We can cope with the headaches and the drowsiness that come with a hangover. We can handle covering the telltale signs of a late night by piling on concealer and squishing ungainly hair beneath a hat. But we cannot deal when it comes to hangover nausea. When the aftereffects of alcohol have us dry heaving and praying to the porcelain gods, we’d do pretty much anything to relieve an irritable belly—which can lead to a lot of mistakes.
Don’t go chugging gallons of water (that will only worsen your electrolyte imbalance), go light on the caffeine (it tends to loosen your digestive system just when you need to clamp things down in there), and please don’t make yourself vomit (that’s a pretty good way to rupture something in your throat). Instead, look to these cures for nausea, which will actually help you feel better without wrecking your system further.
The tummy trouble caused by a hangover is no match for this spicy root, which has long been a traditional cure for an upset stomach. Whether you muddle some fresh ginger at the bottom of a cup of tea, take a ginger supplement or just gnaw on a raw knob (don’t do that last one), getting ginger into your system will soothe the inner quakes.
Another folk remedy for nausea, peppermint will quickly put the damper on your upset innards, calming your overly active gut muscles and relieving any pain. The best way to fix up your system is to brew up some peppermint tea, which is typically caffeine free, avoiding the nasty effects the upper can wreck on your digestive system.
Any beverage with electrolytes will help restore your sodium levels (whereas drinking straight water may actually exacerbate a sodium imbalance). While Gatorade or Pedialyte remain faves of college seniors, we usually opt for coconut water, which provides the same helpful nutrients without all the extra sugar.
You may be tempted by a big greasy cheeseburger or a Denny’s Grand Slam, but we promise these breakfasts will do more harm than good. Meanwhile, it’s pretty much impossible to object to BRAT—which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. The diet is designed to be unobjectionable, made up of foods that won’t irritate the uneasiest of stomachs.
People throw the term electrolyte around a lot, but usually they just mean salt. Cook up (or more likely open a can of) some soup just like your mom used to when you were feeling queasy. Chicken noodle, miso and the absolute mellowest of ramen (no hot sauce or heavy pieces of meat) will provide you equal parts salt and comfort at once.
Citric acid contains a compound that soothes stomach muscles. Even better, lemon can be combined with some of the cures above. Squeeze a few drops into your ginger or peppermint tea or into your chosen electrolyte-delivering beverage to doubly pacify that rumble in your innards.