Hangovers are difficult to deal with. We wake up the next morning with our heads pounding and our bodies aching. What’s worst is that with age, hangovers seem to get harder to deal with. So what do we do when we wake up with that familiar throbbing headache?
We’ve curated a list of the top 5 drinking nations, by liquor consumption per capita, to share their unique remedies for getting over dreaded hangovers.
South Korea: Haejangguk
It’s not surprising that South Korea has its own unique remedy for hangover recovery. South Koreans drink 14 shots of liquor per week on average, which is the most in the world. After a night out of heavy drinking, Koreans look for Haejangguk, which literally means “hangover soup.” It’s one of the most popular things to eat after a night of drinking in Korea. There are variations of Heajanggguk, ranging from using pork, ox-bone, dried pollock, and bean sprout as the main ingredients. These stews can be found 24 hours a day, and convenient enough to pick up on your way to work in the morning. They are loaded with meaty ingredients and veggies packed with vitamins thought to facilitate energy recovery.
Russia: Pickle Juice
Hard drinking has long been a Russian habit. In fact, more than 30% of all deaths in Russia in 2012 were attributable to alcohol, according to OECD. So how do Russians deal with hangovers? They combat hangovers by drinking juice from a jar of pickles. This is actually quite effective, and our team at The Hangover Drink is a big fan of this remedy. Alcohol is diuretic; it literally drains water out of our body. Fortunately, pickle juices contain water and lots of salt; two things you lose through alcohol consumption. Pickle juice can help us combat our headaches, dizziness, and cramping which occur from dehydration and electrolyte loss.
The balut egg looks like something you’d see on Bizzare Foods tv show, but it is a common street food throughout Southeast Asia. This traditional Filipino hangover cure is a duck embryo boiled in the egg. You make a hole in the egg to suck out the juices, and then you feast on the yolk. As you crack open the egg shell, you can see a partially-formed duck embryo inside, complete with a beak. As odd as this remedy is, the way you drink it is even stranger; you swallow the whole thing without chewing! Surprisingly though, balut is packed with cysteine, a substance that helps break down toxin in our liver.
Thailand: Drunken Noodles
In Thailand, hangover sufferers often fix a plate of Phad Ki Mao, nicknamed drunken noodles. Locals claim that this is best eaten while you’re drinking alcohol; not after. It is believed that this spicy noodle lets them sweat out toxins and shake the queasy hangover feeling. You can find drunken noodles easily on the streets by hitting up nearby noodle stands.
Japanese often rely on pickled dried ume to push away their hangover woes. This pickled ume is highly concentrated, and make most people scrunch their face from the sourness. Some steep it in green tea to dilute the concentration. Umeboshi has been a Japanese cure-all for many centuries. The organic acid and alkaline qualities of umeboshi are known to improve liver function, aid digestion, and dispel fatigue. Additionally, they’re loaded with electrolytes like sodium and potassium — helping you replenish electrolytes lost through alcohol consumption.
Do you know any other unique hangover remedies shared by different cultures? Comment below! We’d love to learn more.