Ten Hangover Cures
Pounding head, upset stomach, foggy brain: you know the drill. Hangover cures are things of legend. Here are a few tricks people swear by to wipe out the worst morning after.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which is why you have to urinate more frequently when you’re drinking. This can lead to dehydration, causing common hangover symptoms like headache and dry mouth. Drinking water is the simplest way to hydrate quickly. You might also try drinking liquids with electrolytes, such as sports drinks and Pedialyte.
If you have a wicked hangover headache, an over-the-counter pain reliever like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen might provide some relief. You may even want to pop a couple of tablets before bed. Keep in mind that taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as Advil, may irritate your stomach if you’re already nauseated. Avoid taking Tylenol if you have alcohol in your system, because acetaminophen has a higher risk of damaging your liver, which is already being taxed with alcohol.
Hangover symptoms, such as fatigue and nausea, may be caused by low blood sugar. Eating a carb-concentrated meal when you wake up can get your blood sugar levels back to normal. A simple breakfast like toast and juice is gentle on your stomach and will set your body straight. Eating a banana or other high-sugar fresh fruit is another smart choice. Need to hydrate too? Try watermelon.
The last thing you want to do when you’re hungover is move. But many people report that exercise does make you feel better. Not immediately, mind you. But once you get started, you’ll turn the proverbial corner and start to feel better after a few minutes. Sweating helps metabolize some of the alcohol. Endorphins will boost your mood and energy levels. Stick with light exercise and don’t push yourself too hard. Drink more water than usual, since your body is already dehydrated.
Black coffee won’t sober you up, but it can help banish hangover grogginess. Drinking alcohol dilates your blood vessels, which can cause a headache. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant, so it raises your heart rate and constricts blood vessels, which eases aches and pains. Any drink with caffeine will work. Just be sure to also drink water, because caffeine is a diuretic and may make dehydration worse.
Sometimes the simplest cures are the best. Drinking bouillon soup, basically a watery broth made from vegetables, can relieve multiple hangover symptoms at once. It’s easy for your upset stomach to digest, provides extra sodium and potassium to replenish your body, and you don’t even have to chew. Just fill up a cup and sip until you feel better. If your stomach can handle a heartier remedy, try chicken noodle soup, pho, or ramen.
Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, causing the classic hangover symptom of an upset stomach. If you’re looking for a natural remedy to soothe your tummy, try ginger. It helps your digestion and can even boost your energy. A study of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment reported that ginger reduced vomiting by 60% and fatigue by 80%. Drinking ginger tea is a simple way to soothe your system; or, look for ginger fruit chews at the grocery.
In the past, this remedy was only available to people in the medical profession. Now “drip bars” have opened up in many cities and you can pop in for an infusion of saline, vitamins, nausea medication, and other healthy boosters. The upside is that it works fast, since you bypass the irksome gastric process and go straight into the blood stream. The downside is that the hangover IV treatment can be expensive. And needles, there are needles.
Studies show taking vitamin B might make your hangover less severe. B vitamins help combat fatigue and low energy. Try eating eggs for breakfast or taking a B6 supplement. Some experts recommend popping 400 mg of B6 before you start drinking, then another dose in 3 hours, and one more dose at the end of the night. Zinc and vitamin C are also helpful immune system boosters that support your body after a night of overindulgence.
When you have a horrible hangover, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis could be the cure you’re looking for. The psychoactive THC component isn’t required for feeling better. A little CBD may help with nausea, headache, and other aches and pains caused by a long night of drinking. It may also increase your appetite. Though there’s currently no definitive study that cannabis works as a hangover cure, there are many anecdotal recommendations that claim it’s worth a try.