The best hangover cure? Coconut water

I’ve been pretty happy with the greasy food approach, but next time around I’ll be giving this a try. – Coconut Water Is Sweet Hangover Relief

Coconut water, which is extracted from fruit too young to have formed milk, is low in calories and has no fat and a lot less sugar than most juices. But its most important attribute, at least among barflies, is that it is an excellent rehydrater.

Bit of bar trivia: 10 years ago, when the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was granted a patent — the first ever given to a U.N. agency — for bottling coconut water in a way that preserves its nutrients, an FAO official noted that the drink contains the same five electrolytes found in human blood (Gatorade has only two). He called coconut water “the fluid of life.” Indeed, in medical emergencies, coconut water has been used intravenously when conventional hydration fluids were not available.

Most hangovers are less dire than that, but the killer headache that follows a night of drinking is essentially the result of being really dehydrated. All those $2 Pabst Blue Ribbons act as a diuretic, flushing the water out of your body, which then has trouble absorbing more. That’s where those electrolytes come in, according to Lilian Cheung, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health.


  1. Phillip Osmon

    Very interesting. I had always though Gatorade was perhaps the best hydrator out there. Also, I’ll commit using coconut milk as an intravenous rehydration supplement to memory, in case of a disaster where coconut milk is plentiful.

  2. Kris

    Yeah coconut water works so well! I use Vita Coco which has more electrolytes than Gatorade and more potassium than two bananas, so I think Phillips’s switch will do him well. The other thing is that Vita Coco is pretty easy to get your hands on, either at the supermarket or online.

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