Ernest Hemmingway summed up the daytime drinking comedown best: Death in the Afternoon. Which, fittingly, became the name for his infamous cocktail and questionable hangover cure. Being Men’s Health, we can’t recommend mixing absinthe and iced champagne to fix your head, but we can help you hold off the beer-garden crash that comes long before last drinks.
1pm Pre-pear yourself
Call gone out for a lunchtime trek to the local? Pack a pear. Recent research by CSIRO scientists found eating a pear before a drinking session can significantly reduce both your blood alcohol level and hangover symptoms.
According to lead researcher Professor Manny Noakes, pears act on key enzymes to inhibit alcohol absorption and speed up its metabolism. In fact, they’re particularly effective at cutting blood acetaldehyde levels, the toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for hangover symptoms. But be warned: the scientists only studied Korean (or nashi) pears and the effect only works if the pear’s eaten before your first drink.
2pm Be a straight shooter
The key to avoiding a premature hangover may not lie with what you put in your glass – but rather be the glass itself. A new study by Bristol University found that those who drank their beer from a straight glass, instead of a curved one, sank each pint 1.2 minutes more slowly. According to the researchers, glasses with measurement markings are even better: while your body absorbs alcohol faster than you can metabolise it, measurement etchings tell your brain to slow the pace so your liver doesn’t take such a hit. Sure, the barman may begrudge your pernickety glassware requests, but it’ll be well worth it for the farewell to harms.
4:30pm Save your bacon
Back in the office and staring glassy-eyed at your computer screen? A bacon sandwich could ensure you don’t pass out on the trip home. According to researchers at the UK’s Newcastle University, alcohol depletes the amino acids in your body, so a solid hit of protein-rich bacon mixed with some readily accessible carbs is the perfect mix to replenish them. A greasy wad of bacon sound a bit much after a skinful? Try a glass of milk with a scoop of whey protein. Grate in some nausea-fighting ginger if you’re feeling particularly queasy.