It’s party season, and we’re clinking glasses faster than ever. We’ve already taught you how to throw the best cocktail party around and to set up your very own bar cart. The fear: With this much partying, there are bound to be some repercussions—of the aching head and/or stomach variety. You know, that was-it-worth-it feeling that requires a literal hang-over the toilet god. Ah, yes. New Years Eve.
Remember when you could party all night, get up, and return to the party? Now, one night of fun takes four days to get over. So we asked our community (yes, that’s you!) for the very best tried-and-true hangover cures out there. Of course, when you wake up feeling like roadkill, you’ll ingest whatever you can stomach.
But there are some foods you’d never otherwise eat that you may find yourself craving the day after, and there are reasons for that. According to the research, most of these cures work. So if you’re hurting hard the day after, take your pick of these cures to get back on your feet fast. (Or, just do as we do and enjoy your day after binge-watching the greatest holiday chick flicks of all time, which you’ll find right here.)
HANGOVER CURES YOU NEED—AND WHY THEY WORK
1. FRIED, SALTY FOOD
When your body feels its worst, it starts craving the worst kinds of greasy foods. Will brekkie at the local diner help relieve your symptoms? How about a stop at McDonalds, or your local pub?
Why it works: Eggs contain large amounts of cysteine, a substance that essentially works to mop up the leftover toxins in the liver after too much drinking. Plus, you need that salt to replace replace the sodium the booze sucked out of you.
Tip 1: Timing is everything here. Eat fried or fatty foods BEFORE drinking instead. They will stick to the stomach lining longer, slowing the absorption of alcohol.
Tip 2: Satisfy your salt craving the day after. It’s the one time downing a bag of chips may be worth the calories.
Bonus: the salt will make you thirsty so you’ll have to rehydrate.
Try these fatty, salty foods from our community:
- Ulster fry
- Uevos rancheros
- Fried eggs and bacon
- Fish and chips
- Pub grub
- Dim sum
2. LIQUIDS AND MORE LIQUIDS
We can’t seem to stop guzzling water (or non-caffeinated, non-carbonated sports drinks, or coconut water) after a night of drinking. If we’re still thinking straight enough, we’ll leave a water bottle on the nightstand before conking out.
Why it works: Good ol’ H20 works to combat dehydration and dilute the leftover byproducts in your stomach. Consider adding salt and sugar to the mix to replace electrolytes or choose fruit juice for the fructose and vitamin boost.
Tip 1: If you drink coconut water, you’ll replenish your electrolytes even faster than downing sports drinks.
Tip 2: Do a shot of pickle juice (yes, STRAIGHT!)) before drinking and another in the morning. The vinegar, salt and water will rehydrate and replenish electrolytes and sodium.
Try these hydrating drinks from our community:
- OJ and tonic water
- Apple juice
- Bitters and soda
- V8 juice
- Coconut water
- Pickle juice
- Peppermint tea with honey
- Black coffee (with extra water on the side)
The Best 20 Hangover Cures On the Web
Feeling so sick you're not sure last night was worth it? Follow these brilliant hangover cures—straight from our community—and you'll find Cheers! (and your body) alive and well this season.
Pop a pill or two before bed and you may just ward off that nasty headache. Opt for non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as aspirin or ibuprofin, not acetaminophen which can be hard on the liver.
You're dehydrated and that's why you feel so sick. Guzzling water is great but it's better to replenish electrolytes with sports drinks, fruit juice or popsicles.
This is the time to satisfy your sweet tooth. The fructose in honey helps metabolize the alcohol. Spread some on your banana for a double dose of potassium or add it to tummy-soothing herbal tea.
Tomatoes or V8 Juice
Tomatoes are known as the magic hangover cure. This fruit is mostly water, so it's rehydrating and packed with nutrients. To get it down more easily, down some V8 juice instead.
Caffeine dilates blood vessels and perks up brain function so it just may stop that infernal head pounding. But don't have too much or you'll wreak more havoc on your body.
Fried Eggs and Bacon
Heading out for a diner brekkie (ulster fry, uevos rancheros) when you're hungover makes sense. The cysteine in eggs helps your liver deal with toxins, and fatty bacon will replace your lost salt.
