We, as a society, have finally reached a point where we truly understand the cure to a horrible hangover is a lot of sleep and a lot of water, but those are no fun. Sure, some people have their go-to greasy fast food breakfast or cleansing smoothie, but no one I’ve met has had some kooky mixture they stand by. Growing up, there were always those terrible scenes in movies where someone would make a concoction of hot sauce, grease and a raw egg and call it the elixir of life, and I always wondered if they actually did anything. In the name of science, I decided to find the top three oddest, grossest hangover cures and see if they do anything.
"Back to the Future III’s" Wake-Up Juice: Pickled jalapeño juice, Tabasco, onion powder, vinegar, cayenne powder, and mustard seed
Final Score: 5/10
In a surprising turn of events, this was actually palatable. While it tasted somewhat like pizza, it was one of the only cures I could get down without gagging. The minute it hit my stomach, however, it was like I had taken a full dose of ipecac. The nausea I was already feeling increased by 200% and I ended up expelling all the contents of my stomach for the next 30 minutes. So, in some ways, this was effective! If you’re one of those people who don’t feel better till after it's gone, this is an “all-natural” way to fix your nausea problems. In other ways, though, it kind of sucked. I still had a headache, but now it was coupled with a bad taste in my mouth and increased dehydration.
"The Shining’s" Hair of the Dog that Bit Me: Take a shot of the alcohol you drank the night before
Final Score: 2/10
While I know there are some out there that swear by this, I do not see the appeal. According to Healthline it’s supposed to “relieve unpleasant symptoms like headache, dehydration, upset stomach, and fatigue,” but this feels like a lie. The article goes on to say that, while it should fix the problems for a little bit, the minute the alcohol is out of your system, the hangover will come right back. For me, I did not feel even a minute of reprieve with this. I had immediate flashbacks of the night before and grimaced the entire duration of this experience. My nausea got worse, and it was an overwhelmingly horrible decision.
"Cabaret’s" Prairie Oyster: A raw egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and Tabasco
Final Score: 0/10
I see absolutely no point in this one. Based on mouthfeel alone, this was the worst thing I have ever experienced. I got about ¼ of the mixture down, but then I realized I was drinking uncooked egg whites and couldn’t take the heat anymore. I immediately spit it out, gagged and decided to wash out my mouth for five minutes. Just thinking about this one makes me want to throw up. Who decided this was a good idea? What’s the intrigue around raw eggs? Horrible, disgusting, do not try this.
Honorable Mentions: Pedialyte, or Coconut Water and Activated Charcoal
If you go to the University of South Carolina, you have heard of the tried and true hangover cure: Pedialyte. The CVS on Assembly keeps it in their coolers, so even the corporations are aware of the college’s buying interests. I can’t say this one is necessarily bad, but it does seem like you could just drink water and have the same result. It helped with my dehydration but I think it made my stomach hurt because of the horrible combinations of fluids I had introduced to it. This one sits at a comfortable 7/10.
I've heard on the streets from party-goers and five-points frequenters that the mixture of coconut water and activated charcoal seems to be another SC go-to. Sure, the taste isn’t bad and the ingredients work as a trendy way to cleanse your body and replenish your fluids, but the activated charcoal is actually quite dangerous to those who take frequent medication. Because the charcoal acts as a detox for your system, GoodRX says “it can make medications and supplements less effective.” So, to all of those on birth control, anti-depressants or other daily meds, I would strongly suggest you skip over this one. I had no idea this happened with charcoal and combining a hangover with a less-effective dose of mood stabilizers is not a good idea. Because of this, it gets a 4/10 for the fear of negative effects.
In the end, what really works is sleep, water and maybe a way-too-big breakfast from Bojangles. And of course, if you are going to drink, be safe, drink water and never, ever try a prairie oyster.