Drink, drank, blecchk.
April 25, 2010 8:45 AM   Subscribe

What are your best recommendations for curing a hangover?

I drink only occasionally, maybe once or twice a month, and I almost never suffer the effects the next day. However, comma, I went out last night, drank a couple-three too many fabulous martinis, and now I have a splitting (splitting!) headache and not really nausea, but rather just a spinny, not-quite-anchored-by-gravity feeling. Oh, it doesn't feel good.

I need to hear some hangover "cures" if you have them, please. I want to be bright and shiny in about five hours, and right now that doesn't even seem possible. Ouch. Having coffee now, but it tastes like overheated rubber. Blecchk.
posted by heyho to Food & Drink (54 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
posted by fixedgear at 8:46 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Go back to bed.
posted by trondant at 8:47 AM on April 25, 2010

Drink 2 glasses of water and go back to sleep for the next 4 hours! The spinny feeling might be you still being slightly drunk...
posted by astapasta24 at 8:47 AM on April 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Pedialyte or Gatorade. Advil. Greasy food. In that order.
posted by amro at 8:47 AM on April 25, 2010 [5 favorites]

I feel for you! Well, not today, I don't!

Anyhow, the only thing that helps me is to drink a LOT of water BEFORE I go to bed. Sorry that doesn't help you now.

Aspirin and Gatorade might help a bit. And a nap.
posted by mixer at 8:48 AM on April 25, 2010

1. Eat the fattiest food you can find. Greasy scrambled eggs with buttered toast work great. Don't even look at coffee until you've eaten. Juice might also be a good idea.
2. Long, hot shower. Sitting on the floor of the shower is okay.
3. Drink a lot of water.
4. Crawl back into bed and take a nap.
5. Wake up and try starting your day again.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:50 AM on April 25, 2010 [11 favorites]

Iced tea- it has a little bit of caffeine and the stomach soothing herbalness. Also, a long shower.
posted by nowoutside at 8:51 AM on April 25, 2010

Force yourself to eat a big bowl of noodles. With spaghetti sauce, butter, or parm. Or just plain. Worked for me! (I don't drink anymore, but when I did, this worked).
posted by bolognius maximus at 8:59 AM on April 25, 2010

Water. Lots and lots of water.

posted by katrielalex at 9:04 AM on April 25, 2010

Response by poster: Sleep isn't happening. For better/worse, I'm up. I have some orange Vitamin Water... same as Gatorade or similar enough? I drank a crapload of apple cider when I woke up craving sugar. That was about an hour and a half ago.
posted by heyho at 9:07 AM on April 25, 2010

When you're feeling better, read this article:

A Few Too Many

Is there any hope for the hung over?

Best article summarizing hangovers ever.
posted by swngnmonk at 9:08 AM on April 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

Water and bread. If you're feeling queasy, I go for the same thing that I use for the flu: ginger ale (I have a preference for Canada Dry) and saltines.
posted by katemcd at 9:08 AM on April 25, 2010

FWIW, if you need to get moving soon, hair of the dog & a big breakfast is what works for me.

Bacon, eggs, potatoes, toast and a good bloody mary. OJ too if you can handle the citrus.
posted by swngnmonk at 9:10 AM on April 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

I believe the spinny feeling is because it takes alcohol longer to diffuse back out of your ear-tube fluid (eustacheon tubes? whatever) than it takes for you to process it out of most of the rest of your system. But there's no fix for that part of it but time. (Well, time and staying still ... the less you move your head, the less the fluid will move, and the dizziness is because the fluid is thinned by alcohol -- not gooey enough -- and so is flowing too fast when you move.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:11 AM on April 25, 2010

Ice cold coca cola does it for me, with a big breakfast. But if you need to be feeling good in five hours, exercise will give you a temporary boost. So eat now, then do some vigorous cardio in 3 hrs. Be aware that you will completely crash a few hours later after the exercise high wears off, but it will be a more normal sort of tiredness instead if yucky hungoverness.
posted by yarly at 9:16 AM on April 25, 2010

For whatever reason, Diet Coke and a buttered bagel seem to always do the trick for me. And time.
posted by lunasol at 9:18 AM on April 25, 2010

Although I refused to acknowledge it for a long time, the only thing outside of sleep and the general passage of time that has made my hangover symptoms disappear is hair of the dog. Once you get over the feeling of irresponsibility, it often does make you feel much better, quickly. You don't need to drink the point of intoxication again to feel effects either.

Also, although most people say that you're just delaying the hangover until later, I've found this often isn't really the case..it can be a smoother landing that were you to feel the effects of the hangover straight-on. Just a thought.
posted by Adam_S at 9:21 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sleep isn't happening. For better/worse, I'm up. I have some orange Vitamin Water... same as Gatorade or similar enough? I drank a crapload of apple cider when I woke up craving sugar. That was about an hour and a half ago.

