Guest Post! The Dos and Dont’s of Hangovers

Happy Monday! In case your weekend ended up being a little more crazy than you expected, my interwebs friend Angry Runner is here with some good advice. I first read Angry Runner’s blog way back in 2009 when she wrote an awesome post about why she disliked running skirts. It took about a year for us to actually meet in person (surprise! she’s not a middle-aged dude OR a serial murderer) but the wait was worth it…

-Megan

About AR: While she’s not drinking beer, complaining, or running…AR IS…hm. Good question.

The Dos and Don’ts of Hangovers

Megan and I have lots in common. We run a lot! We have similar PRs! We like cupcakes! We both enjoy a good cocktail! Or a beer! Or wine! Or vodka!

Ok, so a lot of people could say the same thing.
And that, Runners Kitchen readers, is why I’m here today.
Because who among us *doesn’t enjoy a cocktail?* Or a beer? Or wine?

Totally not staged. Totally.

Who among us has had one too many good cocktails? Or beers? Or glasses of wine? Especially in the summer when we can enjoy happy hour outside? (Well,  assuming you’re not still holed up in your office at that time. Like I am right now!) If you’re not raising your hand? Well, you should try harder. (And I should use less question marks.) At any rate, I’m going to guess that all of you have gotten drunk at some point in your life. Some of you more than others. And if you’ve been drunk, you know this can lead to a hangover.

 

The question is, how do you deal with it? Here are some tips with the disclaimer that I’m NOT a doctor…I’m just a drunk. (Kidding! Kind of.)

Do: Hydrate! Hangovers are, in large part, caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol.  It is why you can get REALLY DRUNK REALLY QUICKLY if you drink after a marathon.  It is also why you can minimize the damage by drinking water while you’re drinking alcohol.
But let’s be honest: sometimes when you’re drinking you don’t remember to do that.  You can do damage control by rehydrating yourself as soon as the hangover hits. Start with water and move to something with electrolytes.  I prefer Nuun and Coconut Water. Nuun isn’t as sweet as Gatorade and is easier to drink when queasy. Coconut water has been really helpful, though if I’m really queasy it is a bit too thick to get down without gagging. (Which is what she said?)

Don’t: Hydrate too fast! You can only reabsorb so much fluid at time. Alcohol, in particular, irritates your stomach lining so drinking too fast could end up making you puke. And it probably won’t reabsorb. So drink SOMETHING right away, but sip.

Do: Take Milk Thistle! Ok, I realize this probably sounds stupid. But I swear, I have no interest or stock in any company that sells the shit.  Milk thistle has been used to treat liver disease for centuries. While I doubt it is going cure hepatitis anytime soon, it has helped me get through the workday more times than I should probably admit. You can find it in capsule or extract form the herbal section of your friendly local Walgreens/Duane Reade/CVS,etc.  It will help your liver function despite the damage you’ve done to it. Look for Milk Thistle with a high % of silymarin; it’ll be more effective. Make sure you take it as soon as the hangover hits. (I’ve tried to look into the science behind it and sadly, can’t find much. But it’s the one bit of witch doctor I rely on.) Like I said, I’m not a doctor – I’m a drunk. So take this for what it’s worth.

Don’t: Take any pills of any kind until you are pretty sure you’re not going to puke. This should be self explanatory. If you’ve ever thrown up the trifecta of bile, ibuprofen and water you know it hurts. And what’s more, you’ve got no idea how much of the pills you’ve absorbed making taking anything else potentially risky…especially since it could further irritate your already testy stomach lining.

Do: Start bland, then greasy and/or protein. Play this one by ear. Once you are reasonably confident that you aren’t going to puke, get something in your stomach.  To start, try something bland like Cheerios or a bagel. Then add something greasy to absorb the rest of the bad stuff. (I like a bagel with egg.)

Don’t: Go outside without sunglasses. I don’t care if it’s overcast. Have them. If you are going into work you might not want to take them off…especially if the lights where you work are bright!

Do: Go for a run. Once you’re out and about and mostly walking straight…go sweat out the alcohol. You may have to start slow. You may end up moving slow. But you’ll probably feel a lot better once you do. (Another thing Megan and I have in common? We’ve both raced well while hung over.) And you should probably stick with an outdoor run. The fresh air can make you a bit more nauseated at first, but its less jarring than the repetitive motion you might feel on a dreadmill or stairbastard.

Don’t: Say “I’m never getting drunk again!” Because you will. And you’ll probably be hung over again at some point in your life.

