinking more than they should in the coming months.

Ask any person who has ever drank alcohol and they can probably tell you all about hangovers. Webster defines the word as the unpleasant physical effects following the heavy use of alcohol. Those physical effects include, but are not limited to, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth and depression. Simply put, hangovers are hell.

Unfortunately, the ski-by-day, party-by-night lifestyle of Vail’s winter season is the perfect breeding ground for this pesky little nuisance. And since hangovers are almost as inevitable as the sunrise, the question is how do you deal with it once you have one.

Water and aspirin seem to be almost essential ingredients to any hangover survival kit, but food plays a very large role as well.

Courtney Stephenson, 24, said she likes to “go big or go home” about twice a month. She looks forward to French toast with jalapeno peppers to try to break the hangover headlock. When Nick Pedretti, 25, puts away too many Captain Morgan’s and Sprite he relies on Mickey D’s to get back in the game.

“McDonald’ s breakfast – I get the No. 1 with extra hash browns.”

Bagalis’ bartender Stewart Bucy disagreed. He recommends “more drinking, maybe a Red Bull and vodka” and thinks that the vitamins and other ingredients in energy drinks aid in the quicker recovery from a hangover. “Greasy food is good too, if you can stomach it,” which he usually can’t, he added.

SoYouWanna.com, a hangover cure website puts sleep in the spotlight. “Go back to bed” is their morning-after advice. “Call in sick, call in sick, call in sick. You really are sick. Just ask your doctor.”

They also say to beware of coffee, warning that caffeinated beverages contribute to dehydration and can cause you to feel even worse than you already do.

If you ever thought of heeding the advice “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” it should probably be in an instance where a hangover is going to be knocking on your temples the following morning. Nicole Jensen, a Chicago-native who works at the Sandbar in West Vail, chugs two bottles of water before bed. Pedretti believes that eating a good dinner before beginning a night of drinking is the single best thing to do.

According to Jeff Muscato, 35, drinking lots o water bed can stave off a hangover. He also recommended drinks mixed with fruit juices. The sugar helps, he says.

But Paddy’s bartender Jason Arpoika thinks otherwise. Arpoika says that “sugar in drinks is what gives us the hangover, so the perfect hangover-free drink is (something with) no sugar, like a vodka and soda.”

In fact, sugar has nothing at all to do with hangovers, it’s all about the amount and type of alcohol that you consume, according to the Scientific American website. Darker alcohols like whiskey and beer contain more “congeners” or pollutants, that give them the color you see when you’re drinking it. The need to urinate also tends to be more frequent so you deplete your body of much-needed minerals and hydration quicker than normal. Unfortunately even just one drink can cause hangover-like symptoms such as headaches and stomach pains if your body is not prepared to deal with the alcohol.

This is why Stephenson doesn’t mix drinks and stays away from certain wines. She also tries to avoid doing shots because “avoiding shots equals avoiding throwing up. They go down like candy and come up like yesterday’s breakfast.” Instead she sticks to cranberry and vodka because she thinks it’s a healthier choice.

What about those “miracle pills” like Chaser? Justin Songer runs the Avon GNC, and though he has never tried the pills personally, everyone he sells them to comes back for more. He has taken a similar pill called “No Hang,” however, and reported they were “phenomenal.”

“They basically clean out a lot of the toxins (from alcohol) in your body,” Songer said.

Unless prohibition makes a comeback, hangovers most likely aren’t going anywhere. The best thing you can do to defend your poor little liver from becoming a raisin is heed medical advice and don’t overdo it.

Charlie Owen can be reached for comment at cowen@vaildaily.com.


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