City hangover cures

A greasy brunch is one way to get over a heinous bender. Our imbibing staffers test other popular and/or recommended methods.

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Exercise | Russian bath | Hair of the dog | tripe soup | chocolate milk | Berocca

Colin St. John, Music writer, on exercise…

New York City hangover cures

My usual routine
My regular coping technique follows this formula: Vitamin Water + water + four ibuprofen pills + Gatorade + greasy food (preferably Mexican) + lots of ice-cold beer + more ibuprofen = back in the saddle again. If I’m really hungover, I skip straight to the cold beer and drink all day long, without restraint.

The alternate remedy
The above routine may not amount to getting rid of the hangover so much as getting shitcanned again, but hey, it works. What doesn’t work for me: exercise. And I’m not just talking about exercising while hungover; I mean exercising in general. I don’t think I’ve left my apartment with the explicit goal of toning up for about nine months. So what better time to break a sweat again than after a night of drinking at the Barrow Street Alehouse (15 Barrow St between Seventh Ave South and W 4th St, 212-691-6127) till 3am?

How about when the temperature isn't 95 degrees? That might be a better time. Yet, on a Saturday afternoon, after I've wrestled myself out of bed (Rocky theme cycling through my brain), I attempt to go for a jog under a scorching sun. I head up East End Avenue and over to the river, making it ten blocks to Carl Schurz Park and…that’s all, folks! I walk back home—not in shame but knowing that I am a sane human being for not running any farther in seizure-inducing heat. After a nap by the fan, I actually do feel better, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that's more the nap’s doing than the run's.

Exercise | Russian bath | Hair of the dog | tripe soup | chocolate milk | Berocca

Claire Madigan, associate Web editor, on visiting a Russian bathhouse…

New York City hangover cures

My usual routine
It starts with a sudden jolt to consciousness at some god-awful early hour. I might muster the energy to empty my bladder and guzzle a glass of water before going back to bed. But most of the time, I’ll just roll over and not open my eyes again until my head stops pounding.

The alternate remedy
One fine Saturday, I take a walk of shame to the Russian and Turkish Baths in the East Village. Turns out this is the ideal place to stumble around and stare at people bleary-eyed. Anyone who speaks English and might take offense is either in a soaking-wet stupor, a bewildered state of relief or getting beat with bushels of oak leaves.

Choking down burning air in one sauna, scorching myself on hot-rock benches in another and nearly blacking out in the cold pool make me forget about my hangover and concentrate on my mortality instead. Later, lying on the sundeck unlocks every atom of alcohol in my body to escape though my aching muscles. After 20 minutes of goose bumps and nausea, I drag myself downstairs for another round of musty heat.

My body is by now pumping out sweat and endorphins; after a spray in the Swedish shower, I walk out on a high, but nursing a lingering headache. It takes subsequent spoonfuls of Nutella and a peaceful three-hour nap to feel normal again. But I can see myself returning to the baths next Saturday and kick-starting my next hangover at the bar in the lobby.

Exercise | Russian bath | Hair of the dog | tripe soup | chocolate milk | Berocca

Dustin Goot, Web editor, on the hair of the dog…

New York City hangover cures

My usual routine
The treatment details vary, but self-flagellation is a constant. Amid sharp throbbing behind my eyeballs, I'll have a conversation with myself that goes something like this: "You're an idiot. You're an idiot. You're an idiot. Why do you drink? Why would you ever drink again?" Let's just say that consuming more alcohol is not on the agenda.

The alternate remedy
On the heels of an all-day boozer at the Belmont Stakes, my rather acute hangover is exacerbated by saunalike conditions in my top-floor apartment, in which I've neglected to install an air-conditioning unit ahead of summer's hottest morning to date. What I want to drink is liquid nitrogen; instead I have to content myself with the third-full bottle of tequila on top of my fridge.

I set out four shot glasses and fill them. (If I'm gonna endure this pain, I want it to be quick.) The first shot tastes warm, smoky and dotted with undertones of wrong. The second shot induces a definite gag reflex. While steadying myself for the third dose, something changes. My head clears. My dizziness subsides. My brain whirs into action.

