Swigging and surviving

Head in the toilet bowl? You are not alone.

by: Cathrine Shone: Food24 | 18 Dec 2008

Tis the season to be jolly and there's nothing like a good Christmas office soireé or New Year's Eve party to get your freak on and totally misbehave. This time of year the globe is dotted with good old-fashioned hangovers.

The British Department of Health has identified 9 personality types of heavy drinkers. People who regularly consume at least twice the recommended limit – which incidentally seems to be shrinking every year.

The 9 alcohol-fuelled personality types:

De-stress drinkers use alcohol to regain control of life and calm down.

Conformist drinkers are driven by the need to seek a structure to their lives.

Boredom drinkers consume alcohol to pass the time, seeking stimulation to relieve the monotony of life.

Depressed drinkers may be of any age, gender or socio-economic group. They crave comfort, safety and security.

Re-bonding drinkers are driven by a need to keep in touch with people who are close to them.

Community drinkers are motivated by the need to belong and usually drink in large friendship groups. (hands up people)

Hedonistic drinkers crave stimulation and want to abandon control. They are often divorced people with grown-up children, who want to stand out from the crowd.

Macho drinkers spend most of their spare time in pubs. They are mostly men of all ages who want to stand out from the crowd.

Border dependants regard the pub as a home away from home. They visit it during the day and the evening, on weekdays and at weekends, drinking fast and often.

If you think that this is scarily accurate, as I do, then you might want to consider the following information: The British Medical Journal has categorically stated that there's no cure for hangovers!

The cure?
With raging headaches, dry mouths and toilet runs costing roughly R15 million a year in lost income, it's no wonder so many "cures" are marketed nowadays. But do any of them meet the criteria for the medical studies and trials done on this subject.

Sports drinks such as Lucozade which contain electrolytes replace lost fluids. They sort out your body salts, which you will need to do if you have been sick. They contain sugar and vitamin C to help your blood sugar levels.

"The hair of the dog". Your hangover isn’t a result of how much alcohol you have consumed, it is due to congeners, toxic chemicals that are formed during fermentation. One of these is methanol, which gets metabolised to form formaldehyde, said to be responsible for hangovers rather than ethanol (alcohol). An alcoholic drink such as vodka blocks that metabolism. But only a small amount, a Bloody Mary with breakfast is perfect.

A handful of ibuprofen, and an antacid, such as Gaviscon will work to sort out your headache and stop you feeling sick. After a night of drinking, you will have an inflamed stomach lining, so by neutralising the acid, you will take away the dodgy tummy.

None of these remedies however include the common fry-up, Marmite on toast, a Sunday roast or a roast beef sandwich? I'm told a chocolate bar and a glass of Coca-Cola before bed is a fail-safe. But show me the person who is going to remember to do that when he/she can't even scratch themselves.

So, was the painter Francis Bacon right when he once wrote that there seems to be no cure for a hangover apart from suicide?

Have you got the miracle cure? I for one would love to hear it!

- None



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