beauty

Six hangover cures that actually work. (And 3 that don't).

Image: iStock

Let’s not talk about last night.

It was messy. It was rowdy. It was awesome.

And… it was still going at 5 o’clock this morning.

We won’t dwell on it any further, because you’re probably not feeling so hot right now. (If you are, you’re a superhuman hangover-resistant cyborg and we bow down to you. Teach us your ways).

For the rest of you mortals, chances are you need a hangover cure. Right now. Like, immediately.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered with a to-do and to-don’t list. Don’t waste your energy thinking for yourself: just follow the steps below.

DO:

1. Drink water

One of the major symptoms of a hangover is dehydration. Remember the sixteen toilet breaks you took last night… per hour? That has something to do with it. As soon as you wake up, start hydrating. NEVER STOP.

If it helps - and your stomach can handle it - try adding fruit to sweeten the experience:

2. Drink electrolytes

While water is generally the number one hydrator, you lose more than just water when you sweat (dancing for five hours straight, anyone?). Grab a sports drink with electrolyte (like Gatorade or Powerade) or add a Hydralyte tablet to your glass of water.

3. Sleep. A lot.

You have nothing planned for today, right? Take it easy. Often you can ‘sleep off’ the early hours of your hangover – just remember to drink something every time you open your eyes.

4. Take painkillers

Taking painkillers isn’t cheating, as long as you remember to hydrate too. Opt for a paracetemol, as aspirin can irritate the stomach further. Painkillers can sometimes take a while to work, particularly on a blinding headache, but don’t freak out and take six more when they don’t work after six minutes. Have some faith. We’re going to get through this.

5. Eat whatever you feel like

It’s hard to believe, but your body is pretty good at craving the things it needs. If you feel like greasy food, you probably need to reload on salt, sugar and fat. Yes, we did just give you the all clear to go crazy on the bacon.

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5 drunk meals you don’t need to be ashamed of.

If you’re not so keen on ruining your holiday diet, opt for a cheesy omelet instead.

Also, as a side note, anyone who hasn't ruined their holiday diet by now is a goddess among women.

6. Drink coffee

Opinions vary as to whether caffeine helps or hinders hangover recovery. For some people, coffee tends to make the headache worse. For others – generally those who are, shall we say, ‘caffeine dependent’ – caffeine withdrawal on top of a hangover can make everything much, much, MUCH worse.

The cheaper, healthier alternative to coffee. (That actually works better.)

If you need coffee, have coffee. This day is awful enough without losing your will to live entirely.

DON'T:

1. Drink more alcohol

You are not Ke$ha. Even if you woke up in the morning feeling like a (very hungover) P Diddy, brushing your teeth with a bottle of Jack is not the answer. And while a Bloody Mary at brunch might sound more sophisticated, it won’t help either – you’ll just dehydrate yourself further, leaving you with a worse headache in the long run. Uncool.

How much alcohol can I really drink?

2. Go crazy on the exercise

More than anything, your body needs rest right now. While a brisk walk or some relaxing yoga might help to clear your head, anything more vigorous is likely to leave you more dehydrated and sickly than when you started. Leave the half-marathon til tomorrow… or never. Whatever works.

3. Go out tonight

Tis the season to be jolly – but not every single night. Your poor body needs time to recover. Remember when it was really tired but you insisted it keep dancing on tables and doing shots of tequila until it was light outside? Yeah, you owe it one. Quiet nights in all round.

How are you feeling this morning? What hangover remedies work for you? 

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