How to flush a hangover

Well on the way into spring semester, relaxing days like those of winter break are far and few. Just three weeks ago, students ate, drank and had the liberty of sleeping it off – not

Well on the way into spring semester, relaxing days like those of winter break are far and few. Just three weeks ago, students ate, drank and had the liberty of sleeping it off – not anymore. Coping with a hangover could be a daunting task, especially with early classes, afternoon internships and evening jobs. Repercussions of nights (and stomachs) full of a bartender’s beer cooler and half of his liquor shelf may be tolling in the a.m.

Stumbling into bed wearing an interesting array of mismatched garments, face smeared with makeup and shoes still on, alcohol-connoisseur students have to hold on to something, anything, if only the slightest speck of hope to get through the next day – hope of beating “the hangover.”

What works for one may not work for another, revealed by the varying routines of students, who in consequence of their own actions – that may have seemed like a good idea the night before – must fight to make it through the day.

Junior math major Wendall Jackson, who celebrated his friend’s birthday Tuesday night, still felt remnants of his hangover late Thursday afternoon. Wendall
stands by healthy choices to help mitigate
his hangover symptoms.

“I had a salad yesterday, I had one this morning and I’m eating one right now. I think about three of these should do it,” he said. “I’m trying to recuperate and drink lots of water. I feel way better than I did yesterday.”

Also celebrating with Jackson was senior
African American Studies major Carl Lewis. Like Jackson, Lewis usually drinks a large amount of water to fight dehydration, but adds his own remedy to avoid a hangover.
When he “can’t even see straight” Lewis swallows a raw egg, just to get something in his stomach.

“Sometimes [after drinking alcohol] I wake up with no energy, so I figure if I can get this egg in me, I might get a little bit of energy and put a little pep in my step,” he said. “After I get the water and egg in me, I feel a little better, then I swipe a meal plan and get something fulfilling at the SAC and sometimes listen to Al Green.”

Senior pre-law and philosophy double major Stacey Watrobski stops her hangover before it starts by turning to the vitals.

“On Christmas Eve I had about six shots of Royal Canadian and like a bazillion beers with my family. My aunt gave me this B vitamin before I went to sleep,” Watrobski said. “I woke up the next morning and felt better than I have in five years. So I bought a thing of B vitamins.” Senior civil engineering and business management double major Steven Metzler has a method to beat the morning after.

“I sleep and then I drink some more,” he said. Though Metzler’s technique may prolong a hangover, it won’t prevent it.

Amy Cunningham, a second year graduate
student in public health, discussed some myths believed to cure a hangover with her students in her drugs, alcohol and society class.

“The idea of drinking more alcohol to get rid of a hangover definitely doesn’t work,” Cunningham said. “Your body has to process all of the toxins from alcohol out and that’s just going to add more. “Alcohol can affect every part of your body. When you’re drinking too much it goes to your liver and your liver has to break it down. “It can only break down so much at a time. If your body can’t break down all the alcohol, it’s going to start to build up,” she said.

Cunningham recommends alternating every alcoholic drink with a glass of water, though it may be cumbersome at college party or bar setting. Gatorade, she said, may help for some because it contains the electrolytes, sodium and potassium that are lost during dehydration.

The loss of such elements leads to lack of muscle coordination and tiredness. An extra boost of potassium from a banana may also provide a small surge of energy.

Ultimately, Cunningham recommends not drinking too much, avoiding drinking on an empty stomach which reduces inflammation
and getting a good night’s rest. Some students are smart enough to have to employ the best hangover remedy of all. Freshman biology major and football player David Nwasike seems to have the secret:
“I don’t drink,” he said. “But I read on that vitamin B helps.”

Leigh Zaleski can be reached at

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