Dr. Robin’s Ultimate 12-Hour Hangover Cure

Robin Berzin, MD
December 27, 2015

Christmas day I spent cooking breakfast for my family, opening presents, and sipping champagne while watching the original Star Wars movie, no hangover in site. It was awesome.

We all need those days. No guilt. No worries… I earned it.

And then I woke up Saturday. And the champagne bubble of the week officially popped.

I was in a terrible mood, my belly hurt, and after months of amazing skin, and the feeling that I had finally won my war with acne , a huge cystic zit appeared on my cheek – a clear one-two punch from the gingerbread cake I ate at Christmas Eve in a holiday-daze of invincibility. I thought I had gluten beat, even store-bought, sugary, refined as it comes, gluten.

I was wrong. I am not invincible. I have the pimple to prove it. I am just like the rest of us. Susceptible and irritated.

It happens to all of us. The champagne bubble pops. The swoony feeling of the holidays fades. And you’re left holding your head in your heads, pillow over your eyes, hiding from the light.

Most importantly, it’s not always alcohol-induced.

This time of year especially, the hangover can come in many forms. The shockingly low number in your checking account. The frustrating conversation you had with your dad that ended in a stalemate. The mental exhaustion from a long, hard fought fall at your office.

And of course the classic. The boozy, foodie version – each party and meal that went by saying, this is the last one, a last bite won’t hurt. Until it does.

And it’s not over yet. Good news people – New Year’s is Thursday!

It’s ok. I have you covered. I spent yesterday in serious #cleanup mode. And I’m already on the mend. My mood this morning is infinitely brighter. My belly is flatter. My head is clear. Even that zit is fading. And it’s only taken 12 hours.

Here is my 12-hour recipe for the ultimate hangover cure.

  • 9am. Wake up with a shot of B’s. I started my day with two phytomulti vitamins, my favorite methylated-B-vitamin-packed multi, to jump-start my liver into propelling all of that acetaldehyde, the toxic metabolite of alcohol, out of my system, through phase 1 liver detoxification.
  • 9am. Healing turmeric water. For a hangover, water alone doesn’t work. I went for my favorite Turmeric water – with lemon juice, lime juice, one teaspoon of raw honey, and fresh grated ginger and lemon. I make a big pot with hot water, let it steep, strain it out, cool and sip all day. The turmeric is anti-inflammatory, the ginger soothing to the gut, and the lemon/lime/honey packed with electrolytes that will move water into my system faster that water alone. I had at least 2 quarts.
  • 9am. Protein . The mistake people make when hungover is to turn to carbs. But to really get your body detoxing, your blood sugar balanced, and your metabolism revved, stick to protein and healthy fat. Yesterday I started the day with 3 slices of smoked salmon and 2 tbs of almond butter. Just enough to fuel phase 2 liver detoxification, settle my stomach and nip my hunger without overindulging.
  • 12pm. Yoga. Yoga cures so much because the combination of sweat, focus and restoration is usually powerful enough to bust through any hangover – human, food or alcohol induced. I headed to Kula in Tribeca for Ben’s class and 90 minutes later walked out feeling like a new woman. Almost.
  • 2pm. A Parsley Rebuild protein shake . This shake is my go-to when I’m feeling sluggish. Having one is like taking my brain out of my head, washing it with water, and putting it back in. Weird, I know, but that’s how it feels. It’s also awesome for helping to heal the lining of my gut when my digestion is feeling more than a little inflamed from the champagne-sugar-gluten bomb I had on Christmas eve and Christmas day, even though the rest of my intake was all greens, veggies and healthy proteins as usual.
  • 6pm. A massage. I am not a frequent massage goer. For me getting a manicure is a big expense and use of time. If it’s not exercise, I rarely justify it. But a massage is a way to let go passively that exercise doesn’t accomplish. I went to the shiatsu and acupuncture spot in the east village I love. It isn’t fancy. It’s actually criminally cheap. And I got some serious pummeling. There are deep knots even yoga doesn’t get to and after my massage they were officially obliterated.
  • 7.30pm. Veggies and Salmon dinner. Finishing the day with eating clean, warming and hearty olive oil-sea-salt-lemon roasted Brussels sprouts and winter squash with more smoked salmon was grounding, and the cruciferous veggies are packed with sulforaphanes that support detoxification, as well as fiber to move things through a tired digestive tract. It’s the perfect cleansing meal alongside a big glass of water with lemon or a cup of hot ginger tea.
  • 9pm. Nourishment Meditation . A hangover often comes not just with physical pain, but also psychic pain – a weird merry-go-round of guilt, “shoulds,” and negativity that is as irrational as it is powerful. I am not immune to this phenomenon – for me it can feel like looking at the world through dark glasses. So last night, out even though my husband said opening mail and meditating on Saturday night meant our lives were officially over, I stayed in. I needed a night to meditate and lay low. I did a nourishment meditation, letting go of all of the ways I had felt under nourished, or lacking, in my life, and filling my cells with the light energy of everything I could ever need.
Robin Berzin, MD

Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

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