I know what you’re thinking:

“I’ve tried every remedy in the book, and none of them have been able to stifle the crazed hangover zombie that takes over my body every morning after a long night out. Advil, water, sports drinks…continuing to drink more alcohol…none of them have ever come through for me when I feel like death and need to somehow make it to class. 

And seriously? PICKLE JUICE?? The thought alone of those floating green monsters is enough to make me wanna vom.”

pickle juice

Photo by Hannah Petersen

Yes. Pickle juice is certainly an acquired taste. But research has shown that the age-old trick employed by those vodka-chugging Russians of drinking pickle juice to prevent and/or treat a hangover may actually have some merit. Before you work on trying to fix your hangover though, it helps to understand what is actually happening to your body when you feel one coming on.

You may think that tossing back shots all night is providing your body with fluids, but that is so far from the truth. Oh you had a vodka cranberry? And there was ice in it? So you’re hydrated? Nope, you’re not. Sorry.

Alcohol is a diureticmeaning it literally drains water out of you. So no matter how much “liquid” you’re consuming–and come on, we know it’s a lot–you are still ridding your body of all the good stuff that keeps it hydrated when you hit the bars.  Hello, headache that might actually split your head in two.

Here’s the exciting news: you can prevent a hangover headache by tossing back around ¼ cup of pickle juice either right before you hit the sheets or first thing when you wake up in the morning.  The salt and vinegar in the pickle juice, aka the brine, will cause your body to start storing water and restoring electrolytes to put your body back in balance.

pickle juice

Photo by Hannah Petersen

Sounds ridiculous, I know, but Dr. Oz swears by it, so I’m willing to jump on board. I also love pickles.

Next time you have a marathon night out and become a little too friendly with the Svedka, pinch your nose and toss back some pickle juice (preferably when you are still drunk), because it’s so crazy it just might work.

Hangover still hanging around?  Check out these articles for more tips: