For all the post-secondary students, the end of finals season is looming (or, for some lucky ones, already past). And with the end of finals season comes some well deserved celebration. And sometimes, during celebrations, people over-indulge, and wake up with pounding heads, dry mouths, nausea and a new found hatred of bright lights. All in all, the hangover is an incredibly unpleasant experience, so people have come up with all sorts of ways to avoid them.
10) Hair of the Dog
Hair of the dog that bit you? Just don’t. Alcohol put you in this situation and adding more won’t do a thing to help you. Besides, bloody Marys are kind of gross. Basically, the hair of the dog remedy is hiding from consequences. Adding more alcohol just keeps you from reaching sobriety, and feeling the results of the previous evening. But you can’t hide forever, and when you do sober up, you’ll crash harder, since your body will be more dehydrated and there will be more toxins for it to flush out. Not to mention, drinking as a hangover cure has been linked to higher incidences of alcohol dependency, which isn’t fun for anyone.
9) Electrolyte drinks
Electrolyte-rich drinks like Gatorade were first developed for athletes, who, over the course of their workouts, dehydrated themselves and unbalanced their electrolytes, depleting their sodium and potassium levels. Alcohol’s a diuretic, so it leaves you dehydrated as well. Cracking open a sports drink is supposed to be a great cure, as it not only re-hydrates you, and also helps balance your electrolytes as well. However, if you can’t stomach the idea of drinking something that brightly colored, there’s always the natural option: coconut water. It’s rich in electrolytes, and has fewer calories and less sugar than the sports drinks. People with queasy stomachs the morning after also report that coconut water is far easier on the stomach than the sports drinks.
One of the worst parts of the hangover is fuzzy-headed feeling, where you’re not sure you actually want to try thinking, because it’ll probably hurt. This sensation is likely only partially alcohol’s fault. The fact that you were out late the previous night, and got less sleep than you’re used to probably also had an effect. So, to help manage your hangover, you can turn to the same trusty remedy that helps you deal with early mornings: caffeine. It gives you a jolt of energy that helps stave off both the headache and the stupid feeling (unless you’ve woken up with a tattoo. Then you’re on your own). Caffeine pills are reported to have the best results, but there’s a lot to be said for the comforting effects of holding a cup of coffee and letting the warmth seep through to your hands. However, if you’re not a regular coffee drinker, than you might want to wash a glass of water down with the coffee; it’ll not only help rehydrate you, but also help minimize the eventual caffeine crash.
7) Greasy Food/Diner Food
This is one of the most prevalent, most recommended, hangover cures (though, if your hangovers include strong nausea, maybe skip this one). It involves hauling your aching head to the nearest restaurant, and ordering the eggs-bacon-toast-hashbrown-and-maybe-pancakes breakfast special. Or something similar, this cure’s devotees seem to prefer breakfast foods, but claim anything works, so long as it includes protein and a lot of fat. The unfortunate scientific truth is, at that point, it’s too late. You want to ingest the massive meal before you start drinking, so there’s something in your stomach to slow the absorption of alcohol. But then there’s also the undeniable comfort factor of a large meal, and the accompanying cup of coffee.
6) Preventative items
There’s a whole gamut of hangover preventing options. They run from low tech, like having every other drink be a glass of water and the post-drinking McDonald’s stop (tried, tested and approved by post-secondary students everywhere), to high tech: drinks like Mercy and Resurrection. These drinks claim that downing one of them during your evening will eliminate any hangover the next morning. They work by supplying a heavy dose of the nutrients that will be depleted by a night of drinking, as well as some extra hydration. User reviews vary, but some do claim that these drinks help deal with the headache portion of the hangover, if not the dehydration or exhaustion.
5) Hot Bath
While there are those that claim a cold shower’s the way to go, really, a hot bath’s the better option. One, a cold shower? You’re hungover- your head hurts, you’re tired and you feel sort of sick, be gentle to yourself. Instead of the shower (which will wake you up), try a hot bath instead. Supposedly, it’ll help you detox from your wild night, and it’s a soothing experience. Drink a big glass of cool water while soaking, and it’ll help you rehydrate, and the whole experience will be a way more positive than a leap through an ice cold shower.
There are those that swear by exercise as the best cure for a hangover, and these people are probably superheroes, because that is a level of hardcore not found in most. The general idea is that between the exercise and the water consumed during the workout, you’ll sweat out the toxins and your body will process any remaining alcohol way faster. However, this has been completely disproven. But drinking water will help you feel better, so fill up that water bottle. And, in the immortal words of Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy”, so maybe there’s something to be said for going for a post-drinking workout.
3) Prairie Oysters
Named for the oyster-like texture, the Prairie Oyster is reportedly crammed full of nutrients designed to relieve the aching head, clear out the bad taste in your mouth and leave you able to face the bright light of day. This non-alcoholic cocktail’s made by cracking an egg into a glass- without breaking the yolk, a spoonful of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste. Then, bottoms up! Now, eggs are full of protein and nutrients, so they could help re-balance your system. But raw eggs and hot sauce, on a queasy stomach? If you’re going to risk salmonella, I’d prefer cookie dough, myself.
Menudo’s a traditional Mexican soup, with a spicy broth packed with tripe, lime, cilantro and onions. More than just being delicious, it’s also reported to be the best thing to get you back on your feet after a wild night. This one seems a little more believable than the prairie oyster; the broth would help rehydrate, the spiciness would help wake you up, and the meat and vegetables probably have the range necessary to re-balance everything thrown out of joint by the previous evening’s indulgence. It might be that soup, the great comforter of colds, also has curative powers for hangovers.
This is my personal favorite solution, for more than just hangovers: just sleep it off. Hangovers are the worst: your head hurts, it’s hard to think, light’s suddenly your mortal enemy, your mouth feels like it’s been blow-dried and then had dryer lint stuck in it, really why bother waking up for that? Sleeping through it means you avoid the worst of the symptoms, catch up on the sleep you lost staying out late, and leaves you more capable of dealing with the world when you do wake up. Just make sure there’s a big glass of water waiting for you when you wake up, so you can down it, and face the day re-hydrated and rejuvenated.