Booze - Top Ten Hangover Cures

A hundred horsemen are charging through your head. You're as parched as the Sahara Desert. Your stomach is doing loop-the-loops and your brain has forgotten how to think. You're hungover. But what can you do about it? Check out our top ten hangover cures and you'll soon be back in the land of the living.

Top ten hangover cures

Water torture

The pain you're feeling is mainly due to one thing - dehydration prompted by your body's attempts to process the alcohol you shipped last night. Fix that, the theory goes, and you'll feel better. So, drink plenty of water and keep drinking until your brain stops feeling like a shrivelled walnut. Some fans of the water cure advocate a long draught of Adam's Ale just before they go to bed. It's a good idea. If you can, sip some more water during the night.

Greasy spoon

A traditional British approach to the problem. Load up on lard and stodge with a fried breakfast and hope for the best. If you can stomach it, a fry-up is at least replacing your body's exhausted supplies of complex carbohydrates, salt and sugar. Wash it down with plenty of liquids and it might just do the trick. Avoid coffee, though. It may perk you up but it will certainly dehydrate you even further.

On the go

No time for a big breakfast? Then some toast, Marmite and coke is a quick and dirty version of the full monty brekkie. No nutrition prizes here but this one will get you on the road in pretty short order. Easy on the coke - the sugar will revive you and should help settle your stomach but the caffeine will dehydrate you almost as much as a cup of coffee.

Killer tomatoes

The Bloody Mary is as old as the hills. A "hair of the dog (that bit you)" may postpone a hangover but sooner or later you will have to face the music. Nevertheless, millions swear by it, so here goes: vodka and tomato juice, with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a slice of lemon. If you feel in particular need of a pick-me-up (or you're just a glutton for punishment), you can add some fiery Tabasco sauce to take your mind off your other woes.

In a pickle

Russians and other East Europeans have long sworn that drinking the brine pickles are bottled in will dispel a hangover. Well, it's mostly water and the salt will help a bit, too, so there is probably something in this traditional cure. During the Cold War, Soviet boffins developed a pill for KGB agents who wanted to drink without suffering the after-effects. Several "Russian pills" claiming to have these properties are now on the market, although medical evidence backing their effectiveness is patchy.

Fun run?

This approach must be accompanied by plenty of water. If you're up to it, a gentle run or similar exercise will encourage your body to flush out the toxins that are making you feel like death warmed up. It'll also leave you with a more positive outlook. And positive is better than self-loathing, isn't it?

The power of love

We like this one. Of course we do. There's not a shred of medical evidence to prove that making love cures a hangover but where's the harm in giving it a go, anyway? Don't forget to brush your teeth first, though...

Pill-popping

Some vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin B1, will help your body deal with excess alcohol. If you can't manage without painkillers, choose paracetemol rather than ibuprofen or aspirin, which tend to irritate the stomach.

Duvet-hugging

If you don't have to go anywhere, then sleep teamed with plenty of water is the best hangover cure there is. If you're asleep, the body can devote all of its energies to repairing your abused system rather than waste precious resources on trying to get your mind to work properly. That's a lost cause.

Just say no

Yes, we're serious! Okay, we understand that total abstinence may not be an option. But just a little bit less of what you fancy really will do you some good. Think about it...