Hangover hacks that actually work

Tried and tested methods that prevent and cure that awful feeling the day after a party

Staff Writer 5 Min Read

If you’re 25 and under, get out of here. Seriously, what are you doing reading an article about hangovers when your body practically cures itself after one cup of coffee and 2 Advil? If you’re 26 and above, however, welcome. I feel (and have felt) your pain one too many times, which is I’ve decided to test out the strangest hangover hacks that prevent or cure a hangover after a fun night out (that often turns into an awful day after).

Have an electrolyte-filled drink:

Why do we feel so exhausted after excessive drinking? Partly because we experience a drop in our electrolytes, which are minerals in our bodies such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. To help with a speedy recovery, the Japanese swear by health drinks like Pocari Sweat, which happens to be filled with – you guessed it – electrolytes. Having tried it myself, I can confirm it’s my number one go-to cure. Open my fridge, and you’ll find at least five bottles of Pocari (just for emergencies, that is).

Dip in a cold pool:

I can confirm it sounds as refreshing as it feels when you’re hungover, offering temporary relief from symptoms such as nausea. According to medical professionals, dipping in a cold body of water triggers something known as the “diving reflex”, which is the body’s nervous response to stressors. It calms itself down in ways such as lowering the heart rate to conserve oxygen and energy. So, while its effect is temporary, it definitely offers relief (and in this weather in the UAE, it’ll offer a tan, too).

A glass of water for a glass of alcohol:

A friend of mine gave me this advice years ago. In typical Kate fashion, I didn’t listen – at least for the first few years. I finally gave it a change and, guess what? It works wonders. For each glass of alcohol that you consume, drink a glass of water. This requires the minimum amount of discipline. If you’re anything like me, you’ll struggle with that too. So, what I do is order a large bottle of water with my first drink, and then make sure I have a glass before ordering my next drink. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Pop some hangover pills: 

Let me start by publicly thanking whoever created hangover pills – they actually work. They come in the form of supplements that replenish your body after a late night out. Some of the highest rated ones on the market are AfterDrinkand Cheers Restore. Read their labels carefully, though, as most are useless the day after you drink. You see, they target prevention more than they do the aftermath, and require you to take them before and after you drink, at bedtime. The good news is both those brands are available to buy online in the UAE.

Chicken soup for the (hungover) soul:

Is there anything chicken soup doesn’t cure? I mean, there’s a reason there was an entire series of books named after it. Seriously though, chicken broth helps restore some of the sodium we lose after excessive drinking, according to medical professionals. It’s also great for hydration. Just make sure you’re ordering one from a healthy restaurant, as I’m guessing you’ll be too hungover to actually make one.

The myth of the olive oil: 

Sure, it tastes best with a plate of hummus, or pasta, or zaatar. Oh, who are we kidding? Olive oil goes with just about anything, which is why I wasn’t all that surprised when my friend told me he takes a big spoon of it before a big booze up. I hurried to Google it and turns out, it’s a real thing. Olive oil apparently lines your stomach, and slowers alcohol absorption. All you need to do is take a shot of it before you start downing actual shots. But while it works well for my friend, I can’t 100% confirm that it makes that big of a difference for me personally. Still, it’s worth trying, as each body reacts differently.

Eggs-cuse me?

My apologies for the pun. But seriously, having tried and tested many, many breakfasts to help ease my hangovers, I can confidently recommend eggs. Basic, I know, but it works. Because eggs have an amino acid called cysteine, which helps to break down a chemical in alcohol called acetaldehyde, which is believed to cause hangovers. If you’re not a fan of the good old Eggs Benedict, add potassium rich vegetables like avocado to your breakfast to help your body recover the minerals it lost. Sweet potatoes help massively, too, because they reduce inflammation caused by alcohol, and are high in antioxidants.

Bananas about banana:

You know what else is high with potassium? We know it’s in the title, but we like to keep you guessing anyway. Yes, it’s bananas. They’re not just the preferred pre-workout snack – they’re also a favourite hangover cure. They’re a quick alternative if you’re forced to be on the go as soon as you wake up, and don’t have time to sit down for a proper breakfast. They also contain fiber, which will help with any digestive issues that come along with hangovers. 

I’m in love with the coco:

Remember that song? Well my reference is different – it’s coconut water. Alongside an entire shelf filled with Pocari Sweat, you’ll find a row of coconut water in my fridge. It’s actually my preference, because it tastes better is also filled with potassium – and has been tried and tested by yours truly. Make sure you drink it cold, otherwise it’s undrinkable (at least to me). My favourite brands for coconut water are Vita Coco and Aqua Coco. If you can go to the pool and grab a fresh coconut to enjoy as you take a dip in the cold water, even better.

Know your limit:

This isn’t new, but it really is the best method to preventing a hangover – know your limit when it comes to how many drinks you can consume, and then use it to drink slower and savor the moment. If you’re not sure what your limit is, or you continue to lie to yourself about how many drinks is too many drinks, try to count your drinks the next time you go out. Once you’re about to pass your limit, remember the nausea you’re going to feel if you order that next drink, and give yourself 5 minutes to think about it. It’s simple, but significant when it comes to preventing hangovers. Is that drink really worth it? Oh well, what do we know. We’re hungover as we write this.