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Jun 29, 2001 11:38 AM

Hangover Recipes and Cures

  • s

All this talk about beer is leading to extensive experimentation.

I'm curious as to what concoctions chowhounders rely on the night or morning after they should have said "no" to that last drink.

Personally, three advil and a liter of Orangina does the trick.

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  1. I think Tripe, in all its various forms is supposed to be a hangover cure...

    For me it's always been salty french fries, preferably McDonald's, although usually when I need a hangover cure it's due to Scotch, which always seems to make me hungry in the morning (as opposed to beer, which has an opposite effect).


    3 Replies
    1. re: ben fish

      Tacos with chorizo and egg or bean and bacon, with cheese and jalapenos. Admittedly, it can be like chemotherapy: Tough to survive but curative in the end.

      Also, regular coke, gatorade and the old standby alka-seltzer. Used to wash down the tacos, of course.

      1. re: Greg Spence

        I'm with you on the spicy stuff; tabasco is good to keep on hand for dumping all over your scrambled eggs the morning after. Don't know what it is about its vasodilating powers that loosens the grip of a hangover, but it works for me.

        And it must be one reason the Bloody Mary is a time-honored cure; another is the salt, which your body needs to help with rehydration; and then there's the hair of the dog. OK, it's dangerous, because once your body learns that a little drink will makes things better you're on the road to dependency. But it does help.

        As does Guinness. Who knows what's in that stuff, but it's like medicine.

        A Ramos Fizz is marvelous too--packed with protein, from egg whites! But operating a cocktail shaker when you're damaged is damn hard, not to mention the intolerable racket it produces. The only solution is to do your drinking in New Orleans and go to the Sazerac Bar in the morning to let the old bartenders do the athletic shaking for you.

        Kingsley Amis's On Drink has a masterful chapter on hangovers, dealing with not just the physical hangover but the metaphysical hangover: the guilt and self-disgust that kicks in just as your mind begins to clear.

      2. re: ben fish

        Gotta agree with you on McDonalds. On most hangover mornings the only food I can think of eating is a big pile of greasy, salty, delicious McDonalds fries.

      3. A bowl of hearty, non-dairy soup. People suggest tripe or menudo, but many other soups do the trick also.

        Drink lots of liquids to re-hydrate. I like to drink lots of water while I'm drinking as a preventive measure.

        There's always the good ol' hair o' the dog. Or, as a last resort: Just Stay Drunk.

        2 Replies
        1. re: 2chez mike

          Absolutely, drink lots of liquids - mostly water. Most of the effects of a hangover are due to dehydration. My friends and I discovered that drinking a liter of water before passing out (and then, when the inevitable 3:00 AM call to the throne occurred, drinking another liter), truly mitigated the ill feelings. However, we also drank a lot of tomato juice the next morning, and found that helped as well.

          1. re: KevinB

            I always make sure to drink Gatorade before giving in to sleep after a night of drinking. Never had a hangover.

        2. Since part of what makes you miserable with a hangover is dehydration and loss of potassium, my morning-after remedy is a tall glass of orange juice with a banana and a raw egg blended into it, followed by a couple of aspirin and lots of water. And I usually take a couple of aspirin before going to sleep, the night before the morning after. Seems to work for me.

          1. m

            two large glasses of iced tea, two aspirin and bacon and eggs fix me right up. if that doesnt work then a v8

            1. 1. Since dehydration is the reason your brain literally shrinks away from the subarachnoid space, fluids are obviously the key. Unfortunately, plain water is often unpalatable to drink the morning after. ALWAYS keep plain bottled selzer water on hand - this (cold or roon temperature) will go down easily and start the hydration process, and also soothe the tummy.

              2. Medication: I used to swear by Extra Stregnth Tylenol until I discovered the new line of over-the-counter migraine products. Hangover headaches and migraine symptoms can be very similar, including the headache/nausea combination. Also, if you are lucky enough to have a prescription for Fiornal (generic name Butalbital), one is good for the mild hangover, two is for when you can barely lift your head to reach for your medication (thank goodness this doesn't happen to me anymore - I discovered too late in life that my body simply cannot tolerate gin or vodka, period).

              Congratulations, you're out of bed! Let's move on.

              4. This is a good time to send the least miserable person down to the bodega. Now, I'm not going to say you should drink one or the other - it depends on what you think would continue to placate your stomach at the moment. All of the following at one time or another have helped me in my time of need: Gatorade, tomato, grapefruit, orange, or cranberry juice, coffee, extra-cold skim milk (sipped), Coca Cola (not Pepsi). And keep the selzer handy!

              5. Before you eat, see if you might have Immodium AD (Extra Strength chewables are my friend) on hand (especially if you suspect you were drinking beer out of dirty taps!!). Your digestive system may be very fragile at this time, so keep the toilet in close proximity. Remember: if you are foolhardy enough to go to brunch, you may risk invoking the wrath of the victim behind you in line for the restroom. Also, ladies: I wouldn't recommend going out all day if you are simultaneously hungover and menstruating. You know what I'm talking about.

