“I will never drink again” and “Pombe si uji” are common things that we swear by when suffering from a hangover. Some people, and ironically these are the non-pious types, even pray and negotiate with God and promise Him better ways if He takes away the hangover. Funny thing is, after they have survived the hangover, you will still find them drinking next time, this time with a new method to cure hangovers. Truth is, there is no cure for hangovers apart from completely abstaining from drinking.
Even what we term as ‘kutoa lock’ or as the Brits say ‘biting the hair of the dog that bit you’ is a temporary measure that makes you feel better momentarily till the alcohol levels go down and the ethanol is metabolized. Despite there being no cure for hangovers, there are a few hacks that can help us mitigate the effects after a night or day of imbibing.
1. Line your stomach
Before drinking, ensure you have had a heavy meal. There is a reason why most bar joints have lots of choma, a meal rich in protein and fats slows down the effect of alcohol so that you do not get too high too fast. It goes without saying that if you are dieting and are taking all the khalua shots on a stomach full of two tiny potatoes that you have no right to complain if you black out on the spot or have a hangover the following morning, or more likely both.
Since we are on the topic of food, those mayai boiros sold outside the club, especially on Electric Avenue Westlands should also be what you eat on your way home. Eggs contain cysteine, which is an amino acid that helps the liver to metabolize alcohol faster so you recover faster.
2. Water is your friend
When drinking, pace yourself with water as the bad symptoms of hangovers; headaches, dry throat, nausea, dizziness are caused and exacerbated by dehydration. For every two drinks you have, be it cocktails, beers or whiskey fingers, get a half litre of water. If you are one of those crazy heads who say you cannot buy water in the club unless you have to because it costs as much as the alcohol, at least buy a bottle when the world starts tilting. Remember to take a few glasses of water before bed too.
3. Be picky about your poison
This is not about being bourgie, but about being prudent. Buy a bottle of whatever you plan to be drinking and try to stick to that. Mixing drinks is a sure proof way to have a deadly hangover. If you are having cocktails, stick to one cocktail. If that fails, stick to cocktails made from the same spirit, say vodka-based cocktails or gin cocktails for the entire night.
Stay away from green tea, it makes your hangover worse. Stock up on soda water or sprite instead, they help alleviate hangovers and have lots of sugar, which is great for the body especially since you will not feel like eating the following morning.
And if you have the money, buy the premium-distilled stuff. They have fewer impurities and therefore pack little to no hangover!
4. Pop them pills
Right before bed take an ibuprofen pill to help with your symptoms in the morning. A few people swear by Mara Moja and Advil and claim that if you take just one of these with two glasses of water and knock off, you will wake up with minimal hangover symptoms.
Multivitamin pills especially vitamin B12 are also very good at staving off hangovers. So, do not miss your daily vitamin dosage because of alcohol, take it kama kawaida and it might just alleviate your hangover.
5. Rest up
Whatever your anti-hangover ritual is, just ensure you rest enough. People who don’t rest enough or get enough sleep are normally crankier than the rest; now add hangover symptoms to that! Rest and sleep are not for the weak, they are for the wise! Are you wise? Happy drinking or teetotalling if you cannot handle the heat!