There are many different hangover cures out there, and some of them actually work, which is fortunate since hangovers can often feel deadly. It’s common to feel incredibly sick when you’re hungover. From pounding headaches and nausea, to fatigue and low mood (since alcohol is a depressant) it’s definitely not fun to be hungover. Needless to say, one of the top benefits of living a sober lifestyle is no longer having to deal with horrible hangovers.
The discomfort we feel during a hangover has led many people to experiment with countless “hangover cures” over the years, apparently capable of making you feel as good as new. While some options appear to be based entirely on speculation (such as chugging a pint of pickle juice), others do seem to be backed by science.
Below are some hangover cures you can try out, so you can potentially feel much better:
1.Take Supplements or ‘Recovery Capsules’
Research into supplements capable of curing your hangovers is limited, but some studies are beginning to emerge about the potential of various supplements to help your body recover from the effects of excess alcohol consumption. Some of the supplements you can try include:
- Red ginseng: Supplementing with red ginseng can reduce blood alcohol levels after a rough night and minimize hangover symptoms.
- Prickly pear: Research indicates this unique kind of cactus could decrease hangover symptoms and help to treat sickness and nausea.
- Ginger: Ginger is excellent for reducing nausea, but it could also be useful at protecting against alcohol-induced liver damage.
- Borage oil: Combining borage oil and prickly pear into a supplement could be extremely useful. One study found this mixture minimized symptoms for 88% of patients.
- Eleuthero: Supplementing with Eleuthero, or Siberian ginseng can decrease the severity of your hangover, and common symptoms.
A quick Google search along the lines of “hangover recovery capsules” will allow you to find
supplements that are formulated to be hangover cure capsules. An example of this is FlyBy recovery capsules, formulated with hangovers in mind.
2.Eat a Good Breakfast
If your stomach is churning the morning after too many cocktails, the last thing you’re likely to want is a hearty breakfast. However, research shows a good breakfast can be one of the best ways to eliminate your hangover, and get you back into recovery mode. Hangover cures are fun to experiment with, but eating a hearty breakfast is one of the top hangover cures out there.
A solid breakfast will help you to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. While blood sugar issues aren’t always the cause of a hangover, they can make your symptoms worse, leading to fatigue, weakness, and nausea.
Studies show maintaining adequate blood sugar levels could help to protect your body from some of the changes that occur after alcohol consumption, such as the build of acidic substances in the blood. The more you drink, the more you can throw off the PH of your blood, causing symptoms of vomiting and nausea.
If you’re wondering what to eat for breakfast, research on the best foods for a hangover are limited. Some studies indicate L-cysteine found in yogurt, oats, and eggs could be beneficial, while others suggest it may be helpful to eat foods high in zinc, such as seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Perhaps some egg whites on whole-grain toast will settle your stomach?
3.Stay Hydrated with Water and Electrolyte Beverages
Alcohol doesn’t just give you a buzz, it also affects your body in a range of ways, including making you very dehydrated. Alcohol has a natural diuretic effect, which means it increases your body’s production of urine and leads to a rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes.
If you have a pounding headache after a night of drinking, dehydration is playing a role.
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can also increase your risk of diarrhoea and vomiting, causing the loss of extra fluids.
While dehydration might not be the only cause of your hangover, it will contribute to everything from fatigue to headaches and dizziness. Increasing your water intake or stocking up on some sports drinks for electrolytes will help to get you back on track.
Coconut water is another great beverage to keep in your fridge as a hangover cure, because it contains plenty of electrolytes and is very hydrating.
Salty liquids such as bouillon soup could also help you to replace some of the potassium and salt lost from excessive alcohol.
4.Try Over-the-Counter Pain Relief
Sometimes the best solutions to a hangover are also the simplest. Over-the-counter pain medications and NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can reduce pain and treat issues associated with inflammation, such as muscle pains and headaches.
One study into a medication made with naproxen and a certain kind of antihistamine named fexofenadine found the substance could significantly reduce hangover severity.
Notably, while these medications may be helpful in some situations, they’re not ideal for every case. If you’re experiencing symptoms of nausea and stomach pain, NSAIDs can make your problems worse, and irritate your digestive system.
Pain relievers containing acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) are also particularly dangerous for use after drinking, as they can increase your risk of liver damage.
5.Sleep it Off
Everyone feels better after a good night’s sleep. More than just a time to rest and relax, sleep is an important part of your body’s recovery process. While you sleep, your system will be able to process the alcohol and get it out of your system without having to power the rest of your body.
Unfortunately, alcohol can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, as it’s commonly responsible for reduced sleep quality and duration.
