The Hangover, Pt. 2.5
June 21, 2011 8:08 AM   Subscribe

After a weekend of trying to act like I was 20 again, what can I do in the next 2 hours and 24 hours to make hasten my recovery?

My 5th year college reunion turned into undergraduate redux, and even a day later, I'm feeling like my body is rebelling. I'd like to crush that rebellion.

I've consumed as much water as I possibly can. I've had greasy food. I've had some fresh fruits and veggies. I slept for a while. I'm out of ideas.

I have a gig I have to be at in about 2 hours, which means that I need to do something drastic to make myself feel significantly less gross in the next few hours. What do you do when you just can't shake the multi-day hangover/grossness?

I'd also love some stuff that I might do in the next 24 hours to make myself feel better. That gig happens again tomorrow at the same time, and I'd like to be as close to 100% as possible, given my current situation. I know that time cures all, but what other steps can I take to make this less awful?
posted by SNWidget to Health & Fitness (39 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
This is going to suck, but: go for a run, or do some other intense outdoors exercise.
posted by punchtothehead at 8:13 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Excedrin Migraine
posted by Perplexity at 8:15 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

When in a dire hangover situation, nothing helps me more than the Life Brand acetaminophen with codeine (and caffeine) pills that I buy in Canada. Not sure that'll help you, but if you have any Canadian friends, they may be able to hook you up for next time. It will have me feeling like a human being for at least 3 hours, during which time I can try to eat something that will help in the longer run. Good luck!

On preview, running will help, too, but it will likely be painful/impossible, depending on your current condition.

Of course, hair of the dog might help, too, but that's starting to slip into dangerous territory.
posted by Grither at 8:16 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

The only time Gatorade ever tastes good to me is when I've poisoned myself on alcohol or gotten really dehydrated in some other way. Try that? Some exercise (gently!) and a good steaming wouldn't hurt, either.
posted by rtha at 8:16 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Coffee and aspirin, for one.

Also, salt. Drinking a ton of water won't help without the salt and sugar to balance your electrolytes. You can wind up feeling worse from over-hydration without it.

I hear great things about coconut water, so you might want to get ye to your local bodega and snag a couple cans of Goya.

And lastly, Guinness. I'm a bartender, and where I work we prescribe half a glass of Guinness if someone comes in to work hung over. Some hangovers can be caused by alcohol withdrawal, and Guinness is mild enough to temper the drop-off without making you puke.
posted by sarling at 8:16 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Yes, what punchtothehead said: do some exercise. I don't care if it's outdoors or not, but if it gets your blood pumping and your adrenaline going it will make you feel better and will probably help your body to metabolize the crap that's causing your hangover faster.

It's one of life's little ironies that the cure for feeling like crap to the point of not wanting to move or do anything is to go out there and move and do stuff.
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 8:17 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Chicken soup, with noodles and lotsa veg. Probably a mixture of sodium + carbs + vitamins + comfort-food-cozy-vibes, but it always seems to help. Homemade if you can, but it looks like time's short, so Campbell's will do.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 8:18 AM on June 21, 2011

Gatorade or coconut milk to replace fluids and balance electrolytes. And it's what plants crave.

Aspirin for inflammation.

Mint tea to settle to stomach and relax you.
posted by orthogonality at 8:19 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

B-Complex vitamin

Too late for you, but I find that it helps tremendously if I take them just before going to bed too after a bender...
posted by Zoyashka at 8:20 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Carbs with salt (so, french fries) plus caffiene and ibuprofen or excedrine migraine. You've already had a lot of water. The carbs will help your stomach sop up the acid that is inevitably there.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:20 AM on June 21, 2011

Vitamin b. (especially B6).
posted by nat at 8:20 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

1. Run or otherwise exercise enough to sweat profusely for about ten minutes or so.

2. Drink at least 16 ounces of water and/or something electrolytey (like Gatorade).

3. Take 100 milligrams of caffeine (small cup of coffee) and a B-complex vitamin

4. Eat something proteiny-and-fatty, followed by something raw and green (so: an egg followed by some lettuce)

5. Take a shower.

6. Lie down for about twenty minutes, breathing steadily and calmly. You may or not fall asleep. Sleep is good. Either way, that should be enough time for your body to absorb the nutrients.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:21 AM on June 21, 2011

Oh, man, the only thing at this point is intense exercise. It will suck so much, but you will feel a lot better. So run or spin or jump rope - at least half an hour at moderate to high intensity. Make sure to warm up and cool down.

