Hangovers have existed for as long as humans have been getting drunk. The first known documented hangover was written over 3,000 years ago in an ancient Indian Vedic textbook called the Susruta Samhita. People have attempted cures ranging from bird’s beaks to raw eel to dunking your face in a bowl of cold ice water (that one actually works). But Anthony Bourdain, the late celebrity chef notorious for indulging in all things good and bad, may have the ultimate hangover remedy and it’s gone viral on TikTok.
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Anthony Bourdain Was the King of Nurturing Hangovers
Anthony Bourdain forever changed the human race with his investigative takes on finding the best and strangest food and drink around the world. And up until his tragic death in 2018, while he was filming an episode for Parts Unknown, he was pushing his body to the limit. So, if anyone knows how to cure a hangover, it would probably be him.
In fact, Bourdain once told the Daily Beast that some of his episodes are centered around becoming sober. For instance, whenever he visits Korea.
“Any time I go to Korea, there’s just no way out. You’re going to do a lot of drinking there. They break all the rules of reasonable drinking,” he said. “As we were filming, it became clear that this was the one. How perfect is it to start with a hangover and work backward and progressively become more sober as the show goes on?”
As a disclaimer, Anthony Bourdain’s hangover recipe does include an illicit substance that isn’t allowed to be used by people under certain ages or in certain parts of the world. So, we’re not advocating for any lawbreaking here.
“Ideally, you wake up, a couple of aspirin, a nice cold Coca-Cola, smoke a joint,” says the gourmand. “And then as soon as the nausea and self-loathing abates, some spicy Sichuan food.”
Listen to Bourdain’s Brilliant Hangover Recipe
The clip was posted to the @FriendsOfAnthonyBourdain TikTok account. It’s already received over 4.5 million views and nearly half a million likes. Thousands of comments and shares have people simultaneously wiping their tears away and missing him, comparing their own hangover cures, or claiming he’s just like them.
Breaking it down, it’s understandable why Bourdain’s recipe could help with your morning blues.
Aspirin Is Anti-Inflammatory, Pain-Relieving
Aspirin, also called paracetamol, is an over-the-counter NSAID, or anti-inflammatory drug. It reduces the pain that’s caused by acetate, the final byproduct that occurs when the body is breaking down alcohol. It shouldn’t be taken with alcohol because the combination can damage the liver. However, it surely helps in the aftermath when your head feels like it weighs a ton.
Coca-Cola Contains Caffeine
Coca-Cola is another one of those things that will actually make your hangover worse if you drink it with alcohol. The sugar and carbonation will make you drunker faster. However, for a hangover, it works for a couple reasons. Firstly, it has small amounts of caffeine, which has been shown to assist with hangovers in rats. Secondly, the sugar and fluid will help replenish your body’s energy levels.
Of Course Anthony Bourdain Recommends Smoking a Joint
And now we come to the part where Anthony Bourdain recommends smoking a joint. Vice did some investigating into the matter, and it does seem like cannabis can help with many symptoms of a hangover. It can quell nausea, relieve anxiety, and help with headaches. Bourdain has also elaborated in the past that the weed component in his hangover cure recipe is crucial to regaining an appetite.
Granted, there are other ways of ingesting cannabinoids. If you’re one of those people who find that cannabis makes you feel more anxious, CBD may work as an alternative. Topical creams and balms made with THC and/or CBD are also great pain relievers if you rub them on the parts of your body that feel inflamed.
Now It’s Time for the Spicy Sichuan Food
According to Anthony Bourdain, the first three ingredients listed above will get you to a magical place in your brain where the self-loathing and nausea have started to slip away into a not-so-distant memory. You’re now realizing how hungry you are. Maybe you spent the evening hugging a porcelain throne or maybe you forgot to eat dinner the night before. Or maybe it’s 4pm and you haven’t eaten for almost 24 hours. Now, he says, you should have some spicy Sichuan food.
Sichuan food, contrary to popular opinion, isn’t usually greasy. And that’s a good thing. While greasy food is a great way to coat your stomach and slow down the absorption of alcohol before drinking, it won’t help in the aftermath. At least, not solely because of the grease and fat. An exception to this is if the food is full of aminos and B-vitamins, which will help detoxify the body. But when you’re hungover, any food is better than no food.
The spicy component to Sichuan also has its benefits. Spicy foods, in moderation, can aid in blood circulation, which can speed the detoxification process. Studies have also shown that Capsaicin, which is found in many chilis and ginger root, is an effective treatment for migraine headaches.
Anthony Bourdain’s Previous Hangover Cures
Bourdain has touched on hangovers in the past. He hasn’t held back from admitting when he has one, especially while traveling in a foreign country. The Coca-Cola-aspirin-weed-spicy food combination has been mentioned in the past, specifically with Kung Pao Chicken. Also, he says you should try to wake up as early as possible.
Other food and drink that Bourdain has recommended for hangovers include soup made with vegetables and oxtail blood. He was a fan of spicy ceviche and raw oysters with Vicodin. He’s also advocated for a traditional Baja hangover cure which combines plum juice, tomato juice, lemon juice and beer, and is imbibed along with a meal of seafood.