What Actually Helps Cure a Hangover?

We turn to an expert to find out.

June 30, 2017

By Graham Templeton

Dr. Damaris Rohsenow is an eminent researcher and the associate director of Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. She’s studied the ins and outs of inebriation as part of her illustrious career—so who better to ask for advice on treating the symptoms of overindulgence? Spoiler: the only real cure is not to drink to excess in the first place. For everyone else, there’s the list below.

Greasy Breakfast

Leaving aside the fact that piling delicious, fatty food into your mouth will make you feel better in almost any circumstance, research from Keele University suggests that glucose supply affects the length and severity of a hangover—so the easily unlocked energy of simple fats could be a great way to quickly heal what ails you. But ever the pragmatist, Rohsenow points out the obvious problem: what about indigestion?

Go for a Run

This one is counterintuitive, since recuperation usually involves rest. But since we’re looking to feel better, rather than be better, running could work by raising adrenalin and generally exciting a person’s nervous system. It can help overcome tiredness, though the good doctor notes that it might not be quite as helpful for a pounding headache.

Hair of the Dog

Surveys show that this solution has 50 percent effectiveness in the opinion of European students who tried it—but remember, people who choose to treat the downsides of drinking with more drink are likely to have a heavier drinking style in general. What feels good to their body might not feel good to a more average one. And, of course, habitual dog-hairing could lead to lasting liver damage, says Dr. Rohsenow. Cheers?

Hydrate Like Crazy

One of the primary components of a hangover is dehydration—and all of the problems that come with it. Lots and lots of water can obviously deal with thirst, but, interestingly, Rohsenow says it’s unclear if it would speed recovery from other symptoms, like a headache.

Prairie Oyster

To make this controversial treatment, toss a raw egg, tomato juice, salt and a bunch of spicy ingredients into a cup, and drink it down. Salmonella aside, this drink contains a lot of sinus-opening aromatics, plus a little shot of protein energy in the egg yolk. Rohsenow doesn’t think it’s the sort of thing that’s likely to get a peer-reviewed study any time soon, but, in her words, “If it works for you, go for it.”


Check back for more from our Good Libations package (our June 2017 cover story!) for more on the hottest bars, beloved local watering holes and best hangover cures.

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