Photo by: Jirka Matousek
Many of us like a good party, even if we’ll admit that we dread the morning after the night before. Often, we go a little too far in our pursuit of a good time, letting our hair down wildly because we deserve it after a week of hard work. And why not? But for those of us who are serious about warding off the sinuous demons that pounce on us the next day, we need to start looking for a solution.
After all, some of us have things to do and a day wasted is more than annoying. A day curled up in bed with a comedown or a hangover is the last thing we want if we still have work to finish off, a meeting to go to later in the day, or exams to revise for. The problem is that we lose far too many days each year due to our body’s slow recovery time as it turgidly tries to get the alcohol and any other substances out of our system.
Evolution has assisted many things, but its ability to combat alcohol is still left largely wanting. Moreover, because our means of having a good time have changed – processed drugs and whatnot – our body now has to adapt to that too. So is there a cure? Is there a solution? Or do we simply have to give up the ghost and prepare ourselves for the fact that we won’t be getting anything done the day after a night on the town? Well, actually, there are a few remedies out there. Let’s take a look.
The effectiveness of modafinil on sleep deprived adults has been established for quite some time. It’s been variously prescribed in the past for those who suffer narcolepsy or find themselves feeling drowsy at work, and is known to improve alertness and sustain cognitive performance. And after a night of hard partying, one of the key things you lose is sleep. Combined with loss of energy, your body will feel completely drained the day after, unfit for anything besides the occasional yawn and cry of ‘help me!’ Modafinil can keep people awake for an incredible 40 hours and, best of all, it comes without the fuzziness that caffeine tends to produce. It’s safe to use, so if tiredness is your worst enemy after a night out, modafinil could be your new best friend.
It sounds Greek (Hercules, geddit?) so we thought maybe this would be capable of making you stronger the next day, ready to do battle with the hangover and win. As it turns out, it does make you stronger physically, but Hericium Erinaceus is a Chinese mushroom and its effects on a person who has done too much partying are nothing short of wonderful.
When you drink to excess, your body prevents zinc absorption. Alcohol can also cause a depletion of iron, and we all know by now the long-term effects it can have on your liver. Hericium Erinaceus, which has been used as a Chinese medicine for centuries, is a veritable well of Zinc and Iron, and it also comes with excellent benefits for your liver (not to mention all your other vital organs). Although it has been used in the treatment of ulcers, its benefits for a partygoer who simply needs to get up and go the next day are there to see; it works at restoring huge quantities of energy, as well as boosting your overall physical condition. In short, it gives your whole body the oomph that it needs.
This widely-recognised nootropic comes in capsule form, or you can eat it in its original state. The only off-putting thing for some is that it looks like a beard (its nickname is the Bearded Hedgehog). Oh well.
Photo by: Sheldon Shaw
Alcohol is a depressant. Moreover, it causes us to lose our focus and concentration the next day, owing to both a mental and physical tiredness setting in. Pyritinol is known to be a particularly potent mental performance booster, and it works at increasing dopamine levels in our brain that, in short, give us that little oomph that we need when working.
But how does this help a hangover? Taken in large doses, Pyritinol has been proven to cure hangovers. When we drink alcohol, our body slows down the process of absorbing B vitamins, which are incredibly important for optimal brain functioning – or indeed, any kind of brain functioning! Pyritinol works to improve absorption of B vitamins. It improves concentration, speed of thought and it has even been clinically tested to help cut out depression. So if you’re feeling jaded the day after a night of partying, with your reasoning and ability to work out even simple sums or string a few paragraphs together significantly reduced, Pyritinol may be the one for you.
Caffeine + Painkiller
It’s a simplistic nootropics stack, but it’s incredibly effective and, even better, can probably be found in your kitchen without much effort. Such accessibility is exactly what you need when you’re dying of a hangover.
Study has shown that acetate – a negative ion found in liquid solutions, such as alcohol – is a chief culprit when it comes to those pesky hangover headaches. Caffeine and painkillers combined have subsequently been shown to block acetate, and thus cure one of a hangover headache.
Moreover, caffeine is well-known for its ability to wake us up and increase alertness. If you have something you really need to get done the day after a night on the tiles, a stimulant as potent as a cup of black coffee could be the perfect pick-me-up. The key is to not drink too much because, like alcohol, caffeine can also cause dehydration.
As an added afterthought, caffeine coupled with L-Theanine is also a great way to improve focus and concentration. L-Theanine is found in tea leaves and has been proven to significantly focus our mental faculties, thereby helping us to concentrate on our tasks and ward off a nasty hangover.