Hungover? Here’s How To Feel (And Look) Better ASAP

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bad hair day, young hangovered woman in the morning with messed hair, hangover

We know what you’re thinking, “Nah, I’ll be fine. This year I’m having a low-key Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years Eve situation.” Sure, friend. I totally believe you. But let’s just recall the last time you had to deal with a brutal, stuck-in-bed-can’t-even-watch-Netflix hangover … You weren’t exactly planning to go hard then either, were you?

So, it’s better to be prepared for what might transpire over the next few weeks rather than sit here and act like it’s completely out of the question. Let’s face it—when wine and family, mix, anything can happen. If the inevitable hangover does strike, here’s what you should do to feel like a living human being again.

Help Me, I’m Hungover…

1. Activated charcoal

Activated Charcoal Capsules, close up

If you take away anything from this, please let it be this—activated charcoal is your lifesaver during holiday party season. Actually, whenever you’ve had a bit too much to eat or drink, throwing back a bit of activated charcoal can make you feel semi-functional again.

Food-grade activated charcoal (please, God, do not use BBQ charcoal …) is usually made from coconut husks and sold in tablet form. The actual charcoal bits have tiny grooves that attract toxins—like the byproducts of alcohol—that are floating around in your system. As the charcoal works its way through your digestive tract, it draws out toxins and impurities with it. And finally, it’s all expelled from your body.

I’ve taught this trick to dozens of coworkers, friends, and family. I even used to keep a bottle of activated charcoal on my desk because my deskmates would ask about it so often! It is by far the most successful hangover cure.

2. Water

Image: memo bottle

Well, duh. One of the reasons that it feels like your brain is peeling away from your skull when you wake up after too many martinis is because the tissues in your body are dehydrated … So technically, your brain is shrivelling up. It’s imperative to get back to a hydrated baseline—if you’re dehydrated, the pain of all of your morning-after symptoms are compounded.

If your symptoms are truly terrible, though, chugging water might sound downright nauseating. Reach for peppermint or ginger tea instead—both have stomach-soothing effects that will abate nausea and rehydrate your bod without added caffeine. For those that must have their coffee in the morning, fine. Just be sure to double fist your mug with a glass of water, as caffeine can be slightly dehydrating.

Even better, try making Jessica Sepel’s Hangover Curing Tonic!

3. Electrolyte-rich snacks

Image: Food and Wine

Bring on the avocado toast. Load up on foods that are high in electrolytes like potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. Try sticking to real, unprocessed foods to get a few more nutrients into your body (avocados are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium!) … but if you really can’t stomach anything but Gatorade and pretzels, that’s OK too.

4. Fibre

Finally, get yourself some greens—or at least a whole wheat bagel, if that’s your usual hangover food. Fibre acts like a broom for your digestive system, sweeping all the nasty stuff out. We’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but essentially once you’ve eliminated all the byproducts of your booze binge, you’ll feel a million times better.

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