“I am Never Going to Drink Again!”
Is what we usually say to ourselves after an over-indulgent night of drinking. Those famous words are usually our futile attempt to prevent our next hangover.
Now I am not promoting drinking, however if you are reading this there is a good chance you are either anticipating a good night of drinking or you have already had that good night and now you’re looking for a way to prevent a hangover.
First of all, I used to live on the wild side! I was a bartender for some of the hottest nightclubs in Toronto for a decade. I was typically the only male bartender at each club that I worked at. Now, by nature I am considered by many as the quiet, reserved type and alcohol helped me loosen up for the night. After a few drinks I was definitely more outgoing and for some reason I was also quicker at cracking jokes, but then again maybe it’s just that I think I’m a lot funnier after a few drinks. Dancing definitely did and still does require alcohol in my system. There’s a sweet spot whereby a few drinks enhances my dance moves but beyond that sweet spot I’m the guy who looks like he’s dancing on a ship in a storm of a rough sea.
When we have too much to drink we can get sloppy, loud and obnoxious but it’s a great time while it’s happening! But in addition to the repercussions of hearing stories from your friends of what you did the night before there is that dreaded hangover; the first thing to greet us in the morning when we wake up.
The most common-sense way to prevent a hangover would be not take a drink at all. However, one cannot always say no. There are times when self-control seems to leave the room. This can result in a grave-like feel of a hangover the next morning.
If the morning after a night of partying we are suffering from a hangover but have an obligation to make it to an appointment, a meeting, an event or worse your own wedding, it can feel like we’re desperately holding on for dear life and we fake it until we make it through the day. Having an upset stomach, not being able to keep food or liquids down, headache, fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, sensitivity to light, the pasties, it’s horrible. There’s a better way…
Not all Traditional Ways for Preventing a Hangover Work
There are several myths out there with suggestion on how prevent a hangover. One suggested way is the “hair of the dog that bit you” thing.
“The worst thing to do is to have another drink,” says Charles Cutler, M.D., an internist in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and the chair of the American College of Physician’s board of governors.
Here’s How I Prevent a Hangover
In order to avoid a hangover I prevent it from happening in the first place. I have introduced many friends and family members to this new method of preventing a hangover and every single one of them has converted!
First and foremost, if my friends and I know we’re in for a heavy night of drinking, we make sure none of us are driving, please do the same. The next thing I do is to make sure to bring along activated charcoal. That’s right, charcoal!
Activated charcoal is used in hospitals to help treat poising and drug overdose. It helps prevent the poison from being absorbed from the stomach and into the body.
How Does Activated Charcoal Prevent a Hangover?
Activated charcoal contains pockets called ‘pores’. These ‘pores’ effectively trap chemicals in your system. Thus, preventing absorption of these elements by your body. The toxic substance, in our case alcohol, binds to the activated charcoal and is then eliminated from your system with your next bowel movement.
It’s important to take the activated charcoal pills right after you finish drinking. If you wait and see how you feel in the morning and then take the activated charcoal you’ll be out of luck. Trust me, there were 8 of us at my brother-in-law’s stag. I was able to convince 6 guys to take activated charcoal at the end of the night. One guy thought we were mad and decided not to try the activated charcoal. In the morning, the 7 of us made it to breakfast, 1 guy didn’t, can you guess who that guy was? The lone cowboy then asked to take the pills that morning. When one of the guys went back to check on him, the hotel bathroom was full of puke and was black from the activated charcoal. The activated charcoal can only absorb what is in your stomach. It can’t absorb the toxins once they’ve made their way into your system. You have to take the activated charcoal before you hit the hay in order to prevent a hangover. The suggested time line of being most effective within one hour ‘poisoning’. Our last hour at a party is usually the time where we throw caution to the wind and our sips turn into; “chug, chug, chug, chug”.
Taking Activated Charcoal to Prevent a Hangover
You shouldn’t use activated charcoal in combination with other vitamin supplements as it may cause a reversing effect on each other. If you wish to use more than one product at a time, wait a minimum of one hour between the taking the two and take the activated charcoal an hour after the other product.
Think of activated charcoal like a bartender cutting you off and taking your drink. The activated charcoal basically steals the alcohol for itself so that your body doesn’t get any. For a description of how activated charcoal is used in hospitals click here.
Knowing how to cure a hangover will help you cope with those early morning meetings, an event you need to attend and more importantly, make your wedding!
If you or someone you know has swallowed or breathed a poison and you or they have signs or symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, pain, trouble breathing, seizure, confusion, or abnormal skin color, you should either call 911, an ambulance or a Poison Control Centre for guidance that serves your area.