So, as Bradley Cooper learned in “The Hangover,” you could wake up and find a tiger in the bathroom.
Or, more likely, you may feel as if the tiger is trying to eat your head from the inside out.
The hangover, in the movies and in reality, is the kind of experience that makes you wonder why you took that first drink, let alone the seventh, eighth or ninth.
Basically an ounce of prevention, or maybe 20 ounces, is worth more than any pounding cure. If you expect to imbibe five or more drinks, be prepared.
That means going into the festivities with enough food in you, and realizing that the best chaser for your beverage is a glass of water. Have one with every drink.
Alcohol leads to dehydration. You want to slow the process. It requires something that cuts the rate at which your body is absorbing the alcohol.
The good news for the drinker, if not for the weight-conscious, is that buttery, fatty food works as well as anything. Have the juicy steak dripping with butter. Make sure your burger is capped with an extra slice of cheese and a few strips of bacon.
And definitely keep irrigating your insides. You may be tempted to invest in everything from Gatorade to Pedialyte. But there’s no conclusive evidence that the additions to H2O will make a difference.
While aspirin or ibuprofen may calm the headache a bit, neither will thoroughly liberate you from your misery.
Assuming you have not taken any advice, just awakened, and expect your head to explode momentarily, try downing a hefty breakfast of the eggs, bacon and sausage variety. Have extra toast or carbohydrates of some kind. The familiar “cures” also take in everything from pickle juice to espresso, herbal tea to pickled herring.
That said, the only cure known is the simplest and the smartest: prevention. Otherwise, the tiger always will always be there.