by Adriana Villavicencio
Last Sunday, I laid in bed, head throbbing, lips parched, throat dry and a foreboding sense about last night’s dinner. The night before, I had celebrated the closing of Gonzalez y Gonzalez – a Mexican restaurant in New York City that’s been serving up decent guacamole and live salsa for more than 20 years. Wearing a HUGE sombrero and surrounded by a bevy of lovely ladies, I danced the night away to salsa, merengue, and bachata like I didn’t have a care in the world. But at some point, I should have.
Even though I could only down two, they should have come with warning labels or skulls with cross bones on the glass. But I know better. Had I not been so distracted by the live banda and flashy salsa instructors, I would have remembered some key strategies for avoiding at least half the next day’s misery.
1) The 1:1 Formula: The ill effects of alcohol stem largely from dehydration. One trick around that is to stay hydrated throughout the night. For every mixed drink, glass of vino, or shot of patrón, drink one cup of water. Years of observation have taught me that few people actually feel like drinking water while partying, so if you neglect step 1, then at least start with step 2.
2) Eat Some FAT: Prior to the night’s parranda (or during), eat a balanced meal that includes protein and fat. These take longer to digest than simple carbs and will slow down the absorption of alcohol in your body. Try to incorporate a glass of milk with this meal for the same reason. Or a chocolate shake for all three.
3) Advil over Tylenol: The medical literature indicates there are risks with taking any painkillers with alcohol, but that a small amount is generally safe. If you do take something, reach for ibuprofen (Advil or generic Rite-Aid brand) but not acetaminophen. Avoid Tylenol because mixed with the alcohol, it does a number on your liver, which by now is urging you to become a teetotaler permanently. While you’re at it, take with generous amounts of water (see step 1).
4) The Miracles of Ginger ale: There’s something about the sparkly bubbles and subtle unidentifiable flavor of ginger ale that quells nausea while replacing essential water and boosting your blood sugar. Gatorade is probably a better choice because it restores electrolytes, but I prefer the crispy fizz of a newly popped can over a flat neon yellow sports drink. Either way, pair with a little honey on toast. The notion that “grease will soak up with alcohol” is a myth. And a gross one at that.
5) BREATHE! One of the byproducts of alcohol is a lack of oxygen to your brain. Simple breathing exercises will replenish some needed oxygen to your system and simultaneously relieve some of the headache and nausea. It will also re-center you on your transition from party mode to productive mode (or at the very least, upright mode).
If all else fails, stay in bed. This too shall pass.
Related post: The Post Fiesta Remedy
To learn more about Adriana, visit The Radical Ideas.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.