By the time I finish the fourth shot, I feel downright energetic. After turbo-cleaning a sink full of dirty dishes, I look at the tequila bottle and, seeing it so close to empty, pour myself two more shots. Now I'm a total dynamo. In my living room there's a box of old magazines that's been sitting there for months waiting for me to bind them for recycling. I tie them into six neat stacks in ten minutes. I sort my mail; I pay bills; I unpack my travel bag from the day before. Then, just as quickly as I'd buzzed into action, I hit a wall. I wake up about an hour later on my couch—fully seated, still holding the pen I was using to take notes about…I have no idea. Turns out this approach has its drawbacks.

Exercise | Russian bath | Hair of the dog | tripe soup | chocolate milk | Berocca

Katharine Rust, associate editor, TONY Kids on tripe soup…

New York City hangover cures

My usual routine
On a normal groggy day post-booze-a-thon, I partake in one of three remedies: greasy food, Bloody Marys from Cowgirl or a six-mile run (seriously—you sweat the whole thing out).

The alternate remedy
In an effort to expand my hangover-cure options, I buy myself a pint of menudo, a spicy Mexican soup made with tripe. Yep, cow's guts. Through its clear plastic container, the stew seems safe enough. However, the minute I crack the Tupperware seal, I'm confronted with a smell so foul, my coworkers turn their heads.

Slowly, I take a spoonful, hoping that the repulsive wafts are not the sign of equally dismal things to come. No such luck. The soup is disgusting and tastes of rotted meat and tomatoes with chunks of carrots. I last only about ten bites before I have to throw it out. As for my hangover, about 45 minutes after eating my ten spoonfuls, my stomach begins to rumble, I feel nauseous and a faint ache throbs in my head. It feels as if my hangover is worsening, if that's possible. Not only do I not get the result I'm hoping for, I have to live with the taste of dirty feet all day as the soup continuously resurfaces. I'll take six miles over menudo any day.

Exercise | Russian bath | Hair of the dog | tripe soup | chocolate milk | Berocca

Kelsey Rahn, online designer, on chocolate milk…

New York City hangover cures

My usual routine
My system consists of me staying curled up in bed for as long as possible. When I finally do emerge, I swallow an Excedrin (extra strength) and scarf down an everything bagel and a Coke.

The alternate remedy
This week, the night after a happy hour turned into an all-night, midweek binge, I decide to put a new hangover cure to the test: chocolate milk. Now, just the thought of chocolate milk sloshing around in my semi-lactose-intolerant belly with last night's beer makes me want to gag. But I've acquired the creamiest chocolate milk I could find (from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy's milk bar in Chelsea Market), so I pry myself out of bed and down the whole thing. Then I sit waiting—waiting for my stomach to explode or for it all to come back up. Four hours later I am still waiting. And my hangover is gone!

Exercise | Russian bath | Hair of the dog | tripe soup | chocolate milk | Berocca

Christy Purington, Web assistant, TONY Kids, on Berocca…

New York City hangover cures

My usual routine
When it comes to hangovers, I go the traditional route, meaning I lie in bed for an entire weekend afternoon—groaning, falling in and out of consciousness and hoping that when I awake from my fifth nap, my body won’t feel as though it's been pummeled with a baseball bat. Sometimes Tylenol is thrown into the mix.

The alternate remedy
Don't ask me how, but I got stuck testing Berocca, a non-FDA-approved, Airborne-esque tablet that dissolves in water and turns your pee a luminescent chartreuse. Supposedly, the Aussies take these as a hangover medication, but since that isn't an indicated use (the package states only “take once daily”), I am forced to guess at the best ingestion policy for this foreign substance.

I start by gulping down a tablet before my night of drinking, which doesn't do much except make me feel bloated due to the high salt content. However, I take another fizzy drink that same night before I pass out, around 3am, and wake up completely hangover free. Whether this is simply due to rehydration or because of this pill's magical vitamin combination, I can’t be sure.

I try a different approach on Sunday (after heavy Saturday drinking) and swallow the dissolved pill in the morning like a normal remedy. Berocca doesn’t help at all at that point, and actually makes me more nauseous from drinking what taste like stale strawberry-flavored tears. My conclusion is that if you’re sober enough to take the stuff before bedtime, then it’s a good hangover prevention. Otherwise, you’re better off with the steady Gatorade-Advil combo. At minimum, your pee won’t glow.

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