If it's really salty, it will help you replace sodium and any bland carb like pretzels, crackers or toast will bring your blood sugar back up.
Sweating it out can help you feel better if you go easy and remember to drink. Sports drinks are best because they rehydrate and contain electrolytes.
Herbal teas, especially peppermint, are known to settle the awful stomach symptoms hangovers leave you with. Sip, settle and rehydrate.
Good Ol' Water
Your body will crave lots of water. Add electrolytes in the form of sugar or salt, though. And don't forget to leave liquid on your nightstand before passing out because you may wake up parched.
It may sound vile, but doing a shot of pickle juice before and after drinking will rehydrate your body and give it back much needed sodium.
Believe it or not, coconut water will replace your electrolytes at a speedy rate—even faster than sports drinks will. So stock up on this one.
Make like a monkey and consider bananas your best friend the day after (or just pop a potassium pill). You need to replace the electrolytes you peed out the night before.
If you can't eat, sip a smoothie through a straw—but not before you toss in potassium-rich 'good foods' like spinach, avocado and/or kiwi.
Sleep, Sleep and More Sleep
Sometimes all you can do is sleep it off. For headache relief, you may be wise to take meds (Advil, Ativan, Robaxacet, Vanquish?) before hitting the pillow.
Taking activated charcoal pills before bed can help sponge up the toxins in your system. Pro tip: Eating burnt toast the day after doesn't work.
This medicinal drink has ingredients you need to replenish your aching body: hydration, vitamin-rich tomatoes, salt. In case you need this one spelled out, Leave out the booze!
Hair of the Dog
Hitting the bottle the day after will lessen the pain at first. But get ready to crash even harder. Sadly, returning to the hair of the dog that bit you will only delay the inevitable.
If you've gone so far as to need this cure, we've got news for you. You need math class. Or better yet, you need someone else to count your shots next time.
Never drink again and you'll never feel this pain. Gee, thanks for that.
3. BANANAS AKA POTASSIUM
We’re craving bananas the next day. Maybe monkeys have more fun than we thought. Why it works: The alcohol’s diuretic effect (read: too much peeing) depleted you of valuable potassium that you’ll need to retain electrolytes and feel better.
Tip 1: Some say the potassium pill works better than bananas. Take one before or after sleep.
Tip 2: If you can’t stomach all this “good food” in the a.m., add some of it to your morning smoothie and drink it down.
Try these potassium-rich foods from our community:
- Kiwi fruit
- Sports drinks
- Green smoothies
4. MEDS AND SHUT-EYE
Sometimes all you can do to numb the pain is take a pill and sleep it off. ‘Nuff said. Why it works: When you’re sick, sleep and a little medication can only ease the oh-so-ill effects.
Tip 1: 2 activated charcoal pills before bed can help sponge up the toxins while you sleep.
Tip 2: Wash down your pills with lots of water so you multiply the rehydration effect.
Try these other meds from our community:
- Advil, OJ, and back to bed
- Aspirin or Ibuprofen (not Tylenol)
- 2 Vanquish headache relief
5. HAIR OF THE DOG (THAT BIT YOU)
People believe that swigging back more booze the morning after is the best way to cure what ails you. Is that a myth?
Why it works: Hangovers make you feel so low because your liver is working hard to process the leftover toxins from alcohol metabolism. When you’re drinking, you feel no pain. BIG BUT: Although drinking more does seem to lessen the symptoms at first, it really just delays the inevitable. All you’re doing is adding more toxins for your liver to deal with later.
Tip 1: If you do continue drinking, try matching each drink with a glass of water to help your body deal with the alcohol as it goes down.
Tip 2: Try a virgin Caesar. It’s Canada’s top hangover cure because it’s got the hangover magic found in tomatoes, as well as the liquid hydration and sodium you need to replenish your system. Bonus: the Tabasco acts as a pain reliever.
- An IV drip (yikes)
- Iyengar yoga or other exercise to sweat it out (can you move?)
- Abstinence (oh yes, thanks a lot)
Got a magic hangover cure? Let us know what we missed!