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10 Cheap Ways to Cure A Hangover

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Ok…so the deed is done. You’ve heard all the ways to avoid getting too sick before and while drinking alcohol, and you’ve fucked them all up. You haven’t eaten anything, the only water you drank all day is the backwash you accidentally swallowed from your toothpaste, and all you’ve been ordering all night are excessively sugary, egg-based cocktails, cheap red wine, and Fernet. First off, you, sir/madam, are an insanely unhealthy person and you may be in danger of biting the dust even as you read this article.

Let’s tackle this one problem at a time, though: it’s now morning (see: afternoon), and you feel like someone has set an atomic bomb off in your face and like a thousand cats have pooped in your mouth. Also, you’re broke as hell because you went out to fancy pants bars and then you took a 5 hour taxi ride since you forgot where you live.

Worried?! You should be! But don’t worry, I can help. For some reason, whether I took it easy and had a glass of wine or whether I took it difficult and tried to outdrink the bartender who was only pretending to take shots, I’ve always gotten really violent hangovers. They say to write about what you know, and if there’s one thing I know (like, really, really well) it’s what it’s like to be both hungover and broke.

1. A big glass of water BEFORE bed:

image from Losing The City

image from Losing The City

Since A Beautiful Mind came out, everybody (=I) suddenly realized that a hangover is simply a shameful, self-induced, smelling-of-smoke, occasionally-naked dehydration spell. Once I learned this, when I would wake up and upon realizing in horror that I had a hangover, to down seven million liters of water, only to consequently feel like I was about to give birth to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and like I wanted to hurl up all the water that I had just drank.

Some people can handle it and some can’t. I totally can, it’s just that this one friend of mine can’t. What a weenie. Anyway. The trick, dudettes and duderinos, is to drink a whole bunch of water before going to sleep, and you should be ok.

2. Vitamin C BEFORE bed:

image from Bonappetit

image from Bonappetit

I actually haven’t pulled this trick since moving to Europe, but I used to take some sort of Vitamin C supplement (be it in powder or pill) before going to sleep. It gives you energy, boosts the immune system, and is generally good for you. Again, if you take some the next day it helps as well. Personally, it’s usually too much for my stomach to handle, and if I do it before bed I wake up feeling slightly less like a medieval plague victim.

But not too much: Once, I was trying to prove how amazing of a hangover cure this was, I got overzealous, took two Emergen-Cs instead of one, and puked orange the whole next day. Learn from my horrifying mistakes, don’t be a winged ultra-dildo and take it easy.



Yes. We all (except for those villainous bastards who never get hangovers…you know who you are) know the feeling of opening your eyes and realizing with horror that you feel like the a brontosaurus is standing on your corneas. Really, the absolute best way to vanquish that oh-so-sucky feeling is to sleep it off. The first thing I do is roll around until I am uncomfortably tied up in my sheets while moaning just in case someone wants to hear how sad I feel; finally, I force myself to sleep. I wake up feeling dumb but functional.

4. Fizzy water and consequently, burping:

Credit to FOX

I’ve never been one of the cool kids who could burp on command. Because of this, if I want to burp, I am relegated to drinking soda (nope), beer (which got us in this situation in the first place, damnit) or sparkling water (like the aristocrat that I am at heart). Belching makes me feel fantastic, usually because I’m so relieved that it was gas and not something half digested that came out (like that raccoon in a window flower box I drunkenly ate the night before). Burping makes your tummy feel better, and is hilarious (albeit somewhat unladylike).

5. Caffeine:

Image from the Daily Mail

Image from the Daily Mail

The first thing I usually want to drink when I wake up is nothing. Then, a soothing green tea. Admittedly, once I start to feel a bit better, a big-ass cup of American coffee (or, as it is known in France, “sock juice,”) actually momentarily kicks my brain into high gear and allows me to do such complex activities like breathe and talk at the same time.

6. Pho:

Image credit to Bonappetit

Image credit to Bonappetit

This is a personal obsession, and I think comes from the deep-rooted Jewish tradition that eating chicken soup will fix any ailment in the world, including schizophrenia, amputated limbs, and hangovers. However, perhaps this force-feeding of chicken stock left me a bit disenchanted, and I transitioned over to pho. It’s good comfort food when the weather is cold, but when things get really out of hand and it’s hot as hell it actually still helps me. Now, this could be approached in two ways:

  • A bowl of spice and veggie-laden liquid quasi-food can be great sustenance when you develop and appetite but can’t handle greasy diner food [BAS links food] quite yet. In that case, ramen, miso soup, and chicken soup would work as well.
  • It’s all about the comfort food. If you feel like eating a bag of chips dipped in ice cream all to yourself, today is the day to do it. Trust me, you will always feel worse about the stupid things that you did last night which will always and forever be documented on the internet.

7. Coconut Water:

Image from Mercola

Image from Mercola

A friend of mine taught me this one (see: also the same friend who the night before would peer pressure me into free Tequila shots). Coconut water is said to be nature’s sports drink. Like most facts that you’ll find on the internet or hear from word of mouth, that may not be exactly true, nor is it a miracle remedy for all ailments of the liver. However, it is really, really hydrating and it gives you a good ‘ole kick of sugar. While at first it was a hard taste to stomach, nowadays I actually crave it. Obviously, water is always best, but supplement that it with some of the best coconut water EVER (trust me) and you’ll feel almost ready to have a conversation!

8. Sunlight:

Image from youtube

While this may seem counter-intuitive to your poor, dessicated, dehydrated cerebellum, it’s good for morale and for the soul (yes, I’m totally qualified to give medical advice). Of course, one’s tendency is to go full-blown lunatic and cover the windows, doors, keyholes, outlets, and small holes in the wall with black fabric and duct tape. If you do so, your headache probably won’t get worse, but you also might feel like a recovering lobotomy patient. It helps to go on at least one mission into the sunlight: it’s overwhelming, yes, but what is life without being whelmed once in a while.

…but not too much, because you obviously need to rehydrate and rest. Turns out, sitting in the sun with one of those reflective car window covers around your neck in order to get a brain tan isn’t the brightest idea a boy genius (or girl genius) like you will ever have.

9. Pictures of cats (and other animals) on the internet:

Image from Icanhascheezburger

Image from Icanhascheezburger

It is exactly what you can enjoy at your level of intelligence today, although to be honest they are maybe smarter than you are. Make the most of it, kid.

10. Yes…more alcohol!

Stuart at Decomp

Image happily provided by Alex Mak


All of the above genius tried-and-tested tricks will help the feeling of riding on the back of a really dickish camel who keeps trying to buck you off while you’re in a desert wearing an anvil as a hat, and simultaneously trying to learn Latin written with Chinese characters. However, the only thing to really dull the pain is a teeny bit of booze.

…but not too much, for headache inducing, glaringly obvious reasons.


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Rae Bathgate - Down and Out and Overseas

Rae Bathgate - Down and Out and Overseas

Rae, known also (depending on the country) as Rachelle/Raquel/ Rachele (and often sadly mistaken as Richard, because biblical names are hard you guys) is an aspiring writer and now sort of a dick for having actually defined herself as such. She was born and lived over the first half of her life in Italy; she then moved to the States and lived a good ten years there (including in SF). Currently back in Europe, she is neither a hapless American tourist nor a snobby European jerkyjerk; luckily for you, she is some weird ungodly combination of both. Also, she’s broke and is probably stealing bread crumbs from pigeons.