No hangover? Thank your DNA.
Research shows that roughly 23% of people never get hangovers. It could be in the genes: Australian scientists studied the booze habits of 4,000 twins and concluded the likelihood of hangovers may be genetically influenced.
But for everyone else: Let it go to your head.
You’re in bed and feeling jackhammers in your brain. Where to look for rescue?
“I’m a huge fan of anything that gets blood flow to the head,” says Greenfield. A simple headstand against a wall is ideal, but a basic yoga move like Downward Dog will also do the trick since it places your head below your heart, forcing blood flow down.
Next, Greenfield’s real secret weapon: contrast showers. “Five minutes in the shower: 20 seconds cold, 10 seconds hot, 10 times through,” he says. This also boosts blood flow and helps bring your corpse back to life.
“If you really want to treat yourself,” he adds, “head to the gym and hit the dry sauna for 15 to 20 minutes, then a cold shower for five minutes, for as many cycles as time permits.”
Skip the “hair of the dog.”
A morning Bloody Mary may banish the pain—but only temporarily. Alcohol stimulates feel-good nerves in the brain, helping to mask hangover pain. But ultimately, drinking more will just delay the inevitable purging of toxins that your liver still has to do. Eventually you will have to pay the piper—with interest.
Question miracle elixirs.
Be skeptical of over-the-counter hangover remedies. Most are made with “natural substances” that, thanks to a legal loophole, aren’t FDA-regulated. “None of these commercial anti-hangover ‘cures’ have proven effective, says Hanson. “Worse, some may even be dangerous.”
But, that said...
Keep using your favorite trick.
Have a system that works? Keep using it. My sister takes gobs of vitamin B12 before drinking and swears by it.
So even if rigorous, peer-reviewed studies haven’t endorsed your hangover-killing meal of peanut butter and walnuts, that doesn’t mean it lacks value—though it may just be in your head.
“There’s not much evidence that supplements or vitamins are useful” in fighting hangovers, says Hanson, throwing cold water on my sister’s B12. “But many ‘superstitions’ act as placebos, which can be effective for those who believe them.” So please excuse me while I go prepare my fried canaries and sheep eyeballs.
And one last crazy trick: