How To Cure a Hangover

7 Hangover cures from people who should know

Words: Dylan Muhlenberg | Illustrations: Amber Pretorius

You probably know that feeling of sweating shooters to a downbeat of whatever track is still pounding through your head from the night before.  

If not, lucky you. It’s really bad.  

And if yes, here’s some more bad news: your hangovers can only get worse. 

You know how your body is 72% water? Well that decreases with age, and because fat has a higher alcohol concentration than muscle everything is working against you.

But what even is a hangover? 

It’s a toxic byproduct of alcohol metabolism called acetaldehyde, which together with vitamin depletion and dehydration beckons a babalaas. You can try avoiding this by eating adequately, drinking two litres of water everyday and always, always, drinking premium, as there are fewer impurities in the expensive stuff. 

But you’re probably not going to do all that, are you? 

Fortunately for those of you who don’t take the necessary precautions, some of our funnest drinking buddies have solutions for dealing with hangovers better. There’s no cure for the common hangover, but this is a start. Good luck. 

Publik is David Cope’s bar, which he calls “a voice for the unusual and interesting wines out there.” He’s all about having fun and sharing good wine, and having a blast while doing it. 

Hmm, I’d say it’s the simple “smash two Panado and drink a litre of water before bed” trick. This will save your life. If you forget to do that, wake up early, smash two Panado and a litre of water, then sleep for another hour. That makes a big difference. Then when you properly wake up, have a Vitamin C supplement and eat the biggest breakfast you can manage. I’d hit up Clarke’s or Superette. Then sip on Energade and coffee all morning until you feel human, which usually seems to happen just after lunch. If it hasn’t happened by then, best just crack open a beer.


Snake played drums for one of the most important bands to ever come out of South Africa, Fokofpolisiekar, then for a bunch of bands that came out of Fokofpolisiekar. He’s also Afrikaans, and so obviously Snake knows his way around a bottle of brandy. 

The only cure for a real hangover is death. I subscribe to the hair of the dog thing. When on tour you can't really afford to be hungover, so I have a couple of drinks to feel normal again and then just get on with it. Usually a nap after soundcheck helps. The quiet before the storm, you know. 


Cathy Lund is the fun, fearless female that sits in the big chair over at Cosmopolitan. She’s the only woman on this list and for good reason – dude does not drink like a lady.

Hot Malaysian broth. Not sure the actual name. Healed me up real quick and real good. Otherwise, standard issue KFC wings and crème-sober!


Ryan McDonagh is the man behind Lefty’s and Downtown Ramen, and can cook as well as he drinks. He got stabbed in the face once and had seven grand fall out of his apron at a market this other time. Buy him a beer and get him to tell you these stories the next time you see him.

Well this is great because I actually am brutally hungover right now! As far as hangovers go, for me its all about anchovies. I put them in my Bloody Marys with green olives and fresh chili, I mash them on hot toasted bread, I make a hot muddy mess of melted butter, garlic, anchovies and splashes of cream and then dip my fucking toasted cheese and bacon snackwiches into it while sitting naked on my lounge floor and watching Black Books. Again.


Jean Rene Onyangunga, aka JR, aka Dr Pachanga, aka The Last King of Congo, aka The Janitor, aka The Wolf of Jeppestown, organises parties under the name Jollers United and just wants his family of doctors to be proud of him. Hopefully this hangover cure does that.  

As your doctor, I would advise creamy pasta with spinach and then sprinkle crisp bacon on top. On the side a Bloody Mary with two celery sticks. After 30 minutes a glass of ginger beer for control.


Unlike the other names on this list, Montle Moorosi can’t actually drink and gets tipsy off of fumes. Which is great because if you buy the guy a drink it’s a high return on investment. 

Because I'm a sad little man, my hangover cures are very simple because they're meant for a simpleton.

1. Weed: this helps me stop thinking about how much I hate my life and how much I hate drinking, but can't seem to stop doing it. It also helps me sleep off the hangover but best of all it gives me the appetite to eat, which almost seems impossible after a good night of crying and listening to techno music.

2. Food: if you don't smoke weed then don't even bother. My personal favourite is codeine with olives, pickles and grapefruit juice.

3. A cuddle or spooning session with a girl (or man if that's your vibe) with really long hair that smells like an orchard. Sex is optional. But preferable.

4. A long hot bath while reading John Steinbeck and smoking weed. Not only does it make you look hip in a terrible Kerouac kind of way, it also feels pretty good.

5. Lots of chicken.


Dan Nash used to run the second most entertaining blog in SA, but now he’s gone and found himself a real job and despite his entering the rat race he’s still a solid dude and fun to drink with. What else? He vomited on Elvis Blue once and even his Twitter bio says that he smells like alcohol. A lot.

Nothing else softens the bite of a crippling hangover quite like the natural healing effects of an orgasm or a joint. Myprodol works, but your already battered kidneys are better off without having to deal with the extra chemicals. A stiff Bloody Mary is another winner. Unfortunately, five out of seven hangovers occur during working hours and unless you're a barman, getting loaded before your 10am client meeting is still frowned upon. Blenders make too much noise. Fast food is not Tim Noakes approved. And ice packs over the face are enjoyed exclusively by those afforded the luxury of the spa life.

Keep it green. Keep it sexual. 

And there you have it, great hangover advice from some of the greatest guys, and girl, we know. You have any drinking tips for us? Share your advice in the comments below. Cheers!