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An Abridged Ranking Of Hangover Food

If there are two things I know more about than most humans on earth, it’s being hungover too often, and how different types of food can help you cope with it. There are all sorts of increasingly complex hangover remedies out there, but the fact is, I haven’t found anything more effective than Advil, gallons of water, and greasy food.

1. Pizza

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I’m the kind of guy whose appetite gets weirdly out of whack when he’s hungover. Throughout the day, I won’t be hungry, per se, but I’ll constantly feel like I need to eat something. So ordering a pizza as soon as I wake up is a pretty efficient way to go about taking care of all my food needs for the day. Since I’m not crazy hungry at any one time, I can basically just eat on a pizza all damn day and never have to worry about getting anything else. Pizza also has the perfect balance of ingredients. A little dairy in the cheese to give you some Vitamin B, lots of bread to soak up the excess alcohol sloshing around inside you, and plenty of grease from the meat to coat itself to everything inside you. Super scientific, I know. Plus, pizza’s just fucking awesome.

2. Burritos

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Mexicans don’t get hungover. That’s not racist, that’s just made up. Or is it? One of my summer jobs was made up of two types of employees: Spanish speaking guys over 40, and me. We’d get absurdly drunk on weeknights, and then show up the next day to do landscaping, and damn it if I wasn’t the only one actually struggling. Now maybe that was the result of me being a middle-class pussy, while they’ve had to be hard asses their entire lives, or maybe it’s diet-related. I initially was inclined to think the former until they started bringing food for everyone on the days after we’d drink a few too many Bud Heavies on the dock the night before. Homemade tortillas wrapped around refried beans, chorizo/barbacoa, and the kind of salsa that just barely gets your eyes watering. It was fucking perfect. You’re not gonna get the same kind of satisfaction from Taco Bell. If you can find a solid hole in the wall Mexican place, though, get yourself over there when your body is in booze hell. It’s magical.

3. Anything with chili on it.

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I went a lot of different places with this. First I wanted to say chili dogs, then I was thinking maybe Frito Pie would be better, then I thought about chili over hash browns with fried eggs. I was worried I would have to make a decision, and then I realized that it doesn’t matter, because the common ingredient is always chili. Hell, you could just eat the chili all by itself if you wanted (even though I prefer some sort of carb to go with). It’s fatty protein floating in greasy tomato sauce. You’d think it was probably developed by cavemen on a morning after drinking a little too much Mesopotamian rice wine.

4. Pho

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Pho is the food equivalent of Gatorade. It feels like it was created in a lab by scientists specifically for hangovers. It has a lot of water in it, which is great for rehydrating, but it’s also salty, which helps you retain that water (even better for rehydrating). Plus it actually has real vegetables in it, unlike every other thing on this list. Then you get the obligatory carbs from the noodles. A lot of you have probably never tried pho (technically pronounced “fuh,” something I’m still reluctant to do), but if you have a Vietnamese place anywhere close, you should definitely give it a try. Expand your headache/nausea solution horizons, people!

5. Classic Breakfast

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It’s a classic for a reason. Your dad chased hangovers with it. Your gramps ate it after partying with his boys when he got back from Korea. It’s the way your great grandpappy soaked up the bathtub gin in his stomach during Prohibition. Eggs the way you like them, sausage AND bacon, toast/biscuits/flapjacks, hashbrowns. Simple. Throw some sausage gravy on there only if you feel like being a real American. I’ll combat feeling a little liquor dusty with any number of the items on this list, but when the brown bottle flu is really kicking me in the head, I’m heading over to a diner where the coffee is bottomless, the waitress smacks her gum, and the breakfast sits like a brick in your stomach. Because that’s the way it’s done in this damn country.

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Randall J. Knox

Randall J. Knox (known colloquially to his friends as "Knox") left his native Texas a few years ago, and moved to Los Angeles in his '03 Buick Regal named LeRoi to write movies with his jackass college buddies. His favorite things in life include bourbon that's above his pay grade, mix CDs, and Kevin Costner films. He isn't sure what "dad jeans" are exactly, but he knows he wants a pair.

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