Hangover Cures: Tried & Tested!

Ah, the hangover. Most of us have had them (and if you haven't, please take to the comments and explain how you've managed to become a superior human being), and most of us have attempted to counteract the sad, sad pain with so-called "cures" that our older brother, cousin, or babysitter taught us back in the day.
Post-college, many of us have perfected our morning-after routine, which often involves some kind of hydration, nutrition, and rest. But, we thought, is there a better way? What about the invigorating run that our best friend swears by (we know, we kind of hate her, too). What about the shot of pickle juice that our weird uncle once insisted got him through his frat years? And what about the vanilla soft-serve ice cream with the six crushed Advil sprinkled on top (bear with us, one of our staffers claims that it's the best thing ever)?
To determine, once and for all, which hangover cures are the shiz and which are a load of bunk, we had a group of our brave staffers put 13 cures to the test. If you didn't make it through last night unscathed, which one should you try today? Take comfort, dear readers, and read on...
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1 of 13
The Cure: Pedialyte
The Victim: Kelsey Miller, Staff Writer

"Pedialyte is a lie. Perhaps it works for dehydrated, ill children as the manufacturer intended, but when it comes to easing the champagne headaches of grown-ass women, this customer was not remotely satisfied. I went to a marathon of holiday parties on Saturday night, and, in the spirit of the assignment, had a little bit more than a little wine. When I got home, I drank HALF THE BOTTLE of Pedialyte, cut with water, and went to bed confident that the liter of liquid I consumed would take care of things, electrolytes or no. I ended up waking up very early (never a good sign) with the worst hangover I've had in years. It was so absurdly bad that I suspect the Pedialyte might have made things worse. I got an apple-juice flavor, and wonder if the sugar in it is what took things to the next level of awful. I drank the second half of the bottle, chugged even more water, and waited. Two hours later, I still felt like crap, gave up on this urban myth and went back to my tried and true method: water, cheeseburger, and Advil. DONE."

"Bottom line: maybe babies can cure their hangovers with Pedialyte, but grown-ups need grown-up medicine (i.e. cheeseburgers)."
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The Cure: Pho
The Victim: Justin Sedor, Wellness Assistant

"When I'm hung over, I usually reach for the greasiest, carbiest, cheesiest concoction I can get my hands on — faves include bacon cheeseburgers and carne asada burritos. Other key advantages of these options: they can be delivered intact to my door, and they can be consumed in bed under the covers while binge-watching 30 Rock."

"Pho, while neither cheesy nor greasy nor terribly carby, actually turns out to be pretty effective as a morning-after maneuver. Once you get over the initial unpleasantness of having to leave the house, the warm, spicy broth did help hydrate me and clear up the dense fog that had taken over my brain, while the meat and noodles settled my stomach at least a little bit. And, I didn't miss the grease — the soup filled me up without making me feel even more gross than I already did."

"Unfortunately, pho is not terribly conducive to hibernating in bed all day with the curtains drawn. But maybe that's a good thing."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Bloody Mary
The Victim: Christopher Michael Beer, video editor

"9:20 a.m.: Woke up with a mouth as dry and pungent as Manhattan asphalt in July, and the cat staring at me with an expression that says 'You wouldn't believe the crap you said to me last night, bro.'"

"10:03 a.m.: Wait a minute, I don't even own a cat. Whose cat is this?!"

"10:22 a.m.: Friend has a killer homemade Bloody Mary recipe, and came prepared this morning. Said recipe includes massive amounts of hot sauce and bacon. Bacon on everything!"

"10:52 a.m.: Perhaps it's a placebo effect, but I have to say that the combo of spice, bacon, and a nip of booze in the morning light does seem to make me feel better. Same feeling as waking from a nap: a little groggy, but rested."

"11:34 a.m.: Nope, now I'm jusst drnk agian."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Blowfish For Hangovers
The Victim: Lexi Nisita, news editor

"The night before the test, I loaded up on the world's most surefire hangover producer: sugar-filled drinks with an odd blue glow (and a surprisingly high alcohol content). When I woke up the next morning, it wasn't the worst hangover of my life, but I definitely had no qualms about doing a fair amount of moaning and groaning."

"When I took the Blowfish, I definitely got over the shaky legs and vague nausea fairly quickly, but I was a little disappointed in the delivery on the promised clearheadedness. I still felt like I was in a fuzz until mid-afternoon, but hey, that could just be my de facto weekend persona."

"Overall, my review of this is: 'Why not?' It didn't make me feel worse. I don't know if it made me feel better, per se, but when you're down and out with the hangover blues (and another staffer already signed up for the 'greasy food' cure), you'll take what you can get."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Coffee
The Victim: Seija Rankin, associate news editor

"I'm going to preface this all by saying that I get pretty epic hangovers. I get crazy dehydrated when I drink (think dizzy spells, the shakes, and cotton mouth for days), and having to lay down in public with my feet elevated while sipping Gatorade is pretty par for the course for me, post-party."

"So, in hindsight, choosing coffee as a hangover cure probably wasn't the smartest idea. I tried my cure the morning after a good friend's wedding, so let's just say I was really in the mood for a hangover break. At first, my iced coffee was a godsend...but it didn't last. I'm pretty sensitive to a coffee buzz, so I'm used to getting the shakes — but combine that with full-on dehydration and an ill-advised order of nachos at 11:45 in the morning and you've got a recipe for disaster."

"All in all, it wasn't pretty, and I definitely won't be swapping out my morning-after Gatorade for Starbucks anytime soon. However, I totally recognize my hyper-sensitivity to diuretics, so I'm sure that my little 'episode' is not by any means the norm."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Dim Sum
The Victim: Jem Michael, project manager/producer

"I woke up super-dehydrated and generally uncomfortable after ringing in my birthday with all kinds of booze. Riding my bike to dim sum was a challenge, even though it was about four blocks from my house. Ugh."

