Before the New Year, we sent a query out to our readers: “Do you have any great Latino hangover cures? We want the ones you learned from your abuelita!”
Turns out abuelita really knows her stuff. (Have you considered having her talk to somebody?) Many, if not most, of the cures you sent in have some basis in scientific fact. Here’s what you said, and whether or not it works.
"Menudo!!! No question! El menudo puede curar todo!"
From Dan Garcia via Facebook
While scientists aren’t exactly sure what makes for a hang-over, dehydration is definitely a factor: Alcohol blocks hormones in your kidneys that would normally keep you from that 60th bathroom trip, so while boozing, you actually lose more liquid than you take in. The broth that goes with a nice menudo the next morning can help you get that liquid back, and replace some of the salts and electrolytes you lost along the way. (A little protein doesn’t hurt either.) But, experts say, it’s more effective if it’s eaten before or just after you booze, when it can coat the lining of your stomach and slow the absorption of alcohol. As PerdidoenUSA wrote on Twitter, “ Las abuelas nos dicen que hay que comer bien antes y despues de la fiesta.”
"Menudo picoso y una cerveza!"
From Connie Aguirre-Hawatmeh via Facebook
We too thought this was just a rationalization, but it turns out the ol’ “hair of the dog” actually has a basis in science. A hangover starts when your body is dealing with falling alcohol levels, so adding a little alcohol helps put off this reckoning. Here’s the thing, though: It’s going to come sometime, and leaning on this remedy puts you on the slippery slope to a drinking problem. If you’re dead set, try something like a Bloody Mary, so your body gets the vitamins, salt and liquid in the juice. (Another, possibly less effective solution came from Javier Ramirez on Facebook: “una chela bien fria con limon y sal.”) And stop after just one this time.
"Agua de coco y cafe negro bien fuerte"
Breaking down the alcohol you drank makes your body pump out lactic acid, and so inhibits your creation of glucose and electrolytes. Coconut water can help counter this, as can sports drinks and that old classic, water. Watch out with coffee though: One hangover theory holds that the pounding in your head is caused when blood cells there dilate, so caffeine, being a diuretic, can help by constricting them again. On the other hand, you’re already dehydrated, so if you’re going to drink coffee, have a lot of water as well.
And of course, there's only one fool-proof way to stave off a hangover:
"Mi abuelita said nomas no tomes, so I never did."
From Maggie Gallegos via Facebook