February 3rd, 2014
08:00 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

And there it is. The game is over, the year is over, the winners have won and the losers have been consigned to the polar dark for their hapless betrayal of everything we hold dear, and you, you poor sad former human, are in rough shape.

Either you spent last night drinking the potent margaritas of victory, the 11.7 percent alcohol Imperial IPAs of triumph, or you scoured the miseries of defeat from your body with, well, pretty much the same stuff. You hurt. Your brain is a half-dead fish, floating in a polluted ocean. And now you have to go to work. Life, bah. It’s truly unfair.
Here are your options. The classic hair of the dog might be a possibility, but it depends on what your job entails. If you are a wine writer, for instance, no worries. If you are an air traffic controller, on the other hand, please avoid this option.

And the truth is, it doesn’t work all that well. Your body is still processing what you drank last night. Additional alcohol, while it may numb the pain in the short term, in the end will only extend your misery as your overindulged system deals with the added booze.
Option two, the chili-cheese omelet (or bacon cheeseburger, or whatever other greasy platter of food you prefer). Not necessarily ideal if you are already nauseated, obviously, but if you are of the cast–iron stomach breed, this approach will at least give your body some fuel, which you need. The key is the calories, not the fat. You could just as easily have a bowl of oatmeal, and lower your chances of a heart attack, too, but somehow that just doesn’t feel right.
Coffee. Generally speaking, not perfect. The caffeine boost may help, but on the other hand coffee is a vasoconstrictor, tightening up your blood vessels (wrong approach for a headache). So at the very least you might pass on the king-size cup. Note, however, that if you’re a regular coffee drinker, skipping the black liquid of the magic bean may produce a second splitting headache on top of the first one you had. Life, as noted above: not fair.
The prairie oyster. I remain mystified as to why anyone feeling like toasted hell would want to down a raw egg swimming in Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. I remain mystified, in fact, as to why anyone in perfect health would want to do this. But go ahead. The results may allow you to legitimately take a sick day.
Smart approach: water, sports drinks and so on. You’re undoubtedly dehydrated, your electrolyte balance approximates that of a superfund site, so liquids will actually help you. Ditto antioxidants: a blueberry-and-açai smoothie might not be out of line either. Now, in an ideal world you drank a lot of these liquids throughout yesterday and on into last night, but who lives in an ideal world?
Finally, there are deep-fried canaries. It’s said this was a popular Roman Empire solution to the hangover problem. Of course, this comes from a time when the solution to eating too much at dinner was the vomitorium. But if your neighbor does happen to have a canary, then breaking in, stealing it, frying it up, eating it and finally heading off to work might actually—well, no. Just don’t. Stick to water. Your life will be better.

More from Food & Wine:
Barcelona’s Best Hangover Cures
America’s Best Diners
Fantastic Bloody Mary Recipes
Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.
America’s Most Decadent Potato Dishes

Our readers' favorite hangover cures
Hair of the dog cocktails and hangover tips

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soundoff (23 Responses)
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    March 18, 2014 at 3:48 am |
  2. Peter T.

    All I have to say is, eggs. I have found they are the best thing to eat after drinking. Scramble them, fry them, or make them into an omelet, or make deviled eggs before hand. You do not have to use anything sharp, and if the stove is a concern use the microwave. Just place 1 egg in a coffee cup, cover with a moist paper towel and nuke for a minute (remember to take out of the shell first). My understanding is that the eggs absorb the alcohol keeping from getting into your system. Whether or not that is how it works I do not know but what I do know is that it does work and I have not had many issues with hangovers since I started eat them.

