Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Magic Of Pre-Hydration

For my last couple semesters as a grad student teaching classes at Texas, I would always find some excuse to tell the students about how important it is to drink plenty of water before you go out for a big night of drinking. And while this isn't a drinking blog, it's such an important piece of advice that utilitarianism compels me to share it with you. All the other drinkers who have woken up so far in this house are hung over from New Year's Eve, while I'm feeling chipper and ready to go after guzzling more booze than they did. From about 5 to 9 PM last night I had a glass of water near me at all times, and I drank a big gulp of it whenever I noticed that it was there. Such is the secret of my powers.

14 comments:

corvus said...

Oh, now you tell us.

Nicholas Beaudrot said...

I usually go with post-hydration: drink a ton of water before going to bed. It also has the side benefit of making you need to pee such that you don't sleep in too late.

DC said...

The main drawback to the post-hydration strategy is that it greatly increases the chance that you will wet the bed.

Maybe that is too much information...

Anonymous said...

no no no

utilitarianism recognizes that the greatest happiness would be obtained by getting everyone to drink less, which will in turn be obtained by getting them to feel the maximum short-term pain as a result of drinking, which requires you to do nothing to palliate their hangovers.

in fact, by making their hangovers slightly less painful, you are increasing the long-term pain associated with the social evils of drink, and therefore you are a **moral monster**!!!

just thought i should explain that.

Ratatosk said...

Quality booze helps a lot. Instead of Coors and So-Co, sip Fin du Monde or Bookers. Both are twice as potent, but never give you that laid-in-a-Bourbon-Street-gutter-all-Mardi-Gras-night feeling.

Good alcohol doesn't need preservatives, and neither does your liver.

James said...

Contrary to the above, utilitarianism clearly does mandate pain being minimised. View vary as to whether the damage caused by alcohol is worth the enjoyment, but largely this is because people have different opinions rather than being ignorant.

Anonymous said...

but never give you that laid-in-a-Bourbon-Street-gutter-all-Mardi-Gras-night feeling

What if that's what you want?

jeebus said...

utilitarianism recognizes that the greatest happiness would be obtained by getting everyone to drink less

What the hell are you talking about?!?!?

dr said...

I've had my share of Booker's hangovers. I can't say how they compare to being 'laid-in-a-Bourbon-Street-gutter-all-Mardi-Gras-night', but they sure suck.

Raul Groom said...

The real problem with post-hydration is that if you REALLY overdo it (that's when you get the worst hangovers, after all) you'll pass out/fall asleep before you can drink enough water to stop the pain train.

Still, post-hydration is better than none at all. My rule when I drink a lot is that every time I empty a bottle, I fill it with water and drink it down again before I go for another. I've never had a hangover after a night of following that rule, and it makes people think you have incredible tolerance (and that you're very wealthy) because they see you walking around guzzling straight from a bottle of Rioja for hours on end.

Chris said...

The post drink elixir of magic is Gatorade (or your favorite thirst quencher). I like lime. But you need to get your sodium and potassium balance back up. I suppose you could go with the low- or no- cal stuff, since you've already stuffed yourself full of high-cal booze. But if you get home from an unplanned night of drinking and didn't stock the water reservoir before hand, a bunch of Gatorade when you get home is just what the doctor ordered.

Amanda Marcotte said...

Sports drinks with electrolytes are possibly more important. Alcohol is a diuretic, and so that means that even if you're consuming water, you're not necessarily replenishing electrolytes. I heard a great science podcast about it. Powerade Zero is like the magic elixir.

dana said...

Hypothesis: drinking water while consuming alcohol not only hydrates you, but ensures you drink slightly less alcohol.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Powerade Zero will be remembered.

dana, I imagine that the hypothesis looks better when we're talking about beer, and worse when we're talking about whiskey.