Friday, April 25, 2014

Neat gimmick... but really, there's no secret, just basic science and sense...

I used to be one of the lucky bastards who never got hangovers no matter how much I drank.

Then I turned 30...

Did you know you can get a hangover without having actually been drunk?

I actually went through a controlled alcohol study while I was in college. I'm one of the genetic anomalies who simply have a higher tolerance, and metabolize alcohol at a much higher than normal rate.

Combine that with my bodymass and you get something of an epic heavyweight as far as getting drunk...

I still don't like getting drunk though (and can count the number of times I've been actually drunk, vs. just having warm ears, on the fingers of both hands with a few left over), so I very rarely even get a slight buzz.

I DO like fine beer, wine, and spirits however, and there are times when I want to drink quite a few adult beverages of a night, and not suffer for it the next day.

This Esquire piece popped into many feeds overnight:
Jim Koch knows beer. He also knows a beer trick that may change your life.
It's a neat trick, well known among beerfest types, and it does work to an extent, but it's unnecessary. 

Here's what you really need to know:

  1. Drink a glass of water before each glass of beer (or better, soda water with lime, a dash of salt, and a bit of sugar... It actually hydrates better than water, and replenishes some lost electrolytes. Or best of all, 50/50 sodawater mixed with OJ).

    DO NOT DRINK SUGAR SODA OR DIET SODA, or anything with caffeine, as they will dehydrate you and deplete electrolytes, which is the OPPOSITE of what you want.
  2. Wait until you need to pee, before you order the next beer
  3. Every 4 beers, drink an orange juice. It replaces lost potassium and other electrolytes, but potassium is the most important one here, and the one you lose the most of (and the one you NEED the most of) when drinking.
  4. Before bed, take aspirin (it thins and expands the blood. If you're dehydrated and vitamin depleted it will make things worse, but since you shouldn't be at this point, it makes things better), drink a glass of water (or better as above) and a glass of orange juice. Then, when you have to get up and pee later, do it again.
  5. Before you drink, and for breakfast the next day (and do NOT skip either), have a high protein meal, with low to moderate carbs, preferably rich in niacin and thiamine. DON'T DRINK COFFEE with either meal.  If necessary, take some B vitamin supplements, and a multivitamin before and after drinking. 
Alcohol consumption dramatically depletes potassium, niacin, and thiamine (and other critical vitamins and minerals) in your blood stream, and caffeine makes it worse. These deficiencies reduce kidney and liver function, causing waste products to build up in your blood (which is made worse by dehydration caused by alcohol diaeresis), and interfere with neurological function; causing headaches, joint pain, muscle aches... Hangovers.

Combine those five things and you'll never get more drunk than a light buzz, and never get a hangover.

They work with hard liquor and wine as well, but you have to wait longer between drinks, and drink twice as much water, because they fill your bladder less.