Handy cures for holiday hangovers

Hangovers are as much a hallmark of the holidays as dazzling decorations, gaudy gifts and bounties of bubbling booze. As a holiday present for our overimbibing readers, The Examiner interviewed experts about their favorite cures for the drinking-induced headaches, shakes and nausea that threaten to dampen the holiday spirit.

Bartender
Gabriel Cothes,
Salt House Restaurant & Bar, South of Market
The career bartender and seasoned drinker offered two surefire hangover cures.

In a perfect world, Cothes said, a greasy fried egg followed by an hourlong nap will do the trick.

“As long as you get those eggs,” Cothes said, “what you serve them with doesn’t much matter.”

But “in the real world,” if you need to get up-and-running right away and can’t afford the nap, Cothes recommends a shot of warm vodka or gin in a plastic cup to get the bounce back in your step.

“Glass is too hard,” Cothes said. “You need something you can rest your face against.”

 

Personal trainer
Tommy Stracke,
Crunch Fitness, Marina district

For this fitness professional, nothing is better for kicking a hangover than water.

“Alcohol is almost like a diuretic, so water is pushed out of your body,” Stracke said. “A lot of the time, hangovers are caused mainly by dehydration.”

Stracke said that a stiff cup of coffee might feel good after a night on the grog, but it can actually exacerbate the hangover by worsening dehydration.

“The main thing is rehydration,” Stracke said.

Stracke says he usually exercises his hangovers away, but not before drinking plenty of water, which helps the body sweat toxins away.

“I always feel better after a workout after a night of drinking. For me, it always helps,” he said.

 

Medical doctor
John Mendelson,
California Pacific Medical Center, Nob Hill

This addiction treatment and research expert delivered sobering advice about hangovers: Don’t get them.

“Whether we do it ourselves or not, we never advise someone that it’s OK,” Mendelson said. “But alcohol in low doses doesn’t seem toxic at all.”

A hangover is a toxic reaction to a drug that’s telling you to ease off on the boozing, he said.

Mendelson said that the bartender’s hair-of-the-dog therapy is not a treatment for hangovers.

“What you’re really talking about treating [is] alcohol withdrawal. That’s really inadvisable because it means you’re on the path to alcohol addiction and alcoholism,” he said.

 

Herbalist and acupuncturist
Eunice Kan,
Live Well, San Mateo

Not surprisingly, the acupuncturist plugged acupuncture as a cure for the headaches, nausea and vomiting symptoms of a monster ­hangover.

But Kan also suggested a specific Chinese herbal medicine that’s sold in San Francisco’s Chinatown that can help cure a hangover.

Bottles of huo xiang zheng qi san contain so many confusingly named ingredients that it’s probably best not to read the label with hungover eyes.

“It’s a formula that’s usually used for digestive problems, but it’s also great for hangovers,” Kan said. “A lot of the time when you’re hung over, you’re nauseous, so it can help relieve those symptoms.”

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an update on COVID-19 cases on Thursday Nov. 3, 2020. (Examiner screenshot)
Newsom announces statewide stay-at-home order tied to availability of hospital beds

Order will take effect in Bay Area when intensive care unit capacity falls below 15 percent

Photo by Abalone Runner/ <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74406455" target="_blank">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>
Former Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard facing domestic violence, child abuse charges

Prominent Bay Area political strategist Nathan Ballard is facing domestic violence and… Continue reading

Construction crews work on new red bus rapid transit lanes on Van Ness Avenue on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board scrutinizes Van Ness BRT spending

Proposed contract modification would allocate $2.6 million for pedestrian monitors

Mayor London Breed said “I need to hold myself to a higher standard” in response to criticism of a recent meal at a Napa Valley restaurant. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed calls criticism for French Laundry trip ‘fair’

Mayor said she regrets that actions ‘distracted’ from public health message as COVID-19 cases rise

City Administrator Naomi Kelly said Wednesday that the allegations against her husband were “based on the word of a liar.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Administrator Naomi Kelly takes leave after feds charge husband

High-ranking official under scrutiny over 2016 China trip

Most Read