While having a hangover is never pleasant, it’s a heck of a lot easier to stomach (pun intended!) on the weekend when your biggest task is deciding what to watch on Netflix. You can lie in bed all day, remote in hand, thirst-quenching Gatorade by your side, a greasy meal just a short drive (in sweats) away.
Being hungover on a workday, however, is a whole other story. Yes, we all know it’s best practice to avoid drinking to the point that you can’t escape a hangover—but in the event that you find yourself sluggish and slow, headachy and drowsy, nauseous and irritable, there are some cheap and easy remedies at your disposal. And today they’re brought to you by our smart and resourceful crew here at The Muse, who understand the importance of hydration, carbs, and Ibuprofen and who aren’t afraid to throw something new into the mix either—think headstands, mayonnaise, and coconut oil. (Please note that these tips are not backed by science but simply by experience.)
Here’s how some of us are dealing with this festive time of year—and those morning-after regrets.
Chex Mix and chocolate milk; I’d swear my life on it.
I chug lukewarm water. And I use essential oils on pulse points—peppermint to reduce nausea and lavender for calming. Works wonders for me!
Cranberry ginger ale and French fries. Always French fries.
In addition to drinking a glass of water (or two) before sleeping after a party night, take a multivitamin. Excess urination from drinking depletes your body not just of water but also of urine-soluble vitamins. That’s the reasoning anyway—I’m not sure if there are solid results behind this, but from experience, I think this is a big help. This is not a scientific fact though!
Pedialyte and Aspirin before going to bed.
If I’m really hungover and struggling, I’ll go to my gym, take a dip in the hot tub, chill in the steam room (to sweat all the alcohol out), and start the day. There’s no better cure for a hangover.
On ‘not feeling super hot this morning’ days, I always wear a dress. People are always like, ‘You look so nice today!’ and I’m like, ‘Thanks, I might be dying.’
Bagel, water, shower, Advil, and a lot of willpower. I remind myself that I love my job and have worked too hard to mess it all up now.
Chug two big glasses of cold water with lemon then, if possible, do a three-minute headstand to get the blood flowing. Took that tip from Kerouac in Dharma Bums.
My morning usually starts with drinking every liquid within reach; water, juice, Gatorade, coffee, Pedialyte! I do this on repeat all day. I also assume being hungover automatically means you’re allowed to eat all the crap and carbs you want—bagels, sandwiches, pizza, pizza, pizza, and pizza.
Growing up in a Russian family, I was always told to coat your stomach before going out drinking with something greasy (usually a ‘salad’ covered with mayonnaise or sour cream), but a cheeseburger would work too. While taking numerous shots of vodka, you should always take a bite of a pickle, piece of meat, or deeply inhale a slice of bread before taking a bite. If you ever start feeling nauseated, sip on some pickle juice (pickle back shots anyone?).
Gatorade. Yellow preferred, but blue will do. Before bed if possible, if not first thing in the morning. Half-water, half-yellow Gatorade over ice. Then, all the carbs or grease I can get my hands on for breakfast and lunch. And a fountain Diet Coke to wash it all down.
I’ve learned over the years that, for me, the secret is to be just tired and not sick. If I’m out pretty late and have had a fair amount [to drink], I’ll force myself to stay up a bit later and sober up before actually hitting the sack. One liter of water and a sleeve of Saltines (or Goldfish) before bed is my go-to hangover prevention kit. Passing out at 1 AM drunk versus going to sleep at 2:30 AM in a better state is a much better move! I can make it through a day a bit sleepy, but being too hungover makes it a total waste.
For me it’s the classics: Lots of water, Advil, and coffee (but not on an empty stomach!). While some people suggest eating greasy foods, I actually steer away from that—eating a huge unhealthy breakfast makes me feel more sluggish and gross. I suggest something like eggs and a piece of whole wheat toast to give you a nice boost of protein and energy. Then you just need to stay hydrated, try to avoid talking to people, and bide your time until you can go snuggle in bed at home.
My secret weapon is Pedialyte. You may think it's only for children recovering from a stomach illness. But guess what? The ‘kid-approved’ drink is also the ideal hangover cure. They now sell it in packets that you can just add to water. It gives you all the electrolytes you need to make it through the day.
If I'm badly hungover, there’s little I can do about it apart from the standard Aspirin, lots of water and junk food (although I try to eat healthy despite the burger cravings). What works best for me is being conscious of how much I'm drinking the night before—I aim to drink a glass of water regularly throughout the night and then a bottle of Gatorade before I sleep.
I carbo-load (bagels on bagels) to soak up as much alcohol as possible! Then, copious amounts of water, a teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee—and for the exceptionally bad hangovers, Berocca (which is like a cross between Alka-Seltzer and Emergen-C).
Drink three glasses of water before going to bed! Coconut water and bananas are your allies—replenish the potassium the booze drained from your system!
I don't know if this is advice on how to deal with it, but one piece of advice I follow that was handed down from a manager is this: ‘When you are out with co-workers and it is visible [that you’ve had a lot to drink], you should have the goal to be the first one in the office the next day. Champions play hurt!’
Champions. Play. Hurt.
As for me, well, living in a city with a plethora of food trucks, I’d have to say that I’m a fan of street meat. Also, because I usually think I look as gross as I feel, I tend to wear all black and make myself as presentable as possible. If no one knows how badly I’m struggling, then maybe I can push through.
Hopefully, if you find yourself feeling not-so-hot (perhaps the morning after your company holiday party), you’ll find comfort in one of these non-expert pieces of well-intentioned advice. Cheers!
Photo of hungover man courtesy of Shutterstock.
Stacey Lastoe is the Senior Editor/Writer of The Muse. She started writing short stories in the second grade and is immensely grateful to have the opportunity to write and edit professionally. Her work has appeared in YouBeauty, Refinery29, A Practical Wedding, Runner's World online, and The Billfold among other publications. She enjoys running and eating in equal measure and lives with her husband and dog in Brooklyn. All three of them are avid New York Mets fans. Say hello on @stacespeaks.More from this Author