Say good-morning to Mr and Mrs Hungover

20 Sep


Those dry Martinis did the work for me:

Last night at twelve I felt immense,

Today I fee like thirty cents.

My eyes are blurred, my coppers hot,

I’ll try to eat, but I cannot.

It is no time for mirth and laughter,

The cold, grey dawn of the morning after.

George Ade, The Sultan of Sulu, 1903.

You haven’t slept long enough but you can’t lay there in this sweat filled agony any longer. You must get up and beeline for the tap to re-hydrate fast and then fresh air to gather your thoughts.

Your brain has returned, however it is arguing with your body in a bad way. Why oh why did you have that many drinks last night. Why does it feel like you were squeezing your head in a vice all night? It was only liquid you were drinking wasn’t it? Not cement!

Bottle of trouble

Well it may have been just liquid but depending on your weapon of choice you may be experiencing a worse hangover than your neighbour. Research has shown drinks that contain congeners (bi-product of alcohol preparation), like tequila, wine and whisky will hit you in the face harder the next morning than say vodka, gin and rum that do not have these congeners. (Goldberg & Damrau 1971, Pawan 1973 & Wiese et al. 2000)

So when that person comes around yelling “Tequila Time!!! No excuses”. Just say “listen I would love to but I’m allergic to the congeners in the tequila”. Drunk and confused Tommy Tequila will move on to the next victim.

But what does this word hangover really mean? The fancy name for hangover is veisalgia. The first part veis, coming from the Norwegian word kveis, which means the “uneasiness that follows debauchery” and the second part algia which in Greek translates to “pain”.

So basically the pain of debauchery is our hangover. With symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, dry throat and more often than not a feeling of confusion, I would say the word veisalgia is an apt title.

Just another insightful interview with a hungover man!


But why do we feel all these terrible things from a few too many drinks? Research done by Weise et al (2000) in a study called The Alcohol Hangover, notes that alcohol much like a virus disrupts our cytokine pathways. Cytokines are the good guys in our body that come from the nervous system and the immune system, defending against the bad guys that are punching at your insides. So when we hit the bottle, the alcohol stuffs up the pathways that send these cytokine around our body. Therefore we lack the Bruce Willis’s and the Van Damme’s travelling through our body and we wake up feeling like absolute crap

As heavy as we feel during a hangover, we seem to take the consequences of one rather lightly. However the common hangover has a bigger detrimental effect than the common cold in the work place.

In Britain, where there is a pub on every corner, it costs the nation close to 3.3 billion pounds per year due to hung-over fools (Verster et al. 2003) who are either not present at work, crying/vomiting in the bathroom, or dreaming about an egg and bacon roll rather than doing any work.

But us Aussies can’t laugh too hard, although our hangover bill is around 3.8 million dollars per year (Verser et al 2003 & Weiss et all 2000), about 600 million dollars under the Brits (3.3pounds = 4.4 Aus. dollars), we are 1/3of the population of Britain, which means the likelihood of drinking within a population is much higher in Australia. Dare I say, maybe WE should lay off the tinnies.

Is there a way to combat this evil hangover, to send it far away?!

Yes!!! Enter BANANA MAN. Some may remember a cartoon called BANANA MAN!!

For those of you who don’t I have supplied a high definition, surround sound clip for your pleasure.

A study done by Wiese et al (2000), that consisted of getting people drunk and finding out the best way to stop them feeling like crap, found that prophylactic vitamin B6 reduced the amount of hangover symptoms by 50%. So you may still have a dry throat but no headache!!! Hoorah!

And where do we get this wonderful vitamin……..BANANAS!!

Yes bananas are rich in B6 and they are a tasty delicious snack. So to fight that hangover remember buy bananas, not only are you doing yourself a favour, you’re doing our Australian farmers a favour by purchasing their bananas and the country’s economy is boosted not only from you buying home grown goods, but also the fact these bananas will render you only mildly ineffective in the workplace the next day compared to the high levels of uselessness that you would be achieving if you were banana-less!.


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