“Cheers!”. It’s Tuesday night and "my team" has qualified for the next round of the Champions League; we filled the tavernas and pubs to celebrate with raki!
Everyday I see bars packed with thirty year-olds, consuming large quantities of red wine, “ because it reduces by two thirds the risk of heart failure”. One thing is clear: the quest, or better the “invention” of excuses for consuming alcoholic drinks is something that most of us do often, particularly during festive periods.
Who can resist one more glass, when there is good company? I definitely can’t! When the waitress can’t keep up with me, I realize that soon I ‘ll be seeing stars dancing over my head; and the worse is yet to come… The next day finds you stuck in your bed, holding your stomach and your head, with a bad taste in your mouth and a guilty consciousness. It’s the so called hangover. The first time is an experience. The second is practice. And the third? Pure torture!
1. Don't drink on an empty stomach. Choose foods with carbohydrates and metals like magnesium and potassium, or foods with oil, fat or proteins, such as meat. Fat in the stomach slows down the percentage and speed at which alcohol is absorbed by our body.
2. Drink lots of water. One yard of precaution is a mile of treatment. Every glass of water or juice that you drink before, equals two less the next morning. Alcohol is dehydrating, so try to drink non-alcoholic liquids along with your alcoholic drinks; this simple method will keep you hydrated. If you don’t feel good drinking orange juice in a bar, then pretend it’s a screwdriver (cocktail with vodka and orange juice).
3. Choose your drink with caution. There are other poisons other, than alcohol, that contribute to a brutal hangover. Nasty chemicals called congeners, exist in drinks that are fermented. The general rule is that dark coloured drinks, like red wine, bourbon, whiskey and brandy, have more congeners than light coloured ones, like white wine, vodka and gin. Keep in mind however, that no matter what colour your drink is, the cheaper it is, the more poison it is likely to have in it!
The next day:
You have survived. You can congratulate yourself for that. Now is your chance to learn about new kinds of pain. You have visions of butterflies, earths gravity has doubled and your red eyes make you look like a hungry vampire. The seriousness of your hangover depends on how much alcohol you have consumed, how fast you drunk it and on the levels of alcohol that concentrated in your blood. What do you do?
1. Go back to bed. Is this a working day? Call in and say your sick. You are not lying. Nobody will ask for details. You do sound like you’re not well anyway. (Hangovers are responsible for the loss of 148 billion dollars per annum in the USA, because of absence from work or poor performance). Going back to sleep is the best way for you to get over those hard times.
2. Did you wake up and look for coffee? Mistake! Caffeine-based beverages are dehydrating and do not help you get rid of you body's alcohol content. Drink water instead!
3. Watch what you eat. The consumption of liquids and vegetables offers all the necessary nutrients that you lack. Red grapefruit juice activates your liver, in order to speed up the metabolism of toxins. After that, eat a couple of carrots; they have retinoid acid, which helps your lungs inhale oxygen, so that your system grows stronger and is better able to get rid of the alcohol.
4. A little exercise never hurt anyone. Taking a fast ten minute walk will open your air supply routes and replenish you missing nutrients.