We’ve all been there: ailing in our bed from the previous night’s shenanigans. The plight of the hangover has gotten increasingly worse as the years have progressed. When drinking was a relatively novel endeavor, you found yourself back on your feet in no time. For example, in high school, you could drink heavily (whatever “heavily” meant back then) and still be extremely productive the following day; whereas today, you suddenly become confined to your bed—wallowing and brainstorming ways to combat the feelings of uneasiness. It feels as if there’s no blood coursing through your veins. You’re lifeless and contemplating eating, usually something unhealthy: high in fat and in calories. You chug water, which, because of the rate of absorption, is feckless. So, you try to sleep, but that’s also ineffective because of the rebound effect—your body overcompensates for the glutamine deficiency by pumping more into your blood, thus stimulating your brain. You concoct various fruits such as watermelon and apples to only hope that it will be the antidote. Finding the proper cure will eventually seem analogous to searching for a Leprechaun’s gold at the end of a rainbow. The only real cure is time, and that, at this juncture, seems unacceptable. This harrowing, convoluted hangover can even linger into the next day, making you feel stricken by lethargy and a foggy brain. What led us to this misery? Things were all good just a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, there’s a reason for the newfound struggle, and age seems to be the leading contributor.
As we age, our body composition alters and we tend (well, most of us)to pack on more fat than muscle. This uneven distribution of mass causes us to get drunk even faster, but we keep guzzling down the drinks unaware of how affected we’ve become by the alcohol. Also, when we get older, our machines (bodies) become less efficient: the liver can’t metabolize the alcohol as fast as it once would when you were a spry, young lad. Essentially, the alcohol elimination process has decelerated. A person in their twenties probably has a 30% stronger tolerance than a person who is a teenager, consequently leading to more dehydration. However, when you’re younger your nights are truncated due to curfew and lack of hospitable options. On the other hand, older people find their ways to bars and prolong their drunken revelry, which most definitely exacerbates the soon-to-come hangover. When you’re confronted with adventurous, bar-hopping nights, you’ll be more susceptible to indulging in a combination of drinks (shots, beer, mixed drinks, wine, etc.) which inevitably delays the recovery method. Darker liquors usually provide more of a destructive hangover because of the toxic additives that are distilled into them.
I’m getting to the point (I’m pretty much there) where the pain of the hangover is outweighing the pleasure of the buzz. Pragmatically, it’s simply unwise to sacrifice a whole day of utter desolation for a couple of hours of euphoria. Although, as aware as we may be of this tormenting effect from alcohol, we’ll continue to imbibe as if it doesn’t matter. Because, in the end, we all desire that instant gratification, and we don’t care what’s to follow. We want want want…now now now. This is a microcosm of what’s wrong with society today, but who cares, right? We want to get drunk and have fun. True, indeed. That being said, I’m off to Miami this weekend for a 3-night bender and I’m wildly cognizant of the torture that will befall me on Sunday. But will that stop me? Nope, out of sight out of mind; it’s the only way we know.