We are all going to be going to Christmas and New Years parties soon and we are all going to be complete idiots. It is the law. You are not allowed to be older than 21 and sober on New Years Eve. Nothing we can do about it… it is the law.
Luckily there are no rules about what you can do to prevent yourself from getting too wasted, too hungover and too ill. Nobody wants to start their year screaming about somebody called “Bleurgh,” into the toilet. So having consulted with the best experts I know on drinking; Scottish Policemen; I now present to you, things that you can eat to stop you from getting drunk.
The undercover police often run up against the same problem; criminals don’t tend to make the best life choices, which means that a lot of the time when you are hanging out with them, there is going to be copious amounts of drinking involved. Which is fine, I can think of far worse ways to earn your pay, but when your job is to lie about who you are so that you don’t get murdered and dumped in a back alley somewhere, drinking something that makes you tell the truth more is probably not your best idea. Not to mention the problem with filing police reports when you can’t even remember your own name. As such they turned to the pharmaceutical industry for some magic pill that prevents you from getting drunk.
As it turns out, they don’t make a pill for that, but there are some old tricks that have been passed down through the generations that might help.
When people talk about eating something to stop themselves from getting drunk they often call it “lining their stomach.” Normally that is achieved with a whole load of bread, because it is nice and cheap. The problem with that is that bread and alcohol share a lot of the same chemical components. If you have a load of bread in your stomach and you pour on alcohol then you are going to get more drunk, not less drunk.
The other big mistake that somebody might make upon staggering home at 1am is thinking that maybe it is time for an early breakfast. Many a drunk has tried to concoct a meal that they can eat in the early hours of the morning without burning their house down and come up with the grand idea of a bowl of cereal. Don’t drink a bowl of milk when your guts are churning with liquor, the milk will curdle and you will throw up so hard that the kid from the Exorcist will think that you are being ridiculous.
As a general rule most food from Asia is not going to interact very well with alcohol. Many a good night out has been brought low by some idiot deciding that a Chinese takeaway is a smart thing to eat before going out.
Beyond that, almost anything that you eat is going to be better than nothing, in fact, once you have had enough to drink you might be amazed at all of the foods that you would normally never even consider that sound like the greatest idea ever. The drunk version of you has none of your inhibitions, they will absolutely eat a pickled egg on a dare.
While everybody knows that you need a designated driver to get you home safe, nobody has the good sense to designate someone to stay just sober enough to stop you from buying a hot-dog or kebab on the street at 1am. I am not saying that the health risks of drunk driving and food poisoning are the same of course; food poisoning will only make you wish that you are dead and people will laugh at you instead of rightly shunning you for the rest of your life.
The holy grail of food that you eat to not get drunk is cheese. The undercover policemen that I spoke to would eat it by the block before going out to work. He favoured a nice mature cheddar washed down with a glass of whiskey to cover up the smell. Probably not something that those of us only putting our dignity on the line want to attempt.
A pizza is probably a pretty good idea for a pre-drinking meal, as is macaroni and cheese, both are big, filling meals, made mainly out of cheese, with the added bonus that you might even enjoy eating them.
There are always a few pieces of folk wisdom passed around about avoiding hangovers that come from a fundamental lack of understanding of what a hangover actually is. You aren’t hungover because your brain is dehydrated, so guzzling eight glasses of water before you go to bed isn’t going to help with anything except making you feel really weird. You are hungover because alcohol is a poison that we, as a species have decided to drink sometimes, because it makes us more fun. You are ill after drinking poison because it is poison. Don’t act so surprised.
Having said that, don’t worry, we aren’t going to leave you to wallow in misery for too long, there are some things that you can eat when you are hungover that will make you feel much better, much faster. The first and most vital ingredient in almost every hangover cure is bacon.
In dire times, like that one two day hangover, a plate of fried bacon rashers has been enough to bring me back from the brink of death. For maximum effect, you need a full cooked breakfast of sausages, bacon, fried eggs, fried bread, fried mushrooms, baked beans, toast and a cup of coffee so strong that it dissolves spoons.
Coffee and grease are the only salvation of the hungover. Accept that they are going to be a part of you mornings and plan accordingly. Nobody likes the guy who goes food shopping on New Years Day.