Tried And Tested Hangover Remedies From Me And My Friends

So probably at least some of you plant to be hungover this Sunday, so I thought I'd share some of my hangover remedies as well as ways to prevent getting hungover in the first place.

* Stay hydrated
This is a no-brainer, but in practice it's not always so easy. A friend of mine swears by following each glass of alcohol with a glass of water. In Germany you can usually only get soft drinks or sparkly water in bars at night, however in my city the tap water is one of the best in the world so everyone (or at least cheap frugal people like me) just drink out of the hand washing tap. I have also been known to hide a plastic water bottle near the entrance of the club or in my coat or bag. It's pretty common for women to pile their handbags in the middle of the floor and dance around them, it's kind of funny actually.

I usually pre-hydrate on the day before a big night out, so that I'm starting with a surplus. And then drink a lot of water when I come home. If I do it right, then I don't have a hangover at all the next day.

* Eat carbs + fat
Nausea happens when the stomach has to digest lots of alcohol and nothing else. Eat something absorbent carbs like crackers along with fat, and you won't get nauseous. Pizza is great, but peanuts also work. I usually stash a snickers bar into my bag when I go dancing, and when I get home I eat something before going to bed.

* Sauerkraut or pickled cucumber juice
Not sure where I picked this up, but it works. Funnily I don't like the taste very much normally, but after a night of partying I crave it in the morning. Sauerkrautsaft and pickled cucumbers (pickled, as in with live cultures, not those in vinegar) is full of electrolytes probiotics, minerals and vitamins. It's actually sold in most stores in Germany. Obviously actual Sauerkraut is good too, as well any other food or drinks with (live) probiotic cultures, like pickled cucumbers.

* Oil pulling
My friend swears on this. You swish oil around in your mouth for 5-10 minutes. It gets rid of the weird taste in the mouth and surprisingly made me feel much better.

* Milk Thistle supplement
Take one before you start drinking and one at the end of the night. Not only does it prevent hangovers, it protects the liver. 

* Ginger and peppermint tea
Best with honey. Soothes my stomach and peps me up.

* Tomato juice or banana.
For the potassium.

* Do not use paracetamol / acetaminophen / tylenol !

It is damaging to the liver, and it can be dangerous when the liver is already stressed with alcohol.

Obviously the best way is to drink with moderation. This can be difficult for some people. There is a saying "first you have a drink, then the drink has another drink, then the drink has you." I have never drunken more than I could handle because I have a weird little system: I count the levels of the effects of alcohol. 0 is completely sober, 1 is a slight buzz, 2 is I'm having trouble pronouncing the longer German words, etc. When I notice that I'm on level 4, which in my case is having problems with balance, I don't buy another drink until I'm back to level one. (To be fair, I have trouble walking straight when I'm sober, I usually bump my shoulder into the person I'm walking next to. So this scale is extremely subjective. I've seen people losing their capacity to talk without slurring but stay completely balanced.)

What are your hangover remedies? Have your tried Sauerkraut juice?  

Also, happy new year to all of you! The Germans have a very funny way to wish that, they say "guten Rutsch" which means something like "a good slip/slide (into the new year).

Photo credit: Naomi August via Unsplash

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