No, no, too much sugar! It's too late now, but that much sugar is probably just going to make you feel crappier and more off. The reason people recommend gatorade is because it has electrolytes in it, even though it's fairly sugary. Alcohol dehydrates you (so does caffeine, which is why the coffee might make you feel worse). You need to drink some plain water right away.

My usual hangover routine is to drink some seltzer upon rising (the fizziness seems to help the nausea, though that might be psychosomatic), then to make myself a greasy egg sandwich with some cheese and ketchup and some garlic in the eggs. You want food that will really sit in your stomach. At this point, it won't soak up the alcohol, but it will help the queasiness. More water, and then some coffee.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:22 AM on April 25, 2010

I have to second the hair of the dog and a thick, greasy breakfast.

If you're a smoker, a puff or two off a joint will help do the trick.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 9:22 AM on April 25, 2010

16 oz water and 400 mg cysteine. You can get 400 mg cysteine from eating two eggs prepared any way you like.

Do it now while you're still dizzy. Then take a one-to-two hour nap. You should feel good enough to function when you wake.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:26 AM on April 25, 2010

Oh yeah, don't take anything for your headache. Tylenol will only stress your liver more, ibuprofen really only helps with inflammation, and naproxen will eventually mess up your heart.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:28 AM on April 25, 2010

Gatorade/Powerade and have something to eat.
posted by deansfurniture5 at 9:34 AM on April 25, 2010

Lifehacker covered this a couple of days ago, can't link from my iPhone sorry.

posted by ellieBOA at 9:42 AM on April 25, 2010

Eat something. Mac & cheese is my go-to hangover cure, but a big greasy breakfast will probably work just as well. You might feel too sick to eat, but do it anyway; the nausea will get better soon enough.
posted by lilac girl at 9:54 AM on April 25, 2010

I'd say Irn Bru, but the stuff's neutered for the USA, which probably takes some of its anti-hangover properties.
posted by Coobeastie at 9:55 AM on April 25, 2010

Alka Seltzer Morning Relief. This is essentially a fast-acting aspirin contained a caffeinated, fizzy base.

Combine that with a 1950s heart-stopping breakfast (eggs, bacon, some sort of fried potato, and juice) and some acoustic music (Sonia Dada? Harper Simon?) plus a few hours of time, and you'll be on your way.
posted by toxic at 10:07 AM on April 25, 2010

Baked beans and cheese on toast. And lots of water. Ive never been hungover past mid-day when i have that for breakfast.
More generally, protein and sugar. And lots of water.
posted by stillnocturnal at 10:27 AM on April 25, 2010

drink water and force yourself to go running. I'm serious. and drink water. then come back, take a shower, and have a greasy breakfast and drink more water.
posted by sarahj at 10:29 AM on April 25, 2010

My strategy is water (and sometimes ibuprofen), teeth brushing, a little food, exercise, a shower and (lots) more food in that order.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 10:35 AM on April 25, 2010

Queso. Just worked for me. Almost.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:37 AM on April 25, 2010

Pho! Best thing ever for a hungover morning.
posted by Arbac at 10:41 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Milk for the odd stomach feelings. I find plain water to be difficult to drink in the morning, but milk actually seems to help more than juices/ coffee. Then a substantial breakfast with fruit, then maybe some coffee.
posted by _cave at 10:46 AM on April 25, 2010

I hate to say this, but the only thing that gets me out of a hangover is to hork it back up in the morning, wait a while, have hot black coffee, a lot of water, a long run, and then a fairly greasy meal. the cardio gets my system pumping again and the greasy meal soaks up the booze.

I do have an emotional crash later in the day, but the card minimizes that.
posted by patricking at 10:55 AM on April 25, 2010

I've found Pedialyte to be amazingly effective. I'm not a big drinker these days, but I still keep a jug around for "emergencies" and house-guests.
posted by piedmont at 10:58 AM on April 25, 2010

My favorite cure goes against all of this advice, but it works for me. An icy-cold can of Coca-Cola, 800 mg. ibuprofen, and a long bath - like, as long as you can possibly stay in the bath. Sip the Coke while you soak in the bath. Sometimes I put a cold rag across my eyes if I need it to be dark.

When I get out, I drink lots and lots of water, and take more ibuprofen as needed. If possible, I eat something a little greasy and salty.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 11:06 AM on April 25, 2010

Taco Bell and a large Pepsi.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:18 AM on April 25, 2010

Water, water, water, and megadoses of B complex. And then a good solid high protein/fat meal.
posted by KathrynT at 11:18 AM on April 25, 2010

swngnmonk: Best article summarizing hangovers ever.

