Getty/ Jonathan Leibson
We always await the January day when the annual Goop detox plan arrives in our inbox, but let's not get ahead of ourselves: Before getting our bodies on track, there's New Year's Eve fun to be had. This means many of us will probably usher in 2016 with nausea, the shakes, and maybe even a splitting headache—all in varying degrees.
But, wait! Gwyneth Paltrow is the queen of detoxing—and not just when the goal is a sleeker physique. The actress has offered many a hangover remedy over the years (though they haven't earned quite the amount of buzz as her strict diet regimens). And in true Goop spirit, they range from offbeat (pickled plums) to surprisingly normal (Alka-Seltzer) to downright refreshing (cheeseburger, extra grease). Read ahead, and pick your anti-poison:
Let's ease into this, shall we? One of Paltrow's more run-of-the-mill remedies is a good old antacid. "Alka-Seltzer can help settle the stomach while also providing aspirin for pain relief," she explains.
Another oft-heard suggestion: Drink water, and then drink some more. But don't wait until the morning after—you can actual help prevent a hangover pretty easily by knocking back enough H2O throughout the night. (Follow the old "drink for drink" rule.)
Here's where things take a turn for the weird. Dr. Frank Lipman, one of Paltrow's go-to wellness gurus, suggests umeboshi plums as a next-day remedy. "It's a naturally processed, pickled plum used throughout the Far East for its incredible health-promoting properties including curing hangovers," he says.
Funnily enough, a certain Byrdie editor (ahem, ahem) has actually tried this particular method in the past. She has two words for you: Oh man. The irony is that you really have to have guts of steel in order to get past the taste and weird, squishy texture of the plums—which most of us don't really have after a night of heavy imbibing. If nothing else, the sourness is kind of a distraction mechanism?
"If you have the time and the inclination, I've found that the best hangover remedy can be a hot-and-cold spa treatment," Paltrow wrote in Goop's 2011 pre–New Year's newsletter. But not to fear if, unlike the actress, you don't have half a dozen wellness resorts on speed dial (we assume). "I've been known to recreate this experience at home, too," she concedes. "Just draw a bath that is as hot as you can handle it and mix in some Epsom salts and baking soda. Soak for 20 minutes and then pop into a freezing cold shower for one minute. Get back in the hot bath and stay until you're warmed up. Then get back in the shower for one more minute."
Our only addendum to this is to make sure you're staying very hydrated while doing this. While salt can be helpful in drawing out toxins, it also makes you dehydrated—which will just worsen your symptoms if you don't replenish.
Paltrow cites a London-based pharmacist who recommends taking these herbal pills as a preemptive measure. Dr. Lipman echoes that because milk thistle is purported to support healthy liver function, it can potentially help your body's natural detoxification response.
Amino acid NAC acts in a similar fashion to Milk Thistle, says Lipman. "[It] turns into glutathione, the master of all antioxidants and the master detoxifier," he explains. Take it before you head out for the evening.
Even Paltrow, the high priestess of clean eating, can get behind some hangover fries, okay? She told Ross Matthews in 2013 that when she forgets to partake in her preventative measures—or all other remedies fail her—she'll just go for "something greasy." Scientists (and nutritionists) will tell you that indulging in junk food doesn't actually help your symptoms, but hey—on occasion, it's a really delicious placebo.
Have you tried any of these methods before? Better yet—what's your go-to method for getting rid of a hangover in a flash? Tell us your tips in the comments below!