Best hangover cures are more elusive than words of kindness from your ex. The symptoms of a hangover can include fatigue, headaches, nausea, increased sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, along with a number of mood disturbances – not the most pleasant bunch. If you’re stricken with any of the above fret not; there are a number of hangover cures at your disposal. You may live to drink another day despite your sworn admission to the contrary.
Katerfrühstück is German, and it translates to “hangover breakfast”. A solid breakfast is one of the best hangover cures, especially if you manage to chow it down right after drinking. Any food is better than none. Protein rich foods are best because protein binds with alcohol molecules and helps to slow its absorption in your body. One of the most traditional hangover breakfasts in Germany (and in my grandmother’s kitchen after four or five pitchers of Bloody Mary’s the day before) consists of a delicacy called rollmops, something akin to stanky German sushi. Rollmops are pickled herring fillets, wrapped around gherkins and pickled onion. All the salt actually makes this one of the more reasonable folk remedies to hangovers; it’s way better than the Irish idea of burying someone up to their neck in wet sand, cowboy rabbit shit tea, or the Native American practice of working up a sweat (which works) and then licking it off your body and swishing it around in your mouth (which is A) nasty and B) ineffective). The old standby of burnt toast (or bread in general) is also a great go to – the activated carbon and charcoal created by the toast burning are the very same charcoal and activated carbon that they give to detoxify people who have alcohol poisoning (in a smaller, much less icky way). Check out this article for more hangover food remedies.
Another traditional hangover breakfast idea from the good ol’ USA, the Prairie Oyster (not sheep testicles, those are Rocky Mountain oysters): raw egg, worcester sauce, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. It doesn’t sound so bad – until you realize you’re supposed to down it like a shot. The taurine in the eggs is great for your body (which you can read about it my other article on hangover prevention!) and with the other amino acids (also present with the herring in the rollmops) help you process the alcohol out of your body. They’re also great for your hair!
Drink lots of water! Remember, you’re 60 per cent water, so when you’re dehydrated the membrane around your brain shrinks, your organs get a little bit leathery and your blood gets thicker, making it harder to get oxygen throughout your body and making you pooped (as in tired, dehydration actually leads to constipation). You don’t need to stress yourself out if you aren’t replenishing your salts though. Gatorade and other sports drinks are probably unnecessary or overkill.
“Even though the diuretic effect of alcohol may cause the body to lose some electrolytes, it’s not so much that you need to replace them right away,” says Samir Zakhari, Ph.D., director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“There is no research that shows that sex will make a hangover go away, but maybe it will make the time go faster,” says assistant professor Joris C. Verster, Ph.D., of Utrecht University in the Netherlands. “If it makes you happy, go for it.” It’s solid advice and no article on best hangover cures would be complete without it.
I probably don’t need to probe (pun mildly intended) you too much to make you think having sex is a good idea. While it won’t get rid of your hangover entirely, the rush of dopamine and oxytocin you get are going to make you forget it entirely. In fact, when you have an orgasm, you’re not thinking or feeling anything – not even how much your head hurts. “At the moment of orgasm, [people] do not have any emotional feelings,” said Gert Holstege of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, at the 2005 meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Development (ESHPD). Endorphins released after sex are a stellar painkiller, and all the sweating you’ll be doing is going to be a fantastic way to sweat out the booze. I mean really – does jogging on a treadmill even compare as an option?
I Know What You’re Thinking (And You’re Wrong)
One thing to avoid for sure is the impulse to take pain killers. Simply don’t. While anti-inflammatories like naproxen are fine, acetaminophen (Paracetamol, Tylenol) will cause liver damage in doses exceeding 800 milligrams. This adverse reaction is compounded when combined with the liver pounding force of alcohol. You don’t want to take any chances with cirrhosis of the liver because scarring of the liver is irreversible and cumulative.
“While [Paracetamol] is OK for a headache, when combined with a liver that’s working overtime to metabolize alcohol, it can cause liver damage or be deadly,” says Dena Davidson, Ph.D., former associate professor of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Best Hangover Cures
There are plenty of things you can do to try to cure hangover, and some of them might actually work. But a gram of preparation is worth an ounce of after thought, and preventing a hangover is the best way to deal with one. If you can wake up without a hangover from the getgo, you’ll be off to a much better start so have a look at my hangover prevention post. If you have any ideas on how to either prevent or treat a hangover, or even if you just have a funny hangover story to share (the only time you will ever see funny and hangover right next to each other!) then I would love to hear about them. Give the comment section below a spin and share your stuff.
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