Hangovers are the bane of every drinker's life. You have a few beveraginos with friends, and wake up feeling like you knocked back a Hydroflask of sawdust. Folk remedies for hangovers reach back thousands of years; the ancient Romans recommended swallowing some burned swallow beak to alleviate the morning-after blues. While that's decidedly out of fashion these days, many myths and old wives' tales about hangovers are still around, making your Saturday morning wake-up even more awful.
Tried and true advice about hangovers — like hydrating — aren't up for debate. One good way to heal your hangover in the morning is stocking your fridge, Dr. Jaclyn Tolentino, D.O., a family physician at Parsley Health, tells Bustle. "Your first meal should be something liver-supportive, gentle, and anti-inflammatory, like avocado toast, a banana, a high-quality broth, or eggs," she says. Eggs contain cysteine, a compound that may help break down the acetaldehyde that builds up in the body while drinking.
Other ideas about hangover "cures" are a lot less reliable, though. You can't actually take preventative aspirin, drink half of Niagara Falls, or down a Bloody Mary as soon as you wake up to banish symptoms. As a hangover happens, your body processes your alcohol intake, recovers from dehydration, deals with inflammation, and generally makes your life as miserable as it can. There aren't any hard-and-fast proven shortcuts to a hangover, even if your drinking buddies insist a morning mimosa makes it all better. Here are seven myths about hangovers, and the reality behind them.
Dr. Scott Braunstein, M.D.
Dr. Michael Richardson, M.D.
Dr. Jaclyn Tolentino, D.O.
Verster, J.C., Bervoets, A.C., De Klerk, S. & Kruisselbrink, L.D. (01.09.2015). Alcohol hangover amongst Canadian university students: Can hangover immunity be really claimed?. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 25, (pp. 603) (1 p.).