These over-the-counter hangover pills and powders are often met with speculation and distrust. I mean, it does seem too good to be true, right? Potions like DripDrop and Drinkwel aren't magic, but they are loaded with vitamins and electrolytes that are designed to get you hydrated fast. They're like doses of supercharged Pedialyte, which in turn is like supercharged Gatorade. These will definitely help with hydration issues like fatigue and headaches, and will generally make you feel better. The only real drawback is that they are hard to find, and will probably require your order them online in anticipation that you will soon be so hungover that you'll need specialty potions to recover -- which kind of makes you question what you are doing with your life. So yeah, your sense of self-worth might take a small dent.
7. Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich
I really, really wanted this to be higher. I've pretty much sworn by this method since the first time I sipped alcohol, which was obviously on my 21st birthday. Is my brain just pre-wired to respond to the grease-laden combination of the eggs and bacon? Does the bread soak up the booze swirling in my stomach? Does the layer of cheddar awaken endorphins in my spinal cord that fill my body with a crack-like sense of affirmation and goodwill? I'm not sure. But if you are well enough to scarf one of these suckers down, it can't hurt.
6. Smoking weed
- Settles stomach
- Sense of euphoria
- Helps headache
- Increases appetite
- Makes you high (also a pro, but not if you have stuff to do)
- Possibly illegal... but also who cares
5. A shit-ton of water
While this may seem like an obvious solution to dehydration, drinking too much water can end up causing more problems for your body. Namely, filling your gut with a gallon of water, which can lead to vomiting. Hydration is super-important in nursing yourself back to working shape, but there are smarter, more efficient ways to take you there. That being said, it is important to properly hydrate -- and while there are better ways, this is not a bad way, per se. You just have to make sure you don't overdo it. You don't want all that stuff sloshing around inside your body, especially on an empty stomach. That will only make things worse.
4. McVities digestive biscuits
In many ways, I consider this to be my hangover secret weapon. McVities are a British digestive biscuit; they're wholly unoffensive, go down easy, and -- when you crush an entire sleeve before bedtime -- they'll make sure you wake up without a lingering sense of nausea (and dread). They are a simple, elegant biscuit, that aid a simple and elegant solution to one major symptom of the common hangover. They also have a hilarious, very English commercial that's certainly worth a watch... especially whilst hungover.
3. IV drip
I have insider information that over-partying doctors and surgeons have been stringing themselves up to IVs the morning after for decades, and for good reason: This shit definitely gives you a boost. If you don't have a medical degree, outfits like New York's IV Doc will come to your home or office -- nurse in tow -- and deliver a calculated cocktail of vitamins, saline, nausea medication, and more straight into your veins. It's an… odd experience. It literally feels like ice water running through your veins (not in a clutch, Ray Allen type of way, but like you're mainlining a Slurpee) and it's pretty pricey and elaborate. But if you need to quell a hangover MF'ing ASAP because you have a big presentation or are about to be sworn in as a United States senator, this is probably the best way to do it. Unless you are afraid of needles, obviously. Or nurses. Or IV poles.
2. Physical exercise
I know. I was surprised too. Physical exercise and hangovers don't seem to go together. But just as my 80-year-old witch-doctor girlfriend tells me, sometimes opposites attract. With much reluctance, I tried working out immediately after waking up with a hangover. I actually tried it three times, just to make sure.
I ran. I did a bunch of push-ups. I did a shit-ton of sit-ups. And I ran some more. At first, it was a glimpse of hell through rapidly fading beer goggles. Then I turned the corner (as I was turning a corner, actually) and I felt the booze gushing out of my pores -- I mean, along with the sweat. All this exertion led to a lot of water drinking, and I found myself hydrating properly without getting too nauseous. The fresh air helped clear my head. The endorphins that were released told my brain, "Hey, don't feel too bad about what happened last night -- but also remember to ask your doctor about the next available STI screening, OK?"
Huh. I guess treating your body like a temple actually does counteract the aftershocks of treating your body like an amusement park. Who'd have thunk it? Oh right, every single medical professional, scientist, and nervous mother since the beginning of time. I guess we should have been listening all along.
1. H.E.A.L.™ Hangover Cure System
If there's anything I learned from trying all of these cures, it's that one single cure or remedy won't do the trick. You need a multitude of solutions that combine both heavy preparation the night (or day, if you're degenerate!) you are drinking, and a lot of willpower the next day. I believe there is a simple, four-step way to combat a hangover like a goddamn professional drinker. Just remember: H.E.A.L.
Hydrate profusely the night before -- whether that means alternating water with alcohol when you're out, or chugging a bottle of water before going to bed. This is the first, and perhaps most important, part of the system.
Eat something before you go to bed. Like I said way back at No. 4, McVities Digestive Biscuits are my personal go-to, but the choice is yours. Just make sure there is something in your stomach that doesn't rhyme with schmalcohol.
Aerobics, as soon as you wake up! OK this part sucks, but getting up, moving, and getting a sweat going is the only way to suffocate the general malaise of a hangover -- both physical, and metaphysical. Combine with a shower afterwards, and you should start to feel the pangs of the hangover ooze out of your pores. [Note: If you can afford and/or arrange an IV Doc visit, it's a viable substitute.]
Live your life like you aren't hungover. Mind over matter. Fake it, until you make it. If you stay sedentary, and let the hangover define your day, you will not overcome. As someone who has personally been to work hungover hundreds of times (if any of my superiors are reading this... yeah, sorry) I firmly believe this is the only thing that can truly stop a hangover dead in its tracks. Time heals all wounds... including the hangover. Go out there and do your best, kids.