Do: Remember how horrible a hangover feels. At the very least, you might remember to slow down and drink some water the next time you’re out enjoying a few drinks.

Do you have any Dos? Don’ts? Horror stories? Let me hear them. That’ll distract me from the fact that I’m very jealous that this post only exists because Megan is off frolicking on a tropical island.

  • Hahaha I love this post! The photos are great. 🙂

  • bahahah! looooooooooove this post. amen to the dont say “I’m never getting drunk again.” because i’ve said it and then often gone out drinking again that night. oops?

    once, in philly, i was so hungover i didn’t think my friends and i were going to make our train into the city for sightseeing. it was like perpetual motion sickness. ugh.

  • At the risk of sounding like I have way too much…um…experience in this area, I’d like to ad a DO.

    DO embrace the puke if you feel like you need to.

    I’m not sayin’ shove your fingers down your throat or anything, but sometimes letting the bad stuff make its way out is step one of the solution path here.

    Anyway.  Love this post and hope to put many of these tips to the test on 7/30! <3

  • AR

    I probably should have specified that. Because if you hold in puke you might DIE.

    Heh.

  • I would never even pretend to know more about functioning while hungover than Megan or AR, so I’m not sure what to add. Oh! I ran a 14-mile run with the worst hangover of my life before I met Angry Runner for the first time. Which leads to a Don’t: DON’T eat a large, greasy breakfast while hungover and then expect to go for a good run. Run, or eat, but don’t conflate the two. Pick your palliative and commit. 

  • Anonymous

    lolz, i remember hearing about this epic run. wasn’t AR sick (like, a
    cold/flu, not hungover) for that run as well?

  • AR

    I couldn’t even run!!! I had a mystery bug that landed me in urgent care in the morning because I was scared it was my appendix. Apparently it wasn’t…anything she could pinpoint.

  • Melissanibbles

    I like saying”I’m never drinking again until the next time I drink again.”

  • Anonymous

    I once saw a tweet by @whitegirlproblems that said: “I’m never drinking
    again…except on weekends and holidays and maybe the occasional bottle of
    white wine if I have a rough work day.” Hehe.

  • Anonymous

    I once saw a tweet by @whitegirlproblems that said: “I’m never drinking
    again…except on weekends and holidays and maybe the occasional bottle of
    white wine if I have a rough work day.” Hehe.

  • I always say “Ugh I’m never drinking ______ ever again” and low and behold.. next week I’ve got the same thing in my hand.. le sigh

  • Guess who’s got a new desktop background photo??! THIS GAL.

  • Haha this is hilarious! I like to practice the “chug water and puke” method to clear out the system. Drink a lot of water, throw up said water and bile, go back to sleep and repeat until stomach is cleared. Definitely not an expert, but works for me.

    PS- Cheerios are 100% my go-to hangover food. On particularly rough days, dry Cheerios is all I can take. Delicious and only 1 gram of sugar a bowl!

  • this post is fabulous.love the pic of AR and her beer collection. i agree with the i’ll never drink again thing. it’s just unrealistic. embrace the booze and fight the hangover… or just lie in bed, force someone to buy you a plain bagel and gatorade, and take a nap. that’s my cure.

    i have a few good horror stories, the best of which i won’t share in a comment section. it’s pretty disturbing/ hilarious and must be told in person. megan, when’s your next party that coincides with a race or something so that AR flies down to visit so i can tell my story? kthanks.

  • Love this post. And the pictures. And AR’s blog.
    I ran a hungover 5 mile race the morning after a Halloween party last year and PR’d…my best PR during NYC marathon training. Even so, “never again!” haha

  • This post is great. I quietly giggled the whole time. I always say, the only way to cure a hangover is a 5-mile run. I have this horrible curse that I cannot sleep when hungover. Its terrible. So I have to do everything I can to make it go away asap. Running, bland food, and vegetables. And a mimosa. Thanks Angry Runner (& Megan!)

  • AR

    You’re talking about the one of me wearing nothing but a merkin, right?

  • AR

    You’re talking about the one of me wearing nothing but a merkin, right?

  • This was absolutely hilarious.

  • Hilarious and useful! Well done, AR. Some people I know do Bikram yoga to cure a hangover, but I can’t imagine anything worse. A run and hydrating usually works for me. I’ve heard good things about milk thistle too – now I’m interested to look into it more!

  • i can say from personal experience that hot yoga while hungover is a BIG mistake. the second i got into down dog, everything started spinning… like i was megadrunk AGAIN.

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  • Magipatch

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    We would love to send a sample to the site’s moderator to give it a try and let us know your thoughts.