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The 10 most popular hangover cures

December 30, 2019


By Erin Henderson

Frank Sinatra said: “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. They wake up in the morning and that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”

But if you’re reading this — unlike old Blue Eyes — you’ve likely been envious of teetotallers at least one morning in your life. Perhaps you’re even anticipating that another sickly occasion is in the not-too-distant-future, and you’re making like a good Boy Scout and getting prepared now.

Speaking of which, it is important to note that wicked hangovers are arguably the least damaging of the many negative outcomes of consuming too much alcohol. Studies have linked booze to a host of scary maladies including increased risk of cancer, strokes and liver damage. But here, we’re just trying to offer some friendly help for your garden-variety hangover so you can make it through the foggy, painful day.

Oh, hold up. One more little note: our lawyers would like us to remind you that we are in no way offering medical advice. We’re drinkers, not doctors. Additionally, if you feel you may have a problem with drinking please seek professional help. And finally, we here at Drink Toronto encourage responsible drinking, so please don’t drink to excess and never drink and drive. Also, don’t stick your face in a fan.

However, we're all adults here and part of being an adult can sometimes mean half a glass of wine and we're feeling it for three days.

So, with all of that in mind, here are 10 popular ways those suffering from the booze flu can try to lift their, ahem, spirits.

1. Water. Take a pre-emptive strike and drink one glass of H2O for every glass or two of cheer. Booze is a diuretic, and dehydration is a big reason you end up feeling awful. You need to replace those lost fluids.

2. Hangover pills. Where have you been all my (mostly) adult life? I’m a serious journalist, and in the name of research I have experimented with these little beauties. I must say they worked brilliantly for me. Formulas vary of course, but the brands I’ve sampled have contained some cocktail (forgive the pun) of B vitamins, milk thistle, ginger and Vitamin C. [This is not medical advice. Please check with your health care provider before taking these or any other supplements or medications – Expensive Lawyer Advice.]

3. Sports drinks, coconut water or even children’s Pedialyte. Replacing lost electrolytes is what you're after.

4. Coffee. If you need caffeine to perk you up, go for it. But be aware it's also a diuretic and may worsen your symptoms.

5. More alcohol. For me, it's physically impossible to have another drink when I’m still reeling from the night before, but many of my hard-core friends use the hair of the dog as a sure-fire way to feel better. I think it may cause alcoholism, but whatever.

6. Pickle juice. Yup, gross, and it may not make it down on the first go, but some — namely Eastern Europeans — swear by it. It may have to do with the briny liquid and replacing electrolytes, but that's just a guess (again, we are not healthcare professionals).

7. Pain killers. If you're easing your booze intake with drugs, stick to Ibuprofen. Acetaminophen may help with headaches but can irritate the stomach lining and potentially cause more damage.

8. Greasy food. Probably this is more a placebo than anything else, but life is hard and you take your wins where you can.

9. Exercise. Ya, a nice brisk jog to go with your dry heaves will perk you right up.

10. Sleep. The day's already a write-off. Just go back to bed and don't get up until dinner.

This article first appeared in The Wine Sisters’ blog. It has been edited and updated for Drink Toronto.