Nothing can make you regret the long evening of fun you enjoyed last night like this morning's nasty hangover. Whether you woke up nauseous, with the spins, or straight-up cannot make it out of bed so you've been scrolling through articles on your phone incessantly — we're about to get you up and running so you can lead a productive day and, who knows, maybe even build up the wherewithal to go out again tonight.
It's safe to say that hangovers have been around for just as long as alcohol. And while my preferred day-after methodology involves scarfing down a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, overcompensating for my lethargy by wearing bright lipstick, then putting headphones in to ensure minimal co-worker contact, people have banded together online to share the cures that have worked for them.
Because hangovers come in all shapes and sizes, and it's worth knowing the right ammo to deal with each and every one.
Did you know that Coca-Cola was invented as a hangover remedy? We didn't either. As it turns out, the popular soda was based on a pharmacist's hangover cure. In the late 19th century, John Pemberton started giving his patients a "combination of caffeine (from cola nuts), cocaine (from coca plants), and alcohol, mixed into a thick, sugary syrup and combined with carbonated water to make it fizzy." After the pharmacist's sweet hangover elixir saw great commercial success, it was popularized into the delicious soda franchise we all know and love today.
And hungover people around the globe swear by the soda. As one redditor mentions, "Coke the soda not the drug [is my hangover cure of choice]. Drink some before drinking and after. I think the caffeine and water in it help." "The one true best hangover cure is an enormous quesadilla and a Coke. Ideally a big cold bottle of Mexican Coke. This is fact," echoed another person on Twitter.
Ok, so my bacon, egg, and cheese idea wasn't all that original. A quick search on reddit proves that people around the world have found their hangover cures by putting the strangest-sounding things between two pieces of bread.
The image above is of a "BLT on homemade jalapeño & three-cheese bagel," but there's also "Pepper jack and cheddar grilled cheese with jalapeños and bacon on marble rye," and "Fried egg and avocado on a cheddar bagel," if that sounds more up your alley.
But strange sandwich inventions aren't new in the hangover world. In fact, brunch's mainstay, Eggs Benedict, started out as a hangover sandwich. Back in 1894, Lemuel Benedict, described by the New York Times as a "flamboyant man-about-town," awoke one day with a nasty hangover. When he went to breakfast at the Waldorf Hotel, he invented his own sandwich of "two poached eggs, bacon, buttered toast, and a pitcher of hollandaise sauce," according to Smithsonian Magazine.
Once the chef at the Waldorf heard about this sandwich, he decided to switch out the bacon for ham and the toast for English muffins, resulting in the decadent poached-egg brunch food we've now come to adore.
And the hungover tradition of inventive sandwiches isn't going away anytime soon. "My favorite hangover cure is an everything bagel with cream cheese, tomato, red onion, and bacon. In my home it is called The Concoction," shared one user on Twitter.
The best part about Sunday hangovers is how readily available Bloody Marys are. Ask Men reports that Bloody Marys were invented in the 1920s when Fernand Petiot mixed equal parts vodka and tomato juice to quell the hangovers of hard-partying writers and roaring expats.
And there's actually some science behind why Bloody Marys work so well. Tomatoes contain "high amounts of both lycopene and potassium, which help stimulate blood flow and replenish electrolytes," according to Smithsonian Magazine, so you'd be right to throw a couple in a sandwich, or grab a V8, if a Bloody isn't readily available to you this morning.
It might not sound as appealing as a greasy burger or last night's pizza, but soup can work wonders for your hangover. As a matter of fact, entire countries have perfected their hangover soups, and Vietnam is one of them.
If you've ever heard of pho (pronounced "fuh"), you might know that Vietnamese people often drink it after a night of partying. Redditors adore this cure, saying "Pho is magic soup," "employed the Pho technique an hour ago. I'm a believer," and "For me, a big bowl of Pho (Vietnamese soup), with copious amounts of chili oil" of their hangover remedies.
Plus, there's scientific proof to back pho. According to Spoon University, "Pho is just as good as Gatorade at replacing these electrolytes because of how the broth is made." Which is lucky for the reddit user who posted "Pho. Gatorade. Excedrin. Brushing my teeth" when asked how they stave off a hangover.
If you can't find a good Vietnamese spot by you, other soups can do the trick. One redditor cites "my three P's: Pedialyte, potato soup, and a protein shake" as their hangover go-to, while another mentions that chicken noodle soup "Replenishes salt and fluids while the warmth settles your stomach."
Electrolyte boosters aren't very inventive in the hangover arena, but they're definitely effective. According to reddit, saline drips and even Midol (PMS medication containing ibuprofen and caffeine) can also work wonders.
"Advil, Gravol (Dramamine), Gatorade (Not water, you need electrolytes desperately). Coffee may relieve the headache a bit, but can also make you more nauseous. It will also increase urinary output which is not what you need. Also, get your heart rate going once you feel better," said one redditor. Another shared, "Finish the night off with Pedialyte. Much better than Gatorade. Even better than Pedialyte is coconut water."
"Gatorade (specifically G2) is actually recommended by a lot of physicians for hydration if Pedialyte is not available. In addition to electrolyte supplement, another reason these drinks work well is because one of the receptors that helps move water across the cell membrane in your body is facilitated by sodium ions and glucose (sugar) molecules. That's why Pedialyte and Gatorade are good at replenishing — they have both," explained another user.
If just the thought of pickle juice is hard to stomach right now, stay with us. Just a small sip will go a long way in helping you get back on your proverbial feet today. According to Dr. Oz, "the salts in pickle juice will help replenish your electrolytes and put your body back in balance," which is probably why picklebacks exist in the first place. He recommends drinking 1/4 cup first thing in the morning after a rowdy night on the town.
And before you downright knock the idea, listen to this guy's account of why it's a miracle elixir: "I work for a fishing charter company and I went into work one day following a night of heavy drinking. Never had a hangover so bad that I wanted to throw up the next day until then. The feeling of wanting to vomit just wouldn't go away. A customer I had helped a week before brought me a couple jars of pickles from his farm to show his appreciation for something I did for him. One jar was labeled spicy, the other was not. I decided to sip on the spicy juice to try to make myself puke so I could hopefully feel a little better. As soon as I started swallowing it, I felt like the weight of the world was being lifted off my shoulders. In 10 minutes my hangover was gone."
So, what's your tried-and-true hangover cure? We're struggling this morning and dying to hear it.