The 5 Levels Of a Hangover and How to Cure Them with Food

What to eat if you wake up lookin' like this guy.
What to eat if you wake up lookin' like this guy.

New Year's is here and I don't know about you, but I'm ready to go out with a bang. And by bang I mean a bottle of champagne, at least three vodka-sodas and an undetermined amount of shots. It's a guaranteed good time.

It's also a guaranteed hangover.

So to help start the new year off wrong (and with another list muhahahah!), check out our list of the Top 5 Hangover Cures -- scaled for just how hungover you are:

  • Level 1 Hangover: No physical pain, but an unquenchable thirst and ravenous appetite Cure of Choice: 31 Ounces Iced Coffee & The Greasiest Bacon, Egg & Cheese One Can Find

    Ever have that dream where no matter how much water you drink, you're still incredibly thirsty? And when you wake up from said dream to chug the last remnants of your giant glass of water, you realize that your dream was real. Then, you wake up from that dream and realize, holy shit, you're in Inception...but Leo's not naked next to you so you're really pissed (or really happy, depending).

    Well after chugging another three glasses of water and shaking the partner / friend / homeless guy that is lying next to, you head straight out for breakfast. "Neeeeed cofffeeeee," you say. But hot coffee's just too hot, so you get it iced to cool your head. And then you begin the hunt, snarling as you scavenge your neighborhood for anything bacon...and cheese...and grease. Thank god you found a convenience store. You were beginning to scare small children.

    The 5 Levels Of a Hangover and How to Cure Them with Food
    Photo by Katharine Shilcutt

  • Level 2 Hangover: A slight headache and questionable stomach, but you're still hungry as shit Cure of Choice: Tex-Mex Classics: Cheese Enchiladas With Rice & Beans.

    You need that delicate balance of grease, protein, and complete bomb of starch that only Tex-Mex can provide. You head to your favorite local spot and nosh on chips and salsa and possibly an adult beverage while waiting for your lard and carb plate to arrive. When it does, you make a hot-sauce bath for the enchiladas and take it all down with ease. Happy and full, you head home to sit on the couch for the next few hours and reflect on your life choices as of late.

  • Level 3 Hangover: Head and stomach are feeling slightly worse; you're famished, but afraid to eat Cure of Choice: Giant Stack of Pancakes & A Chocolate Milk

    You can't fathom anything too greasy, but you crave food -- something, anything, heavy enough to put you back to sleep and out of your misery.

    You head to your favorite diner, skip the coffee and order a giant glass of chocolate milk and the biggest, fluffiest stack of pancakes they'll allow on one plate. You pour on the syrup and are instantly feeling better as your belly warms with sweet, sweet starch.

    It's not until halfway through your stack that you begin eying your friend's breakfast sausage. You know you should take it easy on yourself, but suddenly, you're so damn hungry. You look at your watch, wondering if you have enough time to make it to McDonald's breakfast on the way home.

    They sell the sausage biscuits two for $3, so you're supposed to eat more than one, right?

    The 5 Levels Of a Hangover and How to Cure Them with Food
    Photo by Katharine Shilcutt

  • Level 4 Hangover: Headache is fully present and stomach feels like it's the practice ground for the cast of Kooza, the new hit show from Cirque du Soleil, yet you wake up laughing hysterically Cure of Choice: Bloody Marys For Breakfast, Cheesesteaks & Fries For Lunch.

    You're giddy, though you're body feels weak and you basically smell like shit. Don't worry, nothing's wrong -- you're just still drunk. And the only way to cure it? More drinks!

    Your first Bloody Mary was give and go, but after the second, you're feeling fine. Mighty fine. Suddenly, you're craving meat...greasy cheesy meat...with some hot peppers...and some fries. You tell your sober buddy you'll pay for his meal if he takes you to Pappa Geno's.* And he does -- because he's on hangover level #1 and is freaking starving. Wicked Philly, here you come.

    *Loosely based on real life events.

  • Level 5 Hangover: Dante's Inferno; a.k.a. full-on double rainbow hangover, all the way Cure of Choice: Ginger Ale & Saltines

    Everything hurts. You awake to a vague memory of losing a dance-off, followed by cheers from the bar and multiple rounds of Irish Car Bombs that, motherf*$&r, were purchased on your credit card. Cursing yourself, you fall back asleep.

    When you wake up again around 4 a.m., you know you have to eat to survive. But nothing, literally nothing, sounds good. You eye the empty pizza box on your counter, curse yourself again, and stumble to the nearest gas station for a packet of the blandest thing you can find -- i.e., Saltines, the only thing you can take down -- and a ginger ale.

    Man do those bubbles feel good.

    Feel free to share your hangover cures below. We're all in this together guys.

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    Pappa Geno's

    1801 Ella Blvd.
    Houston, TX 77008


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