    February 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
  3. RC

    Menudo! Nothing like good old cow stomach soup to set you right:)

    February 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
  4. Yaka Fear

    the main symptoms of a hangover are headache and nausea. if only there were something one could consume that cures both those things.

    of course if you have weed you're less likely to drink to the point of a hangover but whatever

    February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  5. sally

    To all the good hangover cure advice here I would add: TAKE A HOT SHOWER right before bed. It opens up your pores and therefore makes it easier to sweat out a lot of toxins while asleep.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:18 am |
  6. Tommy Chong ♫♫

    A giant rip off the bong cures all, man.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
  7. True Story

    Here's what to do about hangovers...it's REALLY simple:

    Don't drink alcohol in excess.

    We have to have articles like this to discuss how awful people feel physically after getting drunk... great society.

    February 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • sally

      Whatever, grandma.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:02 am |
      • sam stone

        it's good advice

        also, if you are going to drink, drink lots of water

        still better, smoke weed instead

        February 4, 2014 at 5:52 am |
        • sally


          February 4, 2014 at 10:10 am |
  8. albert

    Most definitely to have a couple of eggs before going to bed or right after waking up. The egg enzymes actually repair your liver. I would also drink a glass of water but not 20 glasses just one big glass of water before going to bed
    More water will keep you awake and going to the bathroom

    February 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
  9. Solution

    Pedialyte and a protein bar. Nothing better.

    February 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
  10. Jerv

    LOL! The dude in the fifth photo is feeling reeeally bad.

    February 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • JBJingles@Jerv

      And the girl in the sixth photo must have been partying with him! She looks equally miserable...

      February 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
  11. Terry Gamel

    The only cure you need is the one listed as the "smart" option – I don't know why the author felt he needed to waste our time with anything else.

    You get a hangover because alcohol leeches Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, and so on from your body. It prevents water from doing its job of keeping you hydrated. You can drink "sports drinks" (as those things are electrolytes), but it's healthy and easy to just grab a banana and drink a bunch of water.

    February 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
  12. Pro Tippler

    Banana juice. I haven't been able to find it in the states, but it's a healthy source of fluids and soothing to a queasy stomach.

    February 3, 2014 at 11:39 am |
  13. Jan

    When I was stupid enough to drink in excess, I was amazed at how healing it felt to sip a glass of milk in the aftermath of my idiocy. It was remarkably soothing.

    February 3, 2014 at 11:21 am |
    • Kevy

      I am with you.... Actually Milk before going to bed after a night of drinking, will reduce if not eliminate your hangover.

      February 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
  14. Darren

    Well I learned absolutely nothing from this article. Water and sleep? Come on. What about mixing types of alcohol? What about smoking while drinking? No mention of the use of popular charcoal tablets, drinking sugary drinks with mixers, alcohol content, quality (crappy vodka vs. top shelf), time of day of consumption, excercising (sweating it out) the next day. These are all topics that I know affect a hangover and was hoping to get some insight on in this article. Instead we get prarie oysters and fried canaries. Horrible, Ray. Just horrible. Hey Food and Wine magazine, if you need a good writer, I'll be happy to take Mr. Isle's spot.

    February 3, 2014 at 11:18 am |
    • Jerv

      Well it is an opinion, not a very good one mind you, but an opinion non the less.
      Never heard of fried canary. Thanks for the read.

      February 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
  15. Gail

    The vomitorium was not a place to vomit in.... it was a guiding room to exit large groups of people. I was corrected on this at a family get together by my sister in law (a Latin and ancient room scholar).....so easy mistake to make.

    February 3, 2014 at 9:42 am |
  16. LaLaLa

    "Of course, this comes from a time when the solution to eating too much at dinner was the vomitorium."

    So, if we ate too much we can walk through a passageway? Per wikipedia:

    "A vomitorium is a passage situated below or behind a tier of seats in an amphitheatre or a stadium, through which big crowds can exit rapidly at the end of a performance. There is a common misconception that ancient Romans designated spaces called vomitoria for the purpose of actual vomiting, as part of a binge and purge cycle."

    February 3, 2014 at 9:16 am |
  17. Photo Captain®

    Troof™ ... after last nite's game.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:48 am |
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