8 Hangover Cures That Work
A simple, reliable, and effective morning solution to drinking too much the night before is a secret sought after nearly as much as the fountain of youth. With equally successful results.
Like the snake oil salesman of the American old west, many proclaim to know the hangover antidote. You probably have your own method that you’ve used since your college days. But what actually works? Does a real hangover cure exist at all? The science of the human body can hint at various ways to tackle many of the symptoms associated with hangovers, but the only thing we know for sure is—it’s never simple. There isn’t even a consensus on what causes a hangover in the first place.
Listed below are several things you can do to make it easier for yourself after a long night of partying, as well as several things that should definitely never be attempted in your quest for the mysterious hangover cure.
When you wake up the morning after a having a few too many drinks, your liver is still busy metabolizing everything you threw at it the night before (truly, if you haven’t already, take a moment to give your liver a pat on the back). Normally, the liver is responsible for breaking down the carbs you eat into glucose, the body’s main source of energy. However, during a hangover, your liver is preoccupied, and blood sugar levels fall dramatically, resulting in irritability and drowsiness. Eating a large breakfast that includes toast, pancakes, oatmeal, or cereal will help combat your hangover-induced desire to strangle your roommate or significant other.
2. Pain Medication
Be careful with this one. If you only drink on occasion, anti-inflammatory pain-killers like Ibuprofen and Aspirin can help with the throbbing headache you may have. However, heavy drinkers beware—using any of these could lead to liver damage, or even bleeding stomach lining. So consider things carefully, but don’t worry about the potential negatives of having to consider your drinking routine—pill bottles don’t judge.
If you can manage a (very) mild workout despite whatever obscenities your body may be screaming at you, the release of endorphins can lead to a helpful boost in your mood. However, make sure to hydrate—in a hangover, your body is already dehydrated, so a workout may lead to you sweating out even more liquids, which only makes things worse.
It doesn’t matter how much sleep you managed to get before waking up with the hangover, because none of it was any good. Although alcohol consumption helps when it comes to falling asleep, the effects eventually wear off in the middle of the night, and your angry body will toss and turn in unsatisfactory sleep. Although few have time for this option, taking an afternoon nap once the alcohol has finally been metabolized is a fantastic way to let the body handle the hangover symptoms on its own.
This is the most effective and important remedy on this list. Most of the hangover symptoms are caused as a result of the dehydrating effects of alcohol—did you really think you could use the bathroom that many times in one night without consequences?—and the best way to combat this is by replacing the lost fluids. Some swear by Gatorade/Powerade, and although the replacement of electrolytes has been shown in studies to not be immediately necessary in helping with a hangover, a bottle of the stuff could help with your headache in the long run.
6. Rally Capsules
With excellent reviews on Amazon, Rally Capsules makes my Hangover cure list. You simply take two capsules per 4-5 alcoholic beverages before, during, or after alcohol consumption, but must be taken before bed and wake up feeling great! For maximum effect they suggest taking two capsules immediately prior to drinking, and another two capsules immediately after your last beverage. This is the kind of product you want to have stashed in your car or at home in the event you have plans or work the following day and don’t want to be hung over for them. Rally Capsules
Contains Vitamins B and C to replenish nutrients lost during alcohol consumption. It also contains powerful antioxidant Dihydromyricetin (extract of Hovenia Dulcis).
7. Cook The Right Foods
Alcohol can easily irritate your digestive system. Drinking – even a little – makes your stomach produce more acid than usual, which can in turn cause gastritis (the inflammation of the stomach lining). This triggers tummy pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in heavy drinkers, even bleeding. The greasy McDonalds meal suggested at the start of this article may work for some people, but odds are, the older you get the more your stomach will hate the idea of eating a crap breakfast when hungover.
Instead, I suggest you check out “The Hungover Cookbook” which has dozens of easy recipes to help cure your hangover pains.
8. Mercy Restore, Ginger Lemongrass
This sounds awful, but an old girlfriend I had gave me one a few years ago. I was literally stuck to her leather couch one summer morning (her air conditioner was broken) and she wanted to get on with the day. I could tell she only had a few of these left and didn’t really want to waste one on me…. but I needed it.
Mercy Restore claims it’s designed to aid your body’s powerful natural ability to heal itself by delivering a unique blend of vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and herbs to detox the body and return you to peak condition. All I know is it worked well. I drank one after a long night of partying, took a short nap and was able to function throughout the day. I bought a bunch on Amazon, had them shipped to me for next to nothing and I keep them in the back of the fridge.
What Doesn’t Work
Drinking More: The “hair of the dog” is a fan-favorite method of helping with a hangover, but the sad reality is that the negative effects of alcohol cannot be solved with more alcohol—only postponed. A morning drink only delays the inevitable, and will ultimately make your situation worse. Swap out your whiskey for water.
Sauna: No, you cannot “sweat out” the previous night’s toxins, and how this ever became an accepted remedy is beyond me. Excessive sweating will only serve to dehydrate you and drop your blood pressure to ridiculously low levels, and may actually be a dangerous practice that could send you to the hospital.
Coffee: Although a general no-no when it comes to a hangover cure—the caffeine in coffee really only serves to dehydrate you more—if you are the kind of person who requires a morning cup or two of coffee to be able to