I'm posting a list of 25 items each day leading up to my birthday at the end of the month to celebrate 25 years of gathered wisdom and useless information.
By the time you become a quarter centurion you have probably suffered your share of hangovers (I have, anyway). Here is a collection of tips culled from my experience (or my friends' experiences) with a few rough mornings after the bottle:
1. Try to drink an equal amount of water to offset the dehydrating effects of the alcohol you're consuming while you are still out and about. If you are of the mind to remember to do so, drink a tall glass of water and take an Advil before you go to bed. The very minute you wake up—no matter when, no matter how much it hurts—get up and drink another tall glass of water and take another Advil. Now you can go back to sleep. When you get up for good, try the following tonic:
2. Lulu's Tonic
I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure this helps...
4 oz. Aloe juice (the straight stuff... not the bright green sugary stuff)
4 oz. Coconut water
2-3 Tablespoons of wheatgrass powder
1 packet of raspberry Emergen-C (or your preferred flavor)
Stir it all up and drink pretty quickly. Repeat up to three times over the course of the day, as needed.
3. Eat cabbage. Cabbage is good for headaches. Maybe try to sneak some into a breakfast hash.
4. Drink kombucha. It actually contains a small amount of alcohol (a natural biproduct of the fermentation process), so it's kind of like a hair-of-the-dog situation, but it also comes with some electrolytes and good bacteria to replace the ones you killed with alcohol the night before.
5. Drink herbal tea. Peppermint will help soothe an upset stomach and ginger is good for digestion. Lemon is clarifying and good for detox.
6. Don't mix alcohol. Moving from champagne to gin to tequila to cheap beer is going to make for a nasty cocktail in your stomach.
7. Try some tinctures. To about 1 oz. of warm water add a dropper of echinacea, a dropper of ginseng (for energy), and a dropper of dandelion extract (for the liver).
8. Have a "hair of the dog" that bit you. I must admit that this strategy is totally not for me, but I have plenty of friends that swear by it.
9. If standing up is too unbearable, at least prop your head up with a few pillows to limit the amount of blood rushing to your head.
10. Listen to mellow classical music. It stimulates the brain without overwhelming it.
11. Tug lightly on your earlobes. There are a number of stress-relieving pressure points in the ear.
12. Do yoga. Gentle exercise will let you sweat out some of the alcohol without taxing the body too much while it's still in recovery mode.
13. Put a lavender-filled pillow in the freezer and then place it across your eyes.
14. Watch brainless television to distract yourself from the pain.
15. If you have time to spare, you could always sleep off the hangover. Otherwise:
16. Take a cold shower.
17. If you have to snap-to despite the hangover, make sure to take a nap later in the day. Drunken sleep is actually not a very restful sleep, regardless of how zonked you felt heading off to bed the night before.
18. Drink a sports drink (like Gatorade or Smart Water) to replenish electrolytes.
19. Take some Vitamin B(6).
20. I'd prefer to eat an egg integrated into my breakfast, but you could always streamline your attack and down a few raw eggs. Crack the eggs into a glass with some water and down the hatch!
21. Have a few slices of apple dipped in peanut butter. The peanut butter is a good source of protein and the apples are easy to digest.
22. Drink pickle or olive juice.
23. Take an Alka Seltzer tablet in water or drink some sparkling water to relieve nausea.
24. Get a massage. Maybe you can convince a friend to rub your back if you promise to get them back the next time they miss the mark drink-wise. Otherwise, what better time to treat yourself to a professional massage? Unless you are feeling nauseated...
I feel compelled to reiterate that I'm not a doctor just to cover myself. Try these remedies at your own risk. Lastly:
25. Know your limits and try to adhere to them when you're out on the town next time so that you don't repeat this mistake— good luck!