But first things first: What isa hangover, anyway?
Well, the too-often-used term is actually a colloquialism for what's medically known as “veisalgia." That's taken from the Norwegian word “kveis," defined as “uneasiness following debauchery.”
Wipe that feigned look of shock off your face, you sly thing.
Essentially, a hangover is the result of overwhelming the body with the toxins released after alcohol's been broken down and processed, including acetaldehyde. What doesn't get broken down can wind up in your bloodstream, causing some of the unpleasant feelings you might associate with a hangover.
So, what can you do? Keep your throbbing head on the pillow — we've done the research for you. Here are some things that could actually help you on your most unfortunate mornings-after:
1. Have a water. Then have a Sprite.
Surprise, surprise: Rehydration seems to be the name of the game. But after you've forced down a few glasses of water, you may want to go for a Sprite. As Kathie Lee announced on TODAY back in 2013, "Sprite cures hangovers. Not that Hoda and I ever had one."
No, really: Scientists in China recently conducted an experiment concluding that the sugary drink helps combat the worst of the hangover blues.
"It's scientific and there are some words we can't pronounce," explained Hoda succinctly. Need a better authority than her?
2. Feeling trendy? Try activated charcoal.
Available in pill form, activated charcoal is all the rage these days, with manufacturers claiming it can absorb and deplete toxins from pretty much whatever you've ravaged yourself with. There's not a ton of science behind that, but, hey. You're desperate. And it certainly can't hurt.
3. Head to the medicine cabinet for a bottle of Pedialyte.
Grownups, take note: Gatorade and other sports drinks have been pushed out of the running for "best hangover remedy ever," as voted by, well, your hungover middle-aged friends. Since 2012, adult consumption of the rehydration product has risen by 57 percent, according to data from Nielsen. It doesn't take a genius to realize that the liquid itself has a lot to offer your miserable body, as do the salt and sugar in it.
4. Skip the champagne in your mimosa.
As in, don't have another drink. The hair of the dog doesn't work. Yes, we know it's tempting, but it'll only lead to worse dehydration and even sadder, sorrier feelings later on. There'll be other brunches and other Bloody Mary cocktails. We promise.
5. Eat a big breakfast.
But maybe skip the greasy fried foods and dairy (though we're aware that some swear by these things). They might do more harm than good, leading to an upset stomach, heartburn, or something equally unfortunate. It is, however, important to eat a hearty breakfast to get your body back on track with the proper nutrients and calories. In short, take care of yourself, and don't compromise your health (even more than it's already been compromised).
6. Back away from the coffee. Yeah, you heard us.
Caffeine will lead to worse headaches, constricted blood vessels and a false sense that, well, all is right with the world. Those feelings will come crashing down quickly. The exception? If you're a coffee addict, don't forsake yourself. Getting back to your regular habits (after some much-needed rest) is important.
7. Alka-Seltzer is your friend.
And you didn't hear it here first. The famous medicine's been around for nearly 100 years, which we're pretty sure must be some testament to its effectiveness. The company even has a special formula specifically designed to relieve hangovers, called Morning Relief.
8. Put down the weights and get back in bed.
This is not the time for exercise, though we can't imagine that'll be unwelcome news. Your body needs time to recuperate all on its own. Trust its natural healing powers and get some shut-eye ... especially assuming you got home late the night before and need to compensate.
9. Jump ... in the ocean?
Dr. Christopher Calapai, osteopathic physician, told the New York Post that there's really only one way to rid yourself of the dreaded hangover. Drumroll, please.
"I just jump in the ocean."
The man's a doctor, OK? We're not gonna question this one.