Sometimes a happy hour can lead to a not so happy hangover. Sleeping off the headaches, nausea and fatigue is the most surefire way of managing your symptoms, but that’s not always a possibility. If you had a big night out and are feeling the effects, try these remedies to help you make it through the day.
Over the counter options like Advil (or any generic version of ibuprofen) can help to numb a splitting headache, but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem and could even make things worse by damaging your alcohol-soaked stomach. If you're sore and achey enough to warrant it, go ahead, but steer clear of acetaminophen (like Tylenol) since it’s processed by your liver, which you’ve done enough to already.
Alcohol is a diuretic. In other words, it makes you go to the bathroom—a lot. The result is dehydration, which has all sorts of nasty side effects including raging headaches and a blood stream filled with little alcoholic toxins that your body can’t easily flush out. By replenishing the water in your body, your headache will be more manageable and you'll remove the toxins that make your muscles ache. It’s especially helpful to rehydrate as much as possible before going to bed to mitigate your symptoms before they even begin, but you should also drink plenty of water when you first wake up and more throughout the morning. It’ll do you wonders.
If you’ve got it on hand or are wise enough to stock up beforehand, sports drinks or coconut water are even more effective than since they also pack in electrolytes, which are kind of like fuel for your cells to keep your body running smoothly. You lose electrolytes as you become dehydrated when you're drinking, so replenishing them while you rehydrate will help fight back against queasy feelings.
In South Korea, haejangguk, or ‘hangover soup,’ is the wildly spicy breakfast of choice for businessmen who need to be ready and alert for their 9 a.m. meeting after a few too many drinks the night before. While it’s not so common outside the streets of Seoul, ordering your spicy food of choice can have the same wake-you-up-with-a-kick effect.
Since these have got plenty of the amino acid cysteine, they do a good job of mopping up excess toxins left behind from heavy drinking. If you want to get technical, poached eggs are best since greasier versions are more likely to upset your stomach, but we’ll take our chances with a buttery fried egg sandwich any day.
Admittedly, we tend to gravitate more towards greasy breakfast sandwiches over a superfood smoothie after a night out. A big, fat-heavy meal is much more effective as a hangover prevention tool, though, than it is a morning-after cure, since it can help insulate your stomach and keep alcohol from fully absorbing into the bloodstream. Foods like spinach, white beans, bananas, yogurt, and potatoes will help replenish potassium (an electrolyte), which gets lost thanks to booze’s diuretic effects.
Leave the dog alone
A common remedy touted by frat boys across America is to just keep on drinking the morning after tying one off. It’s about as effective as fighting fire with tinder. While the ‘hair of the dog’ tactic will temporarily numb the headaches, nausea and fatigue brought on by hangovers, it will also increase these ill effects later on by dehydrating you even more.