This past Saturday I celebrated the 21st anniversary of my mother pushing me out of her womb. The build up, however, was not without some stress and finger wringing. A few days before my birthday I was contemplating what I wanted to do. Would I have a wild night reminiscent of my freshman year, or would I be reserved, mature, and have a glass of red wine at a swanky bar? I married the two and decided to be a reserved shit-show. Voila. For someone who doesn’t drink often, I approached the day with gusto. I spent the first half of the afternoon drinking a six pack of Angry Orchard cider (1140 calories and 174 grams of sugar, oii vey!) and around eight I hit the rum bottle hard and made it a little more than half way through. All in all I consumed nearly 2,000 calories in alcohol and an unknown amount of sugar. Needless to say, I didn’t feel solid again until 6pm the next evening. I don’t plan on drinking that much again for a very, very long time. However, I fully encourage people who are turning 21 to show their wild side. It’s the one day where it’s 100% socially acceptable to be a little drunk, so take advantage. I think I would have been bummed having a ‘classy’ night.
Now on to the less sexy side of drinking: the hangover, or as my mother loves to say ‘Paying the Piper.’ Around 1pm I was able to stay up long enough for a delivery order of Chicken Charlie’s ribs and fries. I initially had these rather sanctimonious plans of curing my hangover through natural ways.
Obviously, those were thrown out the window, making way for grease, Advil, and Netflix. Dutiful Chris propped me up, and I decided he deserved many bites for dealing with my drunken antics when I had arrived home. Satisfied, and still a little woozy, I went back to bed.
For the next few days I went on an unusual binge of junk food. I got an iced coffee (no lie, though, it is the best when hung-over), and took several trips to McDonalds for their fries, which I’m convinced they fry in liquid crack. I hit rock bottom the night I got the femme-fatale of drinks: Shamrock Shake. Worst stomach cramps ever. I realized I needed to get back on the green smoothies, baggies of vegetables, and glasses of water. What had brought me down this path?
My theory: the initial hangover. I’m someone who’s always dehydrated after a night of drinking, and, stupidly enough, I hate drinking water when my tummy is doing the wAvE. However, when you’re really hung-over you need more than water. You need to replace your electrolyte imbalance which has been altered due to all the time you’ve spent peeing. Coincidentally, most easy to reach for junk foods are packed with sodium, so it’s almost like we’re naturally drawn to them as we mutter to ourselves ‘never again.’
My theory continues. You all know how addictive junky, sugary, and salty foods are. Unfortunately, it can only take a few days of this style of eating for our bodies to start craving these foods. Yikes! This makes it additionally harder to eat healthy as a college student if you’re the type who drinks Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and, just for kicks, once during the week. Not only are you probably living in a constant hangover, which doesn’t seem like a very fun or healthy existence, but to handle that hangover you’re probably filling yourself with junk food because it feels good.
Now is the time for tough decisions. If you truly want to live a healthier life you are going to have to cut down on the drinking. Heavy drinking wears on your liver, your organs, and can even make you look a few years older than you are. It’s nice to go out for a drink with a meal. It’s relaxing to have some friends over for movies a few glasses of wine. Here and there won’t have a huge affect, but habitual binge drinking (yeah, admit it, its binge drinking—I did it all freshman year!) isn’t doing your organs, your waist, and possibly your friendships any favors. You really can go out and have fun without being obscenely plastered. And finally, if you are going to drink please suck it up and pay the few extra dollars for higher quality. That $5 plastic handle of (insert Russian name) is a financial plus, but you’ll definitely feel it more the next day. (source).
Check out these links to learn the science behind hangovers and ways to lessen the pain.
Peel Away ❤