Cheers

Don Kavanagh is the editor of Hospitality magazine.

Don Kavanagh: Got that sinking feeling?

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Next time, show restraint. It's the best hangover 'cure', reckons Don Kavanagh

The probelm with restraint is that it tends to go out the window after a couple of tasty drams. Photo / Getty Images
The probelm with restraint is that it tends to go out the window after a couple of tasty drams. Photo / Getty Images

With all the talk about drink and drinking these days, I'm constantly amazed that no one ever mentions the H-word.

Hangovers; those awful after-effects of overindulgence that seem to be ignored by everyone except those suffering from their witheringly dreadful effects.

I can understand why the liquor industry doesn't mention them. It's hardly effective marketing to tell people that over-consuming your product may lead to illness, pounding headaches, throbbing eyeballs and unbearably sensitive hearing.

Likewise, the medical industry still can't quite bring itself to admit it has never come up with a cure, despite the condition being around since we started drinking some 9000 years ago. Nobody likes to admit to defeat.

The effects are gruesome. Hangovers vary in intensity from merely feeling you're 30 seconds behind the rest of the world to the full-on, goblins-stabbing-your-eyeballs, dragon's-breath, shaking, guilt-racked nervous hell that is a classic hangover.

With little medically known about hangovers, perhaps it isn't surprising that a cure hasn't been found, but there are some tips you can rely on to minimise the impact.

Fried food is a wholly false cure for a hangover, which I can tell you from in-depth research. It may make you feel better briefly, but that's a fool's cure, as the usual result is that your symptoms have merely been increased by nausea and possibly the runs.

There have been some attempts at cures. I once tried a substance that went under the name of RU-21. Apparently developed by the KGB to allow their spies to outdrink their degenerate capitalist running dog counterparts, it relied on isolating one of the most toxic elements of alcohol, acetaldehyde, and preventing it from being processed by the liver.

I experimented with this and it worked - up to a point. The major flaw was that you needed to take two tablets before starting your night out and then - and this is where the crucial flaw arose - you had to remember to take two more before you went to bed.

When I remembered the dosage correctly, it worked beautifully, but if you forget those pre-bed tablets, you're in for a grimly predictable morning.

Perhaps the best cure of all is to monitor your drinking and don't go out with the sole intention of getting utterly bladdered.

A glass of water between each drink works well, helping to replace the hydration stolen by alcohol and, boring though I may sound here, moderation should be your watchword.

Let's be honest, we've all been there - let's not go back there again.

- Herald on Sunday

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