Then drink a bunch more water, eat something with protein and salt, and get going.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:21 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nthing Gatorade... all that peeing messes up your electrolytes and Gatorade can help rebalance and rehydrate you.

Avoid acetaminophen as it can damage your liver, especially when alcohol is also in play. Take a couple of aspirin or ibuprofen if your stomach can handle it. Better yet might be a couple of Alkaseltzer which will help your head and stomach.

Milk Thistle is said to be a very good strengthener for the liver, and kicking your liver function up a notch will help it filter out the poisons that are making you feel like shit.

A little more sleep probably wouldn't hurt, and then have a cup of coffee and some food before you go.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:21 AM on June 21, 2011

I can't believe it hasn't been mentioned yet, but - hair o' the dog. Take a half shot of whiskey or whatever spirit you have.

That might be the only way to feel better within two hours.
posted by General Malaise at 8:22 AM on June 21, 2011

(Oh, sorry, Sarling said basically the same thing).
posted by General Malaise at 8:23 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Grither. Dangit. Apologies all around. It's still my advice if you have to feel normal in two hours.
posted by General Malaise at 8:26 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all of the advice. I've had some Excedrin and Gatorade - after I get some eggs, I'm going to go out and try to run for a bit. Hopefully, I won't lose my breakfast... I may give coffee or tea a try as well.
posted by SNWidget at 8:29 AM on June 21, 2011

Eat a big bowl of Pho (add lime...the vitamin C helps!) with some VIetnamese coffee. Take a B vitamin and drink plenty of water and green tea.
posted by 200burritos at 8:42 AM on June 21, 2011 [6 favorites]

The hottest pepper you can find. Naga or habanero or piri piri.
Eat one or two, deal with the pain, then (and only then) drink a ton of water.
Eat a greasy meal.
Lots of electrolytes.

sounds stupid but it works.
posted by Seamus at 8:44 AM on June 21, 2011

Take a shower. Long and hot or short and cold, doesn't matter. Get out, dry, get dressed. Well. Dress nicely, presentable. Or perhaps your clothes for the gig. I always find that when I am presentable and clean I feel much better. It is harder to be gross in a clean white shirt. This also applies to exams - do people who wear sweats to exams want to feel gross before they even write a word?
posted by hepta at 8:49 AM on June 21, 2011

Eat a big bowl of Pho (add lime...the vitamin C helps!)

Surprisingly, I had pho on Sunday evening, and while that helped me get through that night, after a long flight the next day, any good will the pho had provided is long gone.
posted by SNWidget at 8:49 AM on June 21, 2011

My go-to hangover cure:

1. I bottle Reed's Ginger Ale.
2. I bowl Amy's Kitchen No Chicken Noodle Soup.
3. Power yoga or a run.
4. Hottest shower I can stand.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 8:49 AM on June 21, 2011

A double shot of espresso and a 20 minute (no more) nap will do wonders. Also, 5 Hour Energy has the same B vitamins as the complex recommended above, plus a few other things to make you a bit more inflated without being jumpy (like Red Bull does).

