Humans know a lot about hangovers. We know that alcohol is a diuretic that dehydrates us by suppressing the production of vasopressin (a fluid-balancing hormone). We know that alcohol disrupts our sleep cycles, irritates our stomach linings, and causes nausea-inducing withdrawal symptoms. But no matter how much we claim to understand hangovers, the biggest problem is that there really aren't any hangover cures other than not drinking-and no, you can’t magic yourself back to your early 20s. Also, as a member of society, you probably shouldn’t carry around a greasy McGriddle in your bag so you're always prepared for your next hangover. Instead, buy all of these portable hangover helpers and keep them in a kit so you're ready for that dreaded morning.
Blowfish is like Alka-Seltzer’s more talented cousin. It still has those soothing bubbles, but also has aspirin and caffeine to help fight the pounding in your brain. Plus the bubbles deliver the pain relief twice as fast as swallowing a pill. Coffee is actually not a friend to the hungover and weak because it's a diuretic and you’re already dehydrated. The caffeine in Blowfish means you don’t have to drink coffee to feel alive.
Blowfish for Hangovers, 12 Tablets, $10.95, amazon.com
This is a no-brainer. If you are hungover you need to drink water. If you’re throwing up, you definitely need to drink water. But beyond the obvious reasons, you will need at least eight ounces of water for your Blowfish tablet (which you might have to snap in half for it to fit).
Essentia 9.5 pH Drinking Water, 33.8 Fl Oz, $1.65, amazon.com
Whether you're at work, in an airport, or on the street, noise is the enemy. So just block out everything that isn’t soothing music, or maybe wear these without playing music at all.
Sony MDRZX110NC Noise Cancelling Headphones, $35, amazon.com
Made by pickling unripe ume plums, umeboshi are a centuries-old Japanese cure-all. The plums are rich in electrolytes, like the type in Gatorade, and have acids that improve liver function and digestion and dispel fatigue. Hungover or not, these are a good thing to have on hand.
Eden Foods Umeboshi Plums, Whole, 7.05 oz, $18.20, amazon.com
OK, so it’s not the sexiest hangover cure, but a broth-y soup like chicken noodle can restore your body’s sodium and water levels. Chicken contains cysteine, an amino acid that will help your poor old liver. Friendly reminder: Never take Tylenol when hungover because it's processed by your liver. Always take an NSAID like aspirin or ibuprofen.
Campbell's Healthy Request Soup on the Go, Chicken & Mini Round Noodles, 10.75 Ounce, $2.79, amazon.com
That's right, prickly pear extract. There's some research that suggests that prickly pear extract eases nausea, loss of appetite, and dry mouth. Who knew?
Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum Nopal Cactus 1000mg, 120 Tablets, $18.08, amazon.com
I used to wear these nerdy little things on road trips to help ease my car sickness. I wouldn’t even consider going on a trip without them. They work by putting pressure on the P6 (or Nei-Kuan) acupressure point, which supposedly relieves nausea and vomiting. No shame. Seriously.
Sea-Band Wristband, 1 Pair, $6.17, amazon.com