Everyone has their favourite method of soothing a hangover, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by trying other people’s recently. Give some of ours a go...
First, though, how to prevent a heinous hangover:
Don't mix drinks. Really try very hard not to mix drinks.
Stick to light-coloured drinks. Dark Rum, Whisky and Cognac contain additional toxic compounds that make hangovers worse.
If you can't quite manage to alternate each drink with a glass of water, do ensure you down some water now and then. It really helps.
Always drink the finest you can afford. Apart from being more enjoyable, so you'll savour it and drink it more slowly, it will contain less headache-inducers, like industrial alcohol, colourings and sugar.
The bubbles in any fizzy drink work by neutralising stomach acid. They also make you burp, which always helps.
Add caffeine, e.g. in chilled cola, and the effects of painkillers will be increased as well as giving you an energy boost.
Therefore, Vodka and Coke with a couple of painkillers should be about the best you can do.
However, scientists in China found that the most effective hangover-fighting drink is Sprite. We conducted our own experiment at 31DOVER.com HQ, on the morning after our frankly outrageous Christmas party. Some had tried coffee, some had tried a bacon sarnie with ketchup, others stuck to tea. Everyone had tried meds. Nothing made much of a dent, until we raided the fridge for Sprite. We all felt significantly better after downing a cold can of it.
Some people swear by effervescent vitamin drinks.
Coffee & Juice
Sorry, coffee won’t cut it. Some individuals drinks gallons of coffee in any given hangover situation, but they are in the minority. Hot coffee = hot flushes, increased gitters and less possibility of healing sleep.
Tea is OK at a push, but cold drinks are best. Except orange juice – it’s too acidic and could trigger some stomach-churning. Apple juice would be better.
There’s no doubt; booze will ease your hangover …but only for a while. If you’re shockingly, atrociously hanging and the only viable route is short-term relief from the misery, then a beer or a delicious Bloody Mary cocktail are decent options. Shots of neat spirits are not – they will make you feel rapidly worse.
If you do go for the hair of the dog, take it slowly and drink loads of alcohol-free fluids as well, or your hangover will creep back and bite you hard on the bum.
If your hangover level is more, say a 7 than a 10, you’ll be feel smugger later if you can avoid booze. A Virgin Mary is just as refreshing and nutrient-rich as a Bloody one. It will make you feel better, without the risk of a horrible hangover relapse. Grate in some fresh ginger for maximum impact.
Later, once you’ve been kind to yourself with a few alcohol-free hours, and your symptoms have eased to the ‘comfortable’ stage, this is the time for a gentle glass of crisp white wine or a single cocktail – it will taste great, make you feel even less hungover (and stay that way), and celebrate the relief of the hangover being over.
Bloody Mary at Boisdale, London
Water is obviously hydrating, but it’s less hydrating than drinks containing 'electrolytes' (salt and sugar), and less effective at healing a hangover than drinks with more nutrients in them.
Salad VS Grease
When it comes to feeding a hangover, you have to follow your belly. Whatever your stomach demands must be granted. A lovely, pure, crunchy, fresh, lush salad; a massive dirty burger; a Big Mac Meal; fish and chips; roast dinner; curry; Chinese; sandwiches; a big breakfast. Satisfying whatever craving you have will feel amazing. For at least 15 minutes.