The morning after: What people around the world eat and drink to beat a hangover

CNN  — 

It’s the time of year for merriment and all that it might entail. But indulgences of alcohol often lead to less-than-pleasant mornings after.

Since there’s no magic hangover pill (not yet, anyway), what can you do when you overdo it?

The answer, for many, lies in carbohydrates. A hangover is essentially severe dehydration and a drop in blood sugar, which leaves the overindulged feeling a range of symptoms: nausea, fatigue, irritability and aches.

In spite of this sobering reality, we still sometimes find ourselves feeling hungover on occasion, desperate for a “cure.” Tackling dehydration and elevating low blood sugar levels is key, and drinking plenty of water and fueling the body with carbs, healthy fats and protein can help.

Of course, the best way to avoid a hangover is to abstain from drinking. If that’s unappealing, you’ll have to find a way to power through.

A book by Lauren Shockey, “Hangover Helper,” is filled with recipes from around the world for the DIY crew among us. Most of the following food and drink items are readily available for purchase.

From currywurst to pickle juice and avocado toast, here’s a look at how people all over the world turn to food and drink to mitigate a hangover:


You can get a Bloody Mary pretty much everywhere these days, but you can thank Paris for inventing it in 1921.

Although experts advise to avoid alcohol the next day, many people swear by a little “hair of the dog.” Nothing beats the Bloody Mary if this is the direction you so choose.

While you can find it all over the world, the drink has special significance in Paris, where it was invented in 1921 at Harry’s New York Bar.

Many bars around the world have put their own spin on the Bloody Mary (horseradish is now more common than not), but at Harry’s, it’s still made the classic way: vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco, salt, pepper, lemon and Worcester sauce.


Hot, melted cheese is a critical part of pizza’s allure when hungover, but pizza isn’t the only way to get your cheese fix. In London, simple cheese on toast is a thing of beauty and also a breeze to make at home, no matter how much you’re struggling.

Slide bread under the broiler – or grill, as they say in the UK – to lightly toast both sides, then slather on butter and spicy mustard and pile grated cheddar on top. Slide back under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Voila! You’re now that much closer to getting through the day.


Currywurst is a great accompaniment to French fries.

Although Berliners will enjoy a currywurst at any time of day, this classic German snack is perhaps best the day after a big night out in Berlin.

For the uninitiated, a currywurst consists of fried pork sausage sliced into bite-size chunks, then doused in a spiced curried ketchup before being dusted with curry powder.

The rich sauce, meaty sausage and subtle heat from the spicing wakes up the dulled senses and provides a revitalizing boost. It’s even better when paired with fries.


Flæskestegssandwich (pork roast sandwich) is like gold to the irritable and hungry. Danish cuisine, often associated with beautifully presented, minimalist plates of foraged ingredients, is actually more diverse.

The country’s signature sandwich is all about messy, delicious indulgence. Think thick slices of roasted and grilled pork neck nestled in a soft bun with crispy crackling, pickled cucumbers, red cabbage and a spicy mayonnaise.

Have it to help ward off a hangover (Kødbyens Høker, an outdoor kiosk in the city’s meatpacking district is popular for a reason), or make it your first stop when you wake up with a massive headache and hunger.


Anyone who’s spent a night out drinking with the locals in Manila can attest to the city’s