Humankind has been getting hammered ever since the Incas discovered that drinking fermented fruit juice made for a much more enjoyable death than disembowelment. Over time humans built up a resistance to the fermentation, but still the hangover remains.
It wasn’t until 38 AD the first ever recount of a hangover was recorded by Pliny the Elder. After Vespasian’s famously rowdy buck’s night, Pliny scrawled a hasty note describing the experience as ‘touching the void’. And yet, after almost 2000 years during which we’ve landed on the moon and grown an ear on the back of a mouse, we still don’t have a definitive cure.
But there is a heft of science behind hangovers. For this article we’ve trawled the science journals to amalgamate the top findings, and the results are staggering. We’ve crunched the data on your favourite hangover cures and discovered exactly what they reveal about the night before:
If you can keep solids down, you didn’t try hard enough the night before. My guess is you forgot to stick to wine and wound up sampling every kind of toxic fluid within reach before it all caught up with you and made you pass out before midnight.
Using Coke to cure a hangover means only one thing: that you were too busy doing keg stands and drinking out of red plastic cups the night before to get drunk off anything more expensive than beer and goon. You’re probably in first-year uni and shirking all adult responsibility and logical reasoning. What else could inspire you to resort to drinking the soft drink equivalent of battery acid?
Coffee in its many wonderful forms
You’re either addicted to caffeine to the point where you drink it with dinner, or your barista is really cute. Hopefully it’s because of the latter that you’re jerked awake in a strange bed on the brink of physiological obliteration…
OJ and a brisk walk
This cure sounds like it’s being administered by your mum… So you’re probably back at home which means you’ve either been a) at a friend’s wedding; or b) made redundant. Either way, you’ve been necking something volatile and now you’re paying for it dearly amid vehement insistence that ‘the fresh air will do you good’.
Anyone well versed in the stupefying liquors knows full well that Aspirin is about as effective for hangovers as a Tic Tacs are for birth control. If you’re this much of a novice, chances are you just got drunk off a bunch of vodka Red Bulls or a round of Wet Pussy shots. To the left…
Cocktail of pain medication and a dark room
The night started off fine at the chummy pre-game with the gang, but then someone opened the Jäger and now you’ve forgotten half of the night which left you waking up in a stranger’s bed wearing nothing but a shower curtain, and –didn’t that bottle of anti-freeze used to be full?
Congratulations, you’re a chimp and are not required to pay tax.
The rest of our editorial team swears by chocolate milk (something about the alkalinity of milk combatting the acidity of alcohol’s fermented sugars or whatever). Just beware this could easily go the other way and land you in hot intestinal fury… especially if you had Bailey’s the night before.
Vegemite on toast
You don’t get to go out much, do you? Ever since the leap into parenthood the work/family juggling act has sucked up all your free time. Granted, when you cut loose it’s an absolute corker, like last night, and boy didn’t that crawl make you miss the old days? You’ll do anything to prolong the memory, even if that means savouring the bready aftertaste of the yeast extract your three-year-old just threw on the floor…
Vigorous exercise and a litre of Gatorade
This is the method favoured by elite urban athletes. The kind of over-achieving Crossfitters who run full marathons in their lunch breaks, and specialise in Iron Men competitions and mergers with Chinese banks. When the temple goes on the occasional bender that turns awry, respond to the excruciating pain the only way you know how #sweatitout.
Hair of the dog
This isn’t the first time a client dinner has turned into an all-night rager, and now you’re facing an oppressive deadline and a gruesome gastric-tempest. The only logical thing to do after going hard is go harder, so if vodka got you into this mess, vodka can get you out. God bless your iron liver, and this crazy alternate universe where Bloody Mary brings you back to life.
Of course, we all know the best cure is prevention, so keep these handy hints in mind the next time you’re out with the squad.
Cheese plate at the pre-game
When it comes to hangover prevention, no quantity of fromage is excessive. The cultures in cheese are fantastic negotiators that specialise in talking your headache out of happening. Take heed, the reaction is delayed so make sure you stock up BEFORE heading out.
Hit the H2O
Before hitting the turps, go full Tiddilick and chug three litres of water to give your system a nice flushin’. Running to the bathroom for a wazz all evening is infinitely better than dashing for a ralph the next day.
This is a drastic measure for when you’re seven Bundies deep and you need to clear some room for 40-year-old scotch. Can also be performed between the stadium and the nearest pub after a live sporting match.