Man’s quest for the perfect hangover cure is a dance as old as time. For thousands of years, our forefathers have spent sweaty, smelly mornings staggering around the kitchen, reaching for anything, everything to try and make them feel better. This well-rehearsed ritual has given us all a few pearls of wisdom on which to rely when times get tough. We’ve been using them ever since.
Despite everything that we “know” about fry-ups and bloody Mary’s, questions remain over what, if anything, actually works. By now, many of us know that no amount of bacon can fix the most serious of ailments. But what if there are some things that are actually making the situation worse? What if what we thought was helping has actually been bringing us down for years? There’s only one way to find out. Here are seven types of food and drink you should definitely avoid on a hangover.
Even though the “hair of the dog” legend refuses to lie down, this should really be obvious to anyone. Obviously, if you feel terrible, drinking more of the thing that makes you feel terrible is not going to help. I don’t care how much you love bloody Marys. Science doesn’t lie.
It’s the eternal tragedy of hungover eating, but often what’s greasiest and most delicious should be the last thing you put into your system. The fact is that alcohol is actually broken down via the same metabolic pathway as fat, meaning that - on a hangover - the body cannot process the two substances at the same time. You might think that oil is your only hope, but it’s actually the last thing you need.
It might be the stereotypical answer to any midweek alcohol issue, but a cup of black coffee could turn your hangover from barely manageable into a living nightmare. The problem is that caffeine is a natural and powerful diuretic. This can cause you to urinate more than you otherwise would, draining your body of precious water and making your headache even worse.
Beyond the obvious downsides of too much grease, butter has a very special place in the terrible hangover cure pantheon. Thanks to its slick, soft texture, accidentally ingesting a large lump of butter can make even the most stoic hangover sufferer want to throw up all over the floor. Probably best avoided.
You know the old adage about beans and farting? It turns out that there’s some truth to the story. Several carbohydrates commonly found in beans are too large for the intestine to break down, meaning that they become food for our gut bacteria, which in turn produces flatulence. Now imagine constantly breaking wind after a heavy night out. It’s not pretty.
It might look like an innocent garnish whose sole purpose is to add a dash of green to otherwise beige breakfasts, but it turns out that parsley actually has a hidden danger. Much like coffee, this small herb is actually a potent diuretic, which as previously discussed may lead to excessive urination and dehydration.
7. Orange Juice
It might have been the perfect companion to a thousand awesome breakfasts, but orange juice is the last thing that your body needs after a night on the sauce. Mixing all that alcohol with acid can only spell disaster, as your stomach tries to cope with constant churning.
The fact is that even if you think you’ve worked out the perfect, foolproof hangover system, the science doesn’t lie. There’s just no getting around the truth that, if you want to get better, you’re going to have to pay attention to what the boffins have to say. No amount of bacon is going to change that.