Really, though, as someone else said, it's acute alcohol withdrawl and you just need a little bit more to "fix" things.. if that's up your alley.
posted by kcm at 8:51 AM on June 21, 2011

My favorite Nigella Bites episode is Temple Food where she makes recipes to treat your body like a temple, specifically recommended after an overly indulgent night-out. You can find all the recipes here. (evidentally the show was renamed "Feel Good Food")

I can personally vouch for the Tom Yum soup (Hot and Sour Soup) and the Vietnamese Chicken and Mint Salad.
posted by marsha56 at 8:57 AM on June 21, 2011

Nthing exercise, followed by a shower, followed by coffee.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 9:23 AM on June 21, 2011

Honestly, a Bloody Mary will fix things in about 10 minutes.
posted by horsemuth at 9:25 AM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Drink more water. Yeah, I know you said you drank a lot of water. It wasn't enough, keep drinking it. Seriously.
posted by wrok at 9:30 AM on June 21, 2011

It's too late for you now, but in the future do not as others have said here, DO NOT take Excedrin or any other acetaminophen product after drinking, or you can really trash your liver and damage your kidneys.

"Alcohol takes about five days to fully metabolize and leave the body's liver, while acetaminophen takes a little longer. To be safe, a person would need to wait at least five days after drinking alcohol before taking acetaminophen."

Liver failure has been reported even with normal dosages of Tylenol or something similar (like excedrin) mixed with alcohol.

A lot of people don't know this, and it's important to spread the word. Google "acetaminophen and alcohol" if you want to know more.
posted by banished at 9:37 AM on June 21, 2011 [6 favorites]

All of my best advice (exercise, caffeine, salt, fat/protein) has already been given, so I'll add a specific piece: for severe nausea, eat ginger. The most convenient form is pickled ginger (the pink stuff you can find in the Asian aisle at the grocery store), though some people don't like the taste. But straight ginger is a potent anti-nausea medication - it's pretty clear that it helps with nausea during pregnancy, and in my experience it helps a lot with hangover nausea.
posted by Tehhund at 10:14 AM on June 21, 2011

V-8. Then more V-8.
posted by Dolley at 10:25 AM on June 21, 2011

Pedialyte. No, seriously. Tastes like crap, so try it over ice with a straw.

Also, seconding what banished said. Never, NEVER combine acetaminophen (Tylenol) with alcohol, and do NOT take it for a hangover. Tylenol is damaging to the liver in combination with alcohol. This combination can also produce renal failure. This applies to normal doses of Tylenol, not just excessive doses.
posted by pecanpies at 10:50 AM on June 21, 2011

Whatever you drink, drink it through a straw. Somehow it goes down easier.
posted by mskyle at 10:54 AM on June 21, 2011

I like Function: Urban Detox and bacon...both contain cysteine which helps with hangovers.
posted by schyler523 at 10:54 AM on June 21, 2011

Totally non-science based, but shower + iced coffee drink of your choice always works for me. Also being able to complain a little bit about how sucky I feel (emphasis on a little).
posted by too bad you're not me at 1:48 PM on June 21, 2011

Hey all - just an update. Feeling somewhat better. I took the Excedrin (when apparently I shouldn't have - oh well). It shouldn't be that bad, because I had my last bit of alcohol at Sunday morning at 2am. It was over 2 days later, so my liver should be bouncing back right about now.

This ended up being a combination of a persistent hangover, having a long flight yesterday (which probably dehydrated me), and having a few injuries from my jubilation this weekend.

Something seemed to work, so here's what I tried - more water, eggs/bacon for breakfast, 5 hour energy (for B vitamins), ginger beer, a long, hot shower, and even more water.

I have the same gig tomorrow (and longer), but I'm done for today. That should give m a litlte more time to sleep and take care of myself. Thanks for the help, everyone! I'll mark best answers tomorrow.
posted by SNWidget at 2:03 PM on June 21, 2011

Man. Can you imagine how sick this guy's going to get if he follows all of our advice?
posted by schmod at 2:15 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

My cure-all (and I know I'm late) is a damn quarter pounder, french fries, and a large (diet for me) coke. It has only failed me once, and that was a weekend that, at 33, I tried to act like I was 20 again. The years don't make it easier. :)
posted by SuzySmith at 10:27 AM on June 22, 2011

DRINK A CAESAR. the spicier the better.
posted by custard heart at 3:43 PM on June 22, 2011

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