Headaches 3: Hangovers

Headaches 3: Hangovers

painting by Christian Krohg

OK, here it is the concluding part of my exploration of headaches and how to avoid[1] them. Here I look at how to mitigate the aftermath[2] of drinking too much. With luck this post will ensure you have a happier Christmas session. Needless to say[3], the best preventative solution for hangovers[4] is to drink in moderation.

Hangovers can be minimized by a number of standard practices. One strategy can be to line[5] your stomach before you start drinking. One technique can be to drink a large[6] glass of milk before going out. This will both dilute the alcohol and slow its absorption into the blood stream[7]. Combining food and drink has a similar effect.

Minimizing Hangovers

Hangovers are greatly aggravated by bad combinations of different types of alcohol. As a rule, try never to mix drinks: if you start on wine, stick to[8] wine. However, certain combinations are particularly troublesome[9]: wine, cider[10] and martini mix badly with other drinks. Just one glass of red wine followed by a glass of cider can be a killer. Each person has a slightly[11] different tolerance to different types of alcohol so it is worth observing[12] which drinks and which combinations affect you the worst. Remember that there may be no direct relationship between liking the taste[13] of a drink and what it does to your head.

Curing Hangovers

Most of the effects of a hangover are the result of the dehydration caused by alcohol. You can avoid1 a hangover by drinking two or three glasses of water before going to bed. Water is much less effective in the morning once the hangover has set in[14].

In Brazil and the Caribbean the kola nut[15] is used as a hangover cure (but you may not have any kola nuts handy[16] on the morning after a binge[17]!). Painkillers, such as aspirin or paracetamol, are the easiest solutions to your problem but, as your stomach is probably rather[18] ‘delicate’, they may simply transfer the problem. Throwing up[19] is the body’s fastest solution to the problem. However, if you do vomit[20], remember to clean your teeth afterwards as stomach acids can be very corrosive.

There is a tradition that a small alcohol drink may alleviate a hangover, popularly known as “the hair of the dog[21]”. There is no hard[22] evidence that this trick[23] works and it may prolong or aggravate the problem.

For more footnoted reading practice visit: www.yes-mag.com

[1] to avoid – (in this case) not suffer from, prevent

[2] aftermathconsequences, after-effects

[3] needless to say – it should not be necessary to say this but

[4] hangoverheadache and other symptoms resulting from excessive drinking of alcohol

[5] to line sth.coat/cover the inside of sth.

[6] large – (false friend) big

[7] blood streamveins and arteries

[8] to stick to (stick-stuck-stuck) – (in this case) continue to drink

[9] troublesome – problematic

[10] cider – alcoholic drink made from apples

[11] slightlymarginally

[12] it is worth observing – it is a good idea to observe

[13] liking the taste – preferring the flavour

[14] to set in (set-set-set) – start, become established

[15] kola/cola nut – dry fruit/seed of a tropical tree (Cola acuminata)

[16] handy – (colloquial) on hand, available

[17] bingesession of heavy drinking

[18] rathersomewhat, quite, (in this case) very

[19] to throw up (throw-threw-thrown) – (colloquial) vomit

[20] do vomit – (emphatic) vomit

[21] The full expression is “to stroke (= caress) the hair of the dog that bit (= attacked with teeth) you”

[22] hard – (in this case) definite, convincing, solid

[23] trickstratagem, subterfuge


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