"We went to the restaurant and ordered six dishes....the egg custard, beef wrapped in flat noodles, pork spear ribs, shumai, and other delicious stuff. It was all so yummy, and I was pretty full afterwards. But, leaving the restaurant was another story. The sun was too bright, cars were too loud, and crossing the street was very confusing. All in all, the food was yummy, and it made the hangover better, but nonetheless, a cure it was not."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich
The Victim: Vanessa Golembewski, editorial assistant

"When I'm hungover, the only thing my body wants (aside from a very large glass of ice-cold water) is a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from the closest deli. I won't lie: The 10 minutes or so during which I was consuming this sandwich was the best 10 minutes of my life. I was in bacon heaven. But, fast-forward 30 minutes, and I had an unquenchable thirst, probably from all the salt I had just ingested. Fail."

"Though it temporarily made me the happiest person on the planet, I do not think the BEC is a valid hangover cure...probably because I'm not 21 anymore."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Exercise
The Victim: Piera Gelardi, executive creative director

"First off, I love any assignment that suggests that I 'get a little drunk tomorrow,' so I took this assignment very seriously. There may have been shots with strippers and 3 a.m. gas station ice cream involved. Needless to say, I woke up the next day feeling rough."

"For the love of R29, I dragged my ass out of bed, put on my running shoes, and hit the track. During the first few strides, I was elated, and totally thought the cure was going to work. However, one lap later, waves of nausea and a headache hit me. I powered through, but 20 minutes and ten laps later, I felt I had punished myself enough."

"I was sweating profusely. Was it the run, or the hangover? It's tough to say, but I did feel that the exercise made the hangover shorter-lived. Would I try it again? On a work day when I have to accomplish things, yes. But on the weekends, I might just go with sleeping in, plus an egg and cheese."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Lyteshow
The Victim: Jack Pearce, videographer

"Look, I get it. Electrolyte is just your fancy marketing term for salt. But if I wanted to drink sea water, I would just go drink sea water. Don't try to get me to pay $15 for a bottle of it. [Ed. Note: Okay, Jack. You were cranky, we get it.] I gagged trying to drink it. That means the stuff I'm drinking to keep me from puking almost made me... puke."

"No, thanks. Just give me my burrito, my Gatorade, and my Netflix, and leave me the hell alone."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Soft-serve ice cream with crushed-Advil topping
The Victim: Spencer Mandell, video producer

"Years ago, I celebrated my 21st birthday in New Orleans, and the next morning, I felt like I would surely die if I didn’t take drastic measures. I staggered into a gas station, which happened to have a dilapidated soft-serve ice cream machine. That's when inspiration struck. At the time, I couldn't swallow pills (please continue your judgment in silence), so I ground up six (yes, six) Advil tablets, and dumped them over my vanilla soft serve as sprinkles. Genius."

"So, this time around, after getting drunk on vodka lemonades at a one-year-old's birthday party (yep), I repeated my homegrown cure to counteract the grossness I felt the next day. I am now able to swallow pills like a regular human, but for the purpose of the experiment, I crushed up my Advil and poured it over my high-class Orange Leaf froyo. And, once again: it worked! Something about the chilled frogurt cooled my vodka sweats and made me feel less lethargic, and my Advil sprinkles took care of the pounding headache. Seriously, guys: This works."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Mercy
The Victim: Hayden Manders, editorial assistant

"I'm usually pretty good at avoiding hangovers, but it had been a while since I had a sloppy night on the town, so I decided to #yolo my life away. I powered through a crazy Friday night, then hailed a cab and downed my can of chemical citrus-tasting Mercy before hitting the hay."

"9 a.m. Saturday morning came with a clear recollection of the night before. I stared at the empty can of Mercy next to the sink in awe, and carried on with my Saturday. Had I not followed the can's instructions to make Mercy the final drink of my night, I probably would have spent the day in bed re-watching Orange Is The New Black while eating greasy delivery. I don't know if my hangover was 'cured,' but it was definitely neutralized."

"Would I use it again? Totally. Should I ever have to use it again? Fingers crossed that the answer is 'no.'"
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Milk Thistle
The Victim: Gina Marinelli, assistant editor

"There was no better time to test drive a hangover cure than on my birthday weekend. I had known about milk thistle — a supplement that's supposedly beneficial for liver health — from my best friend who swears by it to avoid those miserable mornings. So, once my celebration was over, and I was sufficiently loopy (which, for me, doesn't take much), I popped two capsules and headed to bed."

"On Sunday morning, I felt pretty great! No headache, no nausea, no desire to curl up into a ball and never move. While it probably helped that I slept in for a bit, I was quite surprised there was not even a hint of a hangover. With that said, there is a currently a supply of milk thistle in my medicine cabinet. You know, in case of emergency."
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Illustrated by Gabriela Alford.
The Cure: Pickle Juice
The Victim: Sharon Yi, assistant managing editor

"I lick the discarded salt sitting at the bottom of a pretzel bag, and the only way I drink whiskey is if it's chased by a pickleback shot — so, when I heard that taking a swig from a dill pickle jar can cure a wicked hangover, I was game to give it a try."

"The folklore behind this cure is that it helps replenish depleted sodium levels. In the name of science, I gave pickle juice a whirl after a night on Long Island, where I mixed pinot grigio and vodka cranberries. Sadly, the shot of pickle juice did nothing for the the headache, latent nausea, and upset stomach I experienced the following morning."

"So, my solution: I hit up a winery. When in Rome, right? Or does that not apply here?"