You’ve done it again.
Against your better judgment, you went out, painted the town red, and evidently sucked down enough beer and liquor to inflict what feels like irreversible damage to your internal organs. You just woke up, and sort of, kind of, wish you were dead.
Well, relax. It’s just a hangover. And it’s the price you pay for having had such a good time (or what you hope was a good time, who can remember?) the night before. Now, besides getting yourself to the nearest toilet, your primary goal is to vanquish this feeling. And if you made the decision to get hammered in the middle of the workweek, you now have to find a way to drag yourself into your job. Well, you’ll need to find a panacea or three in short order.
It’s time to step up, son, and The Cheat Sheet has your back. The fact of the matter is, adult decisions come with adult consequences, and your hangover is the physical consequence of pouring untold amounts of alcohol into your system. Alcohol does make things fun, there’s no doubt. But it’s also pretty toxic to your biological systems, and your hangover is your body’s way of processing, what it deems to be, poison.
So, how do you go about facilitating your body’s natural functions, and get rid of the previous night’s grisly aftermath? Watch the video below, and check out this step-by-step guide to getting rid of your hangover.
Your first move is likely identical to any other average morning: head for the coffee maker. Your body is in need of resources — chief among them, liquids. Coffee will help get you going with a caffeine shot, which might also help with your headache. Your body needs to get moving, to facilitate the processing of the alcohol still in your system so that it can be filtered out. Coffee will give you a bit of energy, but it’s far from a silver bullet. This is a starting place. Fire up the Keurig, and make your way over to the medicine cabinet.
For the rest of our simple step-by-step guide, continue to page two.
Pain killers are your friend. And Advil — or any brand of Ibuprofen, really — is a good bet. Some people find that different pain killers work better for them, be it Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Advil), or Naproxen (Aleve). Use what you feel will complement your body’s natural processes in the most efficient way. But be careful, you shouldn’t be using medication as a crutch on a regular basis. Continued or prolonged use of pain killers can do even more damage to your body.
As we mentioned, your body needs resources. And that means food. So get yourself some breakfast — even if it’s hard to keep down. The common adage is that a greasy breakfast will help you feel better, and there’s evidence to back that up. Foods associated with greasy breakfasts, most notably eggs, contain the nutrients your body needs. They can neutralize toxins and replenish essential amino acids. So get cooking, or head to IHOP, stat.
If we didn’t already mention it, you’re dehydrated, and you need fluids. Lots of them.
Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are perfect, as they contain some sugars and sodium that will help your body replenish fluids. The flavor of these drinks also helps. For some people, drinking water after waking up is hard to do, as it may be unpalatable. Flavored sports drinks deliver vital resources in a tastier fashion, which may lead to you downing more in a shorter period of time.
Getting off your ass is paramount to vanquishing your hangover. Your body needs to get its internal functions going, and the way to do that is to get some exercise. Your increased heart rate will kick everything into gear, and working up a sweat will get the remaining alcohol in your system on the fast-track for removal. Not only that, exercise has anti-depressant qualities, meaning you’ll feel better after releasing some endorphins.
This can’t be stressed enough: you’re dehydrated. Keep sucking down the fluids, and preferably water.
The coffee and sports drinks should have helped with your energy levels, by replenishing sodium and sugars, but now you need to tackle the fact that you still need large quantities of water to cleanse everything out. Grab glass after glass of water, and drink away.
Sound a bit unorthodox? Maybe. But you should give it a try. You can make it on a stove top, and inhale the vapors. The lemon and honey will basically act like a giant, gaseous cough drop, helping you feel better. This is especially helpful if you’re feeling congested, as it’s giving you a blast of humidity to break up what’s clogging your sinuses. It’ll also help your throat, which may be feeling a bit tender, or suffering from some acidic burns from, you know, the vomiting.
“Hair of the dog” is an expression that refers to consuming some alcohol to combat a hangover. It’s basically the Malcolm X method for fighting hangovers — you’re fighting fire with fire. Since alcohol is a depressant, and can dull your sense, it only makes sense that it should be able to make you feel a bit better. So, pairing a little bit with some fruit and vegetable juice should get you back on the right track. The defacto drink of choice? The Bloody Mary.
Keep on with the drinks: coffee, water, Gatorade, and now, soda. Give a non-caffeinated soda a shot, like Sprite or Sierra Mist, which will keep the hydration coming and also help settle your stomach if you’re feeling queasy. Researchers have found that certain chemicals in these soft drinks can disrupt the processes in your body which create hangovers, and get you feeling better, faster.
While you may think that the last thing anyone wants is a hungover lummox rolling around on or around them, doing the deed may help kick your hangover to the curb. The act of having sex can help clear up your headache and spike testosterone levels.
It sounds great, but getting your significant other to agree to have sex with you in a hungover state is the real trick.