Though you might be tempted to get up and power through with the rest of your day after a long night of drinking, a lack of sleep will make your symptoms much worse. You’re more likely to suffer from irritability, headaches, fatigue, and other common issues if you’re not well-rested. Giving your body time to recover with an extra nap may make your hangover more manageable.
The only problem with sleeping all day when you’re hungover, is that when you’re sleeping, you’re not drinking water. You definitely need to drink several glasses of water (and electrolyte beverages such as coconut water) before you lay down to sleep it off, and hydrate some more after you wake up.
6.Coffee and Smoothies
A morning cup of coffee isn’t just a great way to give you back some of your missing energy, it can also help with a range of other symptoms associated with your hangover.
The caffeine in your coffee will help to give you an energy boost, while the coffee itself can help to settle your stomach. Just be careful how much coffee you drink, as the substance can also be a diuretic, which can increase your dehydration symptoms.
After you’ve enjoyed one cup of coffee, consider swapping that with a smoothie so you can start getting some vitamins and minerals back into your systems. A smoothie or home-made juice will give you quicker access to vitamin C which helps to maintain glutathione levels and detox your body.
7.Try Vitamin B as a Hangover Cure
While research into the benefits of vitamin B for hangover cures is still somewhat limited, some studies do suggest this vitamin could be more powerful than it appears. According tothis report, vitamin B6 helped to reduce the severity and number of hangover symptoms in study participants. Check out these healthy foods high in vitamin B6, and consider eating these foods when you’re hungover.
The researchers also found the benefits of vitamin B were even greater when it was combined with a dose of zinc. Adding these substances to your nutrition strategy for the day after a hangover could help you to recover faster.
If nothing else, consuming vitamin B complex can give you a host of other great benefits if you commit to it on a daily basis. Vitamin B complex supports higher energy levels (great for fatigue during a hangover), and improves strong digestion and healthy brain function. Vitamin B can also contribute to a healthy appetite to help you eat during a hangover.
8.Be Careful with ‘Hair of the Dog’
One of the most controversial hangover cures out there is ‘hair of the dog’, which implies that drinking a bit of alcohol when you’re hungover could help cure your hangover. According to Dr Robert Swift, a researcher for the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, there could be some benefit to drinking a little bit of alcohol during your hangover to reduce symptoms. Alcohol interacts with certain GABA receptors in the brain, helping to reduce feelings of pain and discomfort while your symptoms wear off.
However, according to Swift, the ‘hair of the dog’ hangover cure route doesn’t actually allow for recovery, as it just perpetuates a cycle of drinking.
While some people swear by this strategy as a way of reducing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, relying on drinking to reduce your hangover symptoms could indicate a problem with drinking. The ‘hair of the dog’ hangover cure is probably the unhealthiest one.
9.Hangover Prevention: The Ultimate Hangover Cure? Choose Your Drinks Wisely
Preventative measures might be the best hangover cure there is. Knowing your limits when it comes to alcohol ensures you won’t push yourself to a point where you’re going to make yourself extremely sick the following day.
Choosing your alcoholic beverages wisely might also help prevent a hangover. You could try avoiding drinks with high levels of “congeners”. These are the toxic by-products formed during the fermentation process used for most alcohols. Studies indicate high levels of congeners could increase the severity and frequency of hangovers.
These substances may also slow the metabolism of alcohol, which causes your symptoms to last longer. Drinking vodka, gin, or rum (alcohol options low in congeners), could help prevent a hangover, as can drinking lots of water in between alcoholic beverages. It has been said that whiskey and cognac, which contain high levels of congeners, could lead to worse hangover symptoms in the morning.
10.Know Your Body
Finally, one of the best ways to not only cure a hangover, but prevent them in the first place, is to get to know your body a little better. Understanding how your body responds to different substances means you can figure out which drinks you might want to avoid in advance of drinking.
A CircleDNA test can tell you if you have an alcohol intolerance, and give you insight into your body’s response to various substances. This simple at-home DNA test could even help you to determine whether or not you have potential food sensitivities you didn’t know about. If you have an intolerance to hops, for instance, or certain grains, avoiding drinking beer might mean you experience fewer side effects from drinking.
Can You Really Cure a Hangover?
There’s no instant cure for a hangover, but some of the above ‘hangover cures’ might work for you to get you starting to feel better. They might not work instantaneously, but they’ll help. In other words, there are steps you can take to accelerate the recovery process if you’re hungover, or reduce your chances of ending up with a hangover in the first place.
Some of the above hangover cures might feel unnatural. For example, you might not feel like eating breakfast because you feel sick. Similarly, you might not want that 6th glass of water, but you need to drink it to compensate for alcohol-related dehydration.