Hungry, hungry, hungover

Advice on how to avoid and deal with the soul-crushing hangover of your dreams

It was a night of unfettered joy, but you flew too close to the sun. Somehow while you were sleeping the wings you grew over boozy and glorious adventures of the night before came apart and you crashed back down to the earth. Hard.

You, my friend, are hungover. 

You’re staring down a full day of school and part-time work. What can you do to start to feel more like a human being and less like a barf-filled sewer grate being trampled by parade floats?

Before we get into dealing with your morning’s symptoms—dry mouth, nausea and an Uggs boot kicking you in the face every 13 seconds—there are steps you could have taken before you became an extra from The Walking Dead.

According to Linda Gillis, a nutrition professor at George Brown College (GBC), some of the classic tips like eating and downing water while drinking can help avoid a soul-crushing hangover. But what you eat can make a difference.

“While you’re drinking you don’t want to have too many carbohydrates because alcohol immediately increases your blood sugars and then it drops down for the next morning,” she said. 

The spike in blood sugars, along with dehydration and the body’s efforts to process acetaldehyde, the toxic byproduct that alcohol becomes, are some of the reasons why you feel like garbage on a hot day while hungover. Foods high in carbohydrates include pasta, bread and potatoes.

Gillis said that eating more balanced meals with fats, proteins and some carbs, along with water throughout the night, will help mitigate the pain of a hangover. But really, the secret is, surprise, not to over do it. 

“The best cure is prevention,” she said. “Enjoy a drink or two with friends and (you can) still feel energetic the next morning to tackle your assignments.”

But could have should have would have. The only thing that’s hurting more than your brain and body is your sense of self-respect.

But don’t fret because Gillis said you can trade one vice for another. Coffee and caffeine, along with water, can help boost you through the early stages of a hangover. 

“Caffeine is a stimulant which will help perk you up,” said Gillis.  “It won’t cure the hangover but will make you feel less tired. But not too much caffeine though as this can dehydrate as well.” 

For Bretton Newman, a culinary-management student at GBC being as active as early as humanly possible is key to surviving a hangover.  

“Fresh air within the first hour of waking up helps tremendously later in the day,” she said through Facebook. “Plus getting your ass out of bed will help you feel like you haven’t completely wasted your morning. Literally even if it’s just to walk to Starbucks and get a coffee or something it will help you.”

Salty foods are key for Connor Jarmillo, a practical nursing student at GBC, because they help with the absorption of water and restoring your electrolytes.

“Honestly anything with some salt; eggs, guacamole, salt and vinegar chips maybe, usually something healthier,” he said over Facebook.

For Lucas Hum, a GBC culinary student, the key to recovery is under the sea. Or, at least, it was under the sea until it became his fish chowder.  

There are many other hangover cures out there, and everyone has one. But Gillis said hangover treatments like coconut water and taking vitamin B are less effective than advertised. While it’s important to “just get that fluid in” and coconut water doesn’t hurt, it’s not more beneficial for hangovers than a sports drink, she said. And Vitamin Bs don’t help because drinking doesn’t really affect your vitamin levels. 

And for those edgy heroes out there who like to pound a drink the morning after to cure a hangover, you’re just procrastinating.

“More alcohol will just prolong the hangover symptoms making Monday morning as bad as Sunday morning,” she said.

So if it’s less than smart to drink more to avoid a hangover, what should we do the morning after to get on the road to recovery?

“A caffeinated ginger lemon tea with a mango and whole grain toast with peanut butter would be perfect,” Gillis said.

If these don’t tickle your hungover hell-gut, there are always other anti-oxidants including star fruit, pears, lemon, pears and asparagus to help battle that awful acetaldehyde.

The Canadian Centre for Addictions and Mental Health’s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines recommend that for those who choose to drink not exceed 10 drinks a week for women, and 15 drinks a week for men.


Fish Chowder Recipe

by Lucas Hum
Servings: 6

2 Strips of Bacon (fine dice)
Clove of Garlic (minced)
Onion (small dice) (80g)
Celery (small dice) (60g)
Unsalted Butter (10g)
A.P. Flour (2 Tablespoons)
Russet Potatoes (macedoine) (170g)
Fish Stock (600mL)
Milk (100mL)
Heavy Cream (250mL)
Salmon (cubed) (120g)
Haddock (cubed) (120g)
Leeks (30 g) (julienne)
Vegetable Oil (for frying) (1/2 cup)
Fresh Chives
Fresh Thyme
Ground Nutmeg (1/2 Teaspoon)
Salt & Pepper 

Sautee bacon, add butter, garlic, onions, celery and cook slowly until soft. Add Flour and stir to make a roux.
Cook the roux slowly for 2-3 minutes (do not let it brown).
Slowly stir the stock into the roux. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, to make sure the liquid is smooth. Add potatoes and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Bring oil to temperature for frying the leeks. fry for a light crisp texture and reserve for later.
Add cream/milk mixture and seafood, keep hot until Seafood is cooked, do not boil. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs.


Hungry, hungry, hungover