That's a really good article. I've always felt the very specific solutions to hangovers ("drink grape flavoured kool-aid and eat two slices of aged cheddar") are really just encouraging comfort foods. Basically, just make yourself feel nice to counter the fact that you feel shitty.
posted by Adam_S at 11:27 AM on April 25, 2010

nthing hearty breakfast. Doesn't have to be too greasy, just be sure to include eggs with plenty of tabasco or similar; my unscientific theory is that your stomach is kind of paralyzed from the booze and the hot sauce wakes it up, while the eggs are easy to digest. Also nthing gatorade/pedialite as well as hair of the dog–a double shot will often magically eradicate your symptoms. Seconding a small amount of weed if you smoke.
posted by generalist at 11:31 AM on April 25, 2010

Agua, B complex vitamin, light breakfast with an aspirin. Coffee to cap it off. Keep hydrating all day.
posted by Hurst at 12:02 PM on April 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

I find that the sooner I eat the sooner it goes away. Often it's hard for me to eat--I feel queasy eating while being hungover--but the longer I delay the pain the longer I'm hungover.

Of course, nthing tons of water, coffee, sleep or napping if possible, and exercise. Usually if I can exercise I'm going to be in good shape after that. Oh yeah, and some ibuprofen helps me too.

Basically though, in the end, you just gotta wait it out, I think.
posted by dubitable at 12:32 PM on April 25, 2010

Ibuprofen the minute you wake up, I would not recommend exceeding 400mg in one dose contrary to Lulu's pink converse advise. Wash it down with a very big glass of ice water. Remain in bed in a very dark room until your feeling a litter better (approx 45 mins or so).

Then eat something greasy and return to bed after for another 3 hours.

Preferably you can get someone to retrieve the pills and the water so you don't have to leave the confines of the bed; in this case it is helpful to have a butler/significant other who is less hungover.

Also in Scotland we have a cure called the hair of the dog which is just to drink more. I am pretty sure all these cures are in swmgmmonk's article.
posted by camerasforeyes at 12:44 PM on April 25, 2010

One (1) glass of the coldest, driest white wine you can find works miracles.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:59 PM on April 25, 2010

Excessively greasy breakfast? No fucking way. An egg, toast & a little cheese, with something green involved, is just fine. Don't buy the absurd hype that obnoxiously greasy food is some sort of magical elixir. It's not.

That said, add my anecdote to the "Don't down a beer or anything but a small shot with a little OJ does wonders to take the edge off the next morning" crowd.
posted by mediareport at 2:35 PM on April 25, 2010

Best answer: Try some of this. Always works.
posted by FusiveResonance at 5:03 PM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

If I've had too much, which has only happened a few times, I wake up after only four hours or so with the beginning of a headache. I get up, drink more water, and take an ibuprofen. When I wake up again it's all good. On one occasion I simply went back to sleep. That was a mistake.
posted by Nothing at 5:46 PM on April 25, 2010

As an undergraduate I had an organic chemistry professor who explained hangovers in one of his lectures, in his delightful Scottish accent. Basically, ethanol makes us drunk and has a boiling point above body temperature. The liver produces ethanol dehydrogenase which converts the ethanol into ethanal, which makes us feel sick and has a boiling point below body temperature. Since ethanal has such a low boiling point, it off-gases, producing that gross fruity taste/smell. You can speed up your body's elimination of the ethanal with exercise. He called this 'blowin out the skank.' FWIW, I prefer a scalding hot shower. I am not a chemist.
posted by vortex genie 2 at 6:06 PM on April 25, 2010

32oz gatorade + 2-4 Aleve depending on severity.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:49 PM on April 25, 2010

Preventative: Drink a red bull or two and stick to vodka. As the night wears on, try to switch to non alcoholic drinks that will rehydrate you. Take a couple of aspirin, a multivitamin, a B-complex vitamin and drink a glass of water before you go to bed. A snack can also be helpful before you hit the sack.

After the fact: Drink lots of fluids, eat something heavy get out and move around (don't go back to sleep). Moving around will speed up the rate at which your body metabolizes the alcohol that's left over from last night. Also, aspirin, multivitamin and B-vitamin are helpful for me.
posted by syzygy at 3:08 AM on April 26, 2010

Vigorous exercise is the only cure for Def Con 5 hangovers. You can supplement this with plenty of fluids, B-Vitamins, and a big fry-up. Your hangover sounds like something far less severe. Do the above anyway.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:13 AM on April 26, 2010

Previously and previouslier.

In case it's unclear, the above links are meant as helpful pointers only and are not intended as a reproach to the OP.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:35 AM on April 26, 2010

Water, Emergen-C, B vitamins, and BC Powder.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 12:32 PM on April 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just stay drunk. That's the easiest way. Failing that, diluting that Vitamin Water with the B complex in it has helped me out in the past.
posted by drstein at 12:38 PM on April 26, 2010

Yeah, I know its like 4 months later, but I had to stop by to add, Berocca.
posted by Fiat124 at 1:31 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

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