College Myths Debunked: Some Hair of the Dog That Bit You
It’s no secret that much of the college social life revolves around drinking. We drink to celebrate, mourn, express loyalty to our football teams, to ease boredom, hell, some people drink to make homework a little more interesting (no, no one else does that?). Well, all that super fun drinking sometimes results in not-so-fun consequences: mysterious bruises, ruined shoes, hours’ worth of un-tagging on Facebook, that dude lying next to you, and the raging, horrific hangover trying to escape your brain by splitting it open.
What’s a girl to do? Your mind jumps to Gatorade (don’t have any), Egg McMuffins (dammit, it’s past 10:30!) and water (your Brita pitcher is full of hunch punch) before remembering that bottle of Bloody Mary mix in the back of the fridge. Should you suck it up, stir in some vodka and take a hair of the dog that bit you?
The phrase itself refers to an old school Rabies cure (literally, they would place a hair of the dog that bit you in the wound), but has evolved into the idea that if you drink a small amount of whatever got you into this hung-over state, you’ll feel better. It didn’t work for rabies, and it won’t work for your hangover.
A hangover results because of the dehydrating effect alcohol has on your body. Remember what we learned about breaking the seal? Alcohol suppresses your brain’s ability to create anti-diuretic hormones, so you lose essential water, electrolytes, salts and glucose via bathroom breaks. The morning after, your body is frantically trying to replenish all that lost hydration, resulting in fatigue, headache, nausea, etc. These symptoms get worse as your body tries to rid all alcohol from its system, leading some to believe that all this hangover nonsense could be cured by simply drinking more.
Unfortunately, more alcohol will only postpone your hangover. It might temporarily relieve some of the symptoms of a hangover (and keep you in those beer goggles until the boy actually leaves), but when it wears off your body will still have to recover, only now it your liver has extra toxins to break down and remove. So in the end, your headache and nausea will probably be worsened by more alcohol, definitely not relieved.
The best cure for a hangover (besides, you know, not drinking in the first place) is to drink plenty of water to fight dehydration, some Gatorade or Powerade to replace electrolytes, lots of rest, and at least 4 hours worth of mind numbing TV, preferably Real Housewives or True Hollywood Stories, but whatever’s on VH1 will do in a pinch.