              6. You're finally ready to eat. Some people begin to dream of hash browns while still struggling to rise, and others can't fathom such a thing until the evening. Eat whatever you are craving. Forget trying to apply basic nutrition to hangover cures, because the abuse has already taken place. All you can do is comfort yourself at this point. I would say that it is very nice to open the cupboard and find a can of Campbell's Tomato and Rice soup, and a box of saltines.

              7. I'm sorry, but any "hair-of-the-dog" advice is plain disgusting.

              Again, it all depends on the person and type of hangover. As I said, I am thankful to have discovered what kind of alcohol I cannot drink under any circumstances, what I must limit, and what absolutely cannot be combined. These days, my hangovers are very few, and not too traumatizing.

              18 Replies
              1. re: Minty

                I've heard people who drink WAY too much say that they eliminated hangovers by drinking half a gallon of water before going to bed. Flush the toxins out of your system and rehydrate yourself at the same time. Try that first, maybe you won't have a hangover to beat.

                1. re: ironmom

                  Very true! This definitely helps.

                  Unfortunately in my case, I would go to bed not even suspecting that the 2 or 3 gin and tonics OR 2 martinis over the course of an evening would absolutely wreck me the next morning. Turns out I had no business putting either into my system!

                  Also, as much as I try to force water before bed, I always stay up an extra hour or so because I am mortified at the thought of wetting my bed. My ex-boyfriend did this once or twice after some hard drinking, and, suffice to say, it was mighty unpleasant.

                  1. re: Minty

                    I didn't understand how that would work out either. But I have found in the past that if you start loading up on the water before you stop drinking, it tends to stop your thirst, so the drinking stops earlier, too.

                  2. re: ironmom
                    Caitlin McGrath

                    Rehydration is probably the key to any hangover cure, but drinking too much water too fast, especially when very dehydrated, can actually be dangerous. At the least, drinking straight water without eating something salty flushes too much sodium from your system, which can in itself leave you feeling woozy and unwell. And although it's rare, it's possible to physically "drown" by diluting your blood sufficiently that you brain is "flooded" with water. So space that half-gallon over a least half an hour, and if you can, eat some pretzels or other salty but stomach-neutral snack (and a banana if you can tolerate it) to replace your sodium (and potassium) loss.

                    Unfortunately, I don't think most people think about how to deal with a hangover until it's alreay hit them...

                    1. re: ironmom

                      It's never worked for me. It doesn't stay down.
                      The only things that have worked for me are
                      1) Taking aspirin before bed (NEVER EVER acetaminophen/Tylenol with alcohol)
                      2.) If I forget to take aspirin then I drink some very good coffee, very slowly - and not more than 2 cups. I might have some Ibuprofen at this point. Try to go for a walk or be active for a while and while also drinking water, if possible. And later sip on gatorade, ginger ale, and/or emergen-c.

                    2. re: Minty

                      Minty, awesome post. But, you left me a bit curious on how you know so much about hangovers? Are you a doctor or enthusiast? Anyway, you reinforced why I've had so much success with Orangina. It combines both the orange juice and seltzer you suggest.
                      Hydration is the key. I'm ashamed to admit but I even start introducing water into the equation early in the night if I suspect I'm heading for trouble. A 22 oz water for each pint type of thing.

                      1. re: Minty

                        Stick with simple aspirin as a pill cure for a hangover. Tylenol, and the rest of the "non-aspirin" designer drugs usually end up doing twice the liver damage than the the alcohol itself.

                        1. re: Minty

                          As an EMT who's seen plenty of narcotic-alcohol induced comas, I'd say stay away from mixing fiornal and booze. Way away. Also, watch the acetominphen (tylenol). Your liver's in enough trouble without adding this irritant. Stick with the alka seltzers, coca-colas and water. If you yearn for a narcotic to take away the headache pain, just let that be your body's admonishment for the abuse you've inflicted.

                            1. re: 2chez mike

                              Emergency Medical Technician.

                            2. re: Greg Spence

                              No no!!! I do not mix narcotics and booze, let me state that for the record.

                              Also let me state that when I have taken these the morning after, there were other factors involved. First and foremost, debauchery in itself was not the cause - like I said before, I would sometimes have a moderate amount of gin or vodka, which my body cannot tolerate period, and literally could not move the next morning (self-flagellation isn't the issue here). In addition to this, I am a walking barometer, so if there had also been any major weather change, then I was in real trouble.

                              Since eliminating the culprits from my list, I haven't had one of these morning after incidents, thank goodness!

                            3. re: Minty

                              one word GATORADE

                              1. re: Foundthemagiccure

                                Yup, definitely Gatorade.

                                1. re: Foundthemagiccure

                                  Gatorade is the gold standard of hangover cures.

                                  Though on the food side, I like eggs + toast with honey.

                                2. re: Minty

                                  Minty, What is the "new line of otc migrane priducts" you referenced above??

                                  1. re: anchovy

                                    That would be the reference from 6 years ago...

                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                      Correct. You count really well....

                                    2. re: anchovy

                                      >>What is the "new line of otc migrane priducts"

                                      anchovy, I was wondering that myself.

                                      This line is almost enough to make a person stop drinking!

                                      >>Since dehydration is the reason your brain literally shrinks away from the subarachnoid space, fluids are obviously the key.

                                      Sadly, I have to agree that moderation is the key.