Monday, December 29, 2008

Hangover 101

This weekend I washed all my shot glasses,
shined up the cocktail shaker,
and cut my lemons into cute bite-sized wedges.
I stocked up on olives, cherries, orange slices
and margarita salt.
And bought a 200 count bottle
of aspirin.

All in preparation for New Year's Eve.

Now, I am not a drinking woman.
But I do enjoy a margarita now and then.
Especially at Applebee's.
(Theirs are perfect.)

And when special occasions arise-
(such as a brand new year)-
I take it upon myself to indulge
in a sip of fine liquor
as a celebratory act.

However, after reading about hangovers
this morning, I'm not quite sure
how festive I really want to get.

I found out that when alcohol is consumed
it causes the pituitary gland in the brain
to block the creation of vasopressin.
Without this certain chemical,
the kidneys send water
directly to the bladder instead
of absorbing it into the system.

Thus, frequent trips to the bathroom.

According to studies that have been done,
drinking 250 milliliters of alcohol
causes the body to expel 800 to 1000
milliliters of water.
That's four times as much liquid lost
as gained.

The result is dehydration.
And to make up for the body's
need for water,
the other organs try to make up for their loss
by stealing water from the brain.

Stealing water from the brain causes
it to decrease in size
and pull on the membranes that
connect it to the skull.
Thus- the dreaded morning-after headache.

Alcohol also promotes secretion of
hydrochloric acid in the stomach
which eventually sends a message
to the brain that the stomach is hurting.
The result?
It's the body's way of ridding itself of
the extra toxins.

And we all know how uncomfortable
using the toilet seat as a pillow can be.

Seventy-five percent of alcohol consumers
have experienced a hangover at least once.
Fifteen percent have one at least once a month.
And twenty-five percent of college students
experience hangovers on a weekly basis. that I am educated-
I'm looking at the possibility of
a nice sparking grape juice or
an eggnog to partake in
for a New Year's toast.

It gives me the heebie-jeebies
to think of my brain shrinking
from anything other than natural aging.

I don't know about you,
but I like having
a fat brain.