The number of alcohol consumers in Namibia just seems to take the lead in so many races. In fact, statistically, there are more alcohol adverts than those encouraging the same crowd to stay away from the liquor. It has become a tradition that Friday cannot just go down without a bottle of beer complimented by other beverages.
People use various reasons to justify their drinking habits, some drink for the pleasure of it others were raised in such environments and a good number claim to nurse their problems through the bottle. No one person can really give a solid reason as to why they may choose to indulge in this sometimes detrimental act, given its rather unpleasant taste, they choose instead to go for the typical – “I just like it” reason.
And just like the adage that says too much of something is equally not good, the morning after a heavy evening of swimming in the pool of alcohol is one many never wish for – but refuse to think about before drinking. That is when your own mouth is said to behave strangely as it produces saliva that you can actually taste. Attempting to seek help from someone nearby may prove futile given the strong stench from the bad breath that follows a long night of drinking alcohol. Bongani Ntwala says “if I had a way of telling that drinking beyond a certain point would result in a hangover I would oblige to that one rule more than any other.”
This is a feeling that has led some takers to completely swear off their drink for the fear of being taken back to that state of literal sickness. An alcohol hangover is associated with a variety of symptoms that may include drowsiness, headache, concentration problems, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal complaints, fatigue, sweating, nausea, hyper-excitability, anxiety, running stomach and a feeling of general discomfort that may last more than 24 hours.
The Hydro Recipe
Given the dehydration induced by consumption of alcohol, medics recommend drinking of a lot of water. Taking constant breaks during a drinking spree to take water does not only help stabilize you, it may also reduce your chances of getting hang over the next day. Others prefer rather to drink water then take the alcohol, and some more even drink water right after they drink the alcohol. Either way, if one intends on drinking on a regular basis, it is best to surpass this with your water intake levels. Just drink lots of water regularly.
Keep it hot and spicy
Many people making patrons at Windhoek’s Single Quarters on weekend mornings testify of having spent their early hours on the dance floor. With dreary eyes hidden behind sunglasses, celebrators find refuge in Kapana the next day. Ntwala says “I simply get myself some kapana with enough chilli the next morning… I’ve come to realise that nothing works better.” Many have claimed that this delicacy does actually aid with toning down the hangover. Others say they resolve to drinking soups that also help them feel better but do not necessarily take the hang over away.
While some people choose to java it off instead, “Keep it black and extra hot – less sugar and taken in the shortest period possible. This is the recommended methodology of the coffee formula” said Antonio Muole. However according to medical specialists, this simply isn’t very true. Coffee has caffeine. Caffeine narrows your blood vessels and boosts blood pressure. Both of these are said to possibly make the hangover even worse
If Not, Why Not?
Right after noticing the state of affairs, those who have tried have recommended that taking one more drink actually helps reduce or at least postpones the effect. Some say that diving back into a state of intoxication takes away the pains and pulls of the hangover. Selma Ileka says that an extra drink works almost like insurance – restoring you to your initial position as a way of bypassing the incoherent sickness of the morning to meet them later in the day and in much less quantities. She confirms however that this method does not take away hangovers – it merely moves them to a more bearable timeslot.
What to eat?
Terence Chiweshe recommends eating of fruits in the morning – he especially noted the effectiveness of the water melon. “Many people prefer to wait until the end of the night before they sleep-out on a pack of Zinger Wings and a Coca-Cola with the hope to redirect their body’s intentions if any” said Muole, who also confesses to have tried this method. Some ‘survivors’ have claimed that after they had a greasy breakfast; particularly eggs and or bacon, they felt much better instantaneously. However, these foods are harder to digest and may not be theoretically correct to take right after subjecting the body to high alcohol levels. Physicians recommend that it is better to stick to something light, easy to digest by the body such as cereals or toast. The body also concurrently appreciates the dosage of calories that it receives. So you’re probably better staying away from that pap, for breakfast at least, put it off to lunch maybe.
Some say Aspirin, others say any off-the-counter pain killers. Some, like Chiweshe, say before bed, right after a drinking spree, others say in the morning – with a Coca-Cola or with a sports drink. But none of these claims can be proven to be 100 percent cures of hangovers. Some medicines may help in alleviating one or two of the symptoms – for instance, headaches or a running stomach. They however, cannot scientifically completely take away the symptoms of a hangover.
Stretch your muscles
“Try to work out as soon as you wake up” this was the recommendation of a body builder but a regular indulger. A gentle workout could help you feel better, if you can manage it (and that’s a big if). Given the obvious difficulty that one would face with waking up to an entire gym session, it is rather better to get yourself enough rest. You already don’t have enough nutrients and water in your system, the exercise will require just that to go through successfully something that is far less likely to happen.
Very few people have the luxury of being able to sleep off a hangover. The alcohol withdrawal usually makes the effects feel even worse, so if one does get the chance to sleep the day away. This would be quite the trick. In the end, the only sure-fire treatment for a hangover is time.