The 9 Best Hangovers Cures…That Just Don’t Work

hangover cureSo you went a little hard last night and now you’re feeling fatigued, headache-y, and maybe a little pukey. I feel for you, dude! Hangovers are easily the worst. Anybody who has ever partied knows that. If only there was something you could do about it! Other than wallowing in your suffering while you rest, drink water and wait it out, there is nothing you can really do. Unfortunately anyone who offers you a hangover remedy is either fooling themselves or a trickster preying on your susceptibility to the placebo effect.

Here are 9 popular hangover cures that straight up don’t work:


  1. Hangover Pills- Snake oil! According to, in 2005 an article in the journalBMJ ”identified eight peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled studies of hangover remedies, and concluded that “no compelling evidence exists” to support their use.”
  2. Coffee- I know better than anyone that coffee goes down like sweet sweet ambrosia when hungover–too bad it’s wicked dehydrating and just temporarily gives the illusion of wellness.
  3. Cold pizza- If you’re hungry, eating pizza from last night out of the fridge won’t hurt you and you don’t have to go far to get it, but let’s not pretend that it’s going to cure  what ails ya.
  4. Hair of the dog- This one’s a classic. A bloody mary might make you feel like you’re better, but you’re not. You’re just dehydrating yourself further and making things worse. The idea is that dosing yourself with a little bit of the hair of the dog that bit you will be the antidote to the sting of the bite.
  5. Greasy breakfast- Anyone who says starchy pancakes and greasy bacon will soak up the alcohol is sorely misguided. A big old lumberjack breakfast will taste good and probably exhaust you to the point where you have to get back in bed, if you feel better after it’s because you got some rest. Doctors suggest you eat foods that are easier to digest to prevent reflux and heartburn. Try honey sandwiches!
  6. Sweating- We’re all smart enough to know that you’re not really getting rid of toxins, but who doesn’t love a good shvitz? As it turns out, the loopy giddiness you feel after sweating out a hangover is just your body being especially depleted. Good god, unless you’re totally rehydrated, do not go into a sauna. Please workout gently if you do want to exercise while hungover as to not hurt yourself.
  7. Pickle juice- Some say that guzzling a bit of brine will help your bod feel better because you’ll retain water–there’s no real science behind it. This was the first alleged hangover cure that was ever recommended to me (by my SAT tutor!). It doesn’t work, but it probably won’t hurt. Personally, too many picklebacks (a shot of whiskey with a shot of pickle juice as chaser) is probably what turned me into a hungover mess in the first place.
  8. Magic Smoothies- Some people think they’ve concocted the best potion complete with all the vitamins and stuff you need to beat a hangover. A delicious smoothie might be a good breakfast for a hungover person, it’ll go down easy and fruit is hydrating, but all the ginger and spirulina in the world won’t make you feel 100% again.
  9. Cold Shower- Like many of the other rumored remedies on this list, a blast of cold water won’t hurt you. You probably smell and could use a bath, anyway. The shower is the best place to contemplate how crummy you are at making decisions, but it won’t erase those bad decisions.

Image via Shutterstock

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    • HB

      Time is the only solution. But a spicy Bloody Mary, a veggie omelette, a big bowl of grits, and a long walk followed by a short nap always help mine pass quicker!

      • Joanna Rafael

        Grits can cure the blues!

      • HB

        Best comfort food for everything!

      • JennyWren

        As I always say, if I’m going to be ill I may as well enjoy it.

      • HB

        Yes ma’am!

    • JennyWren

      Switch to red wine. You’ll be so sleepy by the end of glass number two that you won’t be able to drink enough to work up a decent hangover.

      • Joanna Rafael

        I drink all too much Pinot Noir. What’s your red wine of choice?

      • JennyWren

        Malbec- I often joke that I like my reds to taste like they matured in a tar barrel at the bottom of a bog ;-) But you can get such lovely gentle malbecs with notes of lavender and violet.

      • Joanna Rafael

        Ooh! Love a Malbec, though I typically like juicy wines like a big baby bacchus.

    • Christopher Cassidy

      Hey Joanna! There has been a lot of progress in the area of hangover prevention formulas since the products such as chaser were released(which was a simple absorbent). The study from 2005 needs to be re-applied to some of the products available on the market today. Of course, there is no miracle cure for the dreaded hangover symptoms, however there are products that do help. I recommend the HAPPY HOUR mints(full disclosure, I developed the formula), but our test group of 5000 individuals provided results demonstrating its effectiveness. It is a new product, but worth a look #cheers!

    • Bunny Lou

      While I was in college (Well, while I was living in a dorm) I was told that Coconut water was a great hangover remedy. The thing is, coconut water tastes so damn bad! I swear to God it tastes like jizz! So here I was, in the early morning, trying desperately to drink this stuff while already feeling nauseous. I think the only reason it would “Cure” your hangover is it would just cause you to vomit up all the residual toxins in your body