The Six Most Effective Hangover Cures

Tips for beating a hangover.

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Tips for beating a hangover.

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For F Scott Fitzgerald, ”The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Don’t attempt such mental gymnastics with a Gatsby scale hangover, but his words certainly ring true in these six conflicting cures.  

1. Don’t move!

You wake up the morning after a very big night before. The modest act of rolling over for a glass of water provides sufficient analysis for a clear decision. Cancel all today’s tasks and wallow indulgently in this self-imposed day off. Just double-check first that it really is the weekend, and secondly, that you don’t have small children. Surely last night’s over-indulgence was simply your body’s way of telling you it needs a break. Now if someone could just leave a cup of tea by the bed…

2. Get up!

Quick! You may feel groggy but experience brings a glaring truth: this is the best you’ll feel all day. Any jobs that need doing must be tackled now. Only then can you retreat to the sofa and begin the recovery process. What’s more, those moments after you wake up might just offer a small window for damage limitation. Get some food inside you. Nothing challenging – a slice of toast, a cup of tea –anything to absorb or dilute the toxins currently circling ominously around your body.


Tea and toast can help with an unsettled stomach.

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3. Salty snacks

One of the well-earned pleasures of a hangover, or at least the relatively modest sort, is the intensified pleasure of a bacon sandwich. Brown sauce, soft white bread, an optional fried egg upgrade, but the key ingredient is that salty, meaty centrepiece. Washed down with tea, coffee, fresh orange juice or a stately procession of all three, there’s no finer way to set yourself up for whatever headaches (metaphorical or literal) the day will bring.

4. Health food

Listen to your body; it’s suffered enough in the past 24 hours. It’s not just the cocktails, irresistible wines and that strange, herbal spirit – did it even have a label? Don’t forget the cheesy, rich, creamy procession of food that accompanied them. What you need now is a cleansing, nutritious counterbalance. Reach for a soothing chicken soup, ginger-infused ramen, freshly sliced mango, potassium-rich avocado on sourdough toast, a restorative blueberry smoothie or a vibrant, crunchy green salad. Best of all, head out to a café and let someone else do the hard work.


A healthy salad might not undo the damage of the night before, but you will feel virtuous at least.

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5. Rest

It’s hardly a surprise that hangovers tend to coincide with late nights. At least some of the symptoms are likely to relate to the simple fact you’re exhausted. Curl up on the sofa with the weekend papers. If that requires too much brain power then use this precious opportunity to catch up with that box set, watch Where Eagles Dare for the hundredth time or, if no-one’s there to judge, wallow in your favourite childhood Disney film. And this is no time for cooking; embrace the decadence of modern life and order a pizza to your doorstep.

6. Get outside

Don’t just lie there on the sofa in a dark room. What you need is some fresh air to blow away those cobwebs. Yes, that is your dog talking, but it’s right. Just as sunlight helps shake off jet-lag, so too does a dose of nature restore other forms of upset equilibrium. It may seem an uninviting prospect at first, but you don’t have to undertake anything too punishing. Leave that mountain hike or the wild swimming for another day and stick to a gentle stroll – just enough to clear the system and stop the dog from judging you.


A gentle stroll, with or without company, might help clear the head.

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