Happy New Year! It’s the first day of 2018, and chances are, you’re either keeled over in a stranger’s bed, wondering how you ended up fully nude with a stranger’s feet in your face, or you’re at home on the toilet, wishing that for once you could ring in the New Year sans vodka shits and Jagermeister breath.
Since you can’t, we’re here for you. Why? Because we like to drink too, and we’ll try anything to quell that morning-after agony. Here then are nine rules for either avoiding or recovering from hangovers based on our first-hand research….
#1. If you don’t want to be hungover, don’t drink shitty liquor.
Assistant editor Ian Lecklitner recently spoke to Dr. Aaron White, senior scientific adviser at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, to find out why well liquor fucks you up:
“According to Dr. White, it’s probably because of impurities known as congeners. (Side note: While a low price is usually an indication of low quality, not all booze follows that pattern. So when we mention ‘cheap booze,’ we’re really referring more to ‘low-quality booze’ — whatever the cost.)”
#2. Unless that shitty liquor is North Korea’s hangover-free booze, in which case — actually, yeah, still don’t drink it.
Editor-in-chief Josh Schollmeyer has written about his seemingly-impossible quest to find North Korea’s infamous “hangover free” booze, and did not enjoy what he finally uncovered:
“All that root gave it the earthy flavor of a mud puddle that my tongue couldn’t shake for hours. I tried masking it with Diet Coke the second time around — as well as attempting to drink it more slowly (I hit the first glass all at once like a shot) — but it became immediately clear that downing a whole bottle (or even the bare minimum to become drunk enough to tempt a hangover) wasn’t gonna happen.”
#3. Taking turmeric hangover powder from Japan before you start drinking might help you out.
Managing editor Serena Golden tried it more than once, with mixed results:
“Surprisingly, taking a double dose did seem to improve the outcome for my friend and me. She reported no vomiting at all the next morning, and I… well, I ordered $60 worth of Thai food, but I still didn’t have a headache. I even managed a trip to IKEA. All of my friends who’d only taken a single dose said they didn’t feel amazing the following morning — but that they’d expected to feel much worse. (Sunday morning texts: Beth: ‘I wasn’t not hungover, but I didn’t have the vise-grip hangover I usually would and anything I did feel basically subsided by 10 a.m.’ Sharone: ‘All I can think about is French fries.’)”
#4. Alternatively, try a no hangover patch.
It’s not perfect, but according to staff writer Tracy Moore, it’s better than nothing:
“I don’t normally get brutal hangovers, but after that much drinking, I’ll feel queasy and have a headache. The next morning wasn’t the cheetah pounce of my fantasies, but I had no headache and no nausea. That said, I was still super tired and sluggish for a few hours until coffee and breakfast put me back on track. I still didn’t want to do anything more than I normally would after drinking a lot. When asked how the fancy patch had treated me by a colleague, I replied, ‘I feel fine, but not as if I didn’t drink.’”
#5. Watch the right movies.
If you’re already hungover, sorry. But contributing editor Tim Grierson has put together a list of six of the greatest movies for nursing a hangover:
“After you’ve finished The Long Goodbye, it’s time for the other superb laidback L.A. noir-comedy. On the heels of Fargo, Joel and Ethan Coen’s most acclaimed film, the brothers switched gears for this stoner cult classic. You already know Jeff Bridges plays The Dude,’ but The Big Lebowski is more than the actor’s indelible portrayal of that burnout bowling aficionado. It’s also a pretty fun thriller, albeit one in which the suspense keeps getting interrupted by great, ridiculous conversations between The Dude and his loser buddies (Steve Buscemi and John Goodman).”
#6. You could do the obvious and try taking some Alka-Seltzer.
Lecklitner has investigated the three different ingredients in this classic hangover cure:
“Alka-Seltzer does what it’s meant to do — that is, calm the unfortunate effects of too many late-night tequila shots, or negate the effects of that third helping of cheeseburgers — and that’s all it does. It doesn’t contain any mystery ingredients that will slowly chew away at your insides (unlike some of the other consumables we’ve covered). For that, and for making our hangovers just a bit more bearable, Alka-Seltzer wins our hearts (and our stomachs).”
#7. Or try fucking?
There’s one upside to being hungover: Hangover horniness. Writer Navneet Alang has looked at the science behind feeling frisky after a night of binge drinking:
“If the worst of a hangover is regret, that regret arrives paradoxically, one’s cloudy head somehow also full of an awful clarity. As the noise of abstract thinking is quietened — the rationalizing, the justification — in its place are plain, simple truths. It was my fault. I should have tried harder. And, yes, in the temporary absence of the superego, there is a suddenly unbound id, all your barely contained sexual wants, bubbling up to the surface of an otherwise calm mind.”
#8. If nothing works and you’re too hungover to manage sexy-times (even if it’s just with yourself), try and sleep it off.
Writer Danny Gallagher has examined which of your problems a good night of sleep is capable of solving:
“According to Raj Dasgupta, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California’s Pulmonary/Critical Care/Sleep Medicine division and a fellow at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleeping helps you get over your drunkenness because it gives your liver a chance to scrub your system of all that booze. ‘You need time to let your liver break down the alcohol,’ he says. ‘Sleeping does help out in that it gives your liver time to do its job, but there’s multiple awakenings throughout the night, so you’re not getting good, refreshing sleep.’ In other words, you’ll wake up feeling more sober, but you won’t wake up feeling good.”
#9. Finally, spend this year praying that scientist David Nutt is right, and that “alcosynths” really will be the hangover-free booze we’ve all been wishing for.
Senior editor Nick Leftley interviewed Nutt about the possibility of a synthetic form of booze with all the fun parts of alcohol but none of its downsides.
“It’s just like alcohol! We tested it on people who’ve spent their whole lives in the alcohol industry and they can’t tell it apart. They say it’s just like being drunk, only you’re not quite as unsteady (which is something we intended — it was designed not to make you unsteady so people are less likely to fall into each other and start fights). I’ve used it a lot and it is like alcohol, only you don’t have a hangover, you don’t have gut ache, it doesn’t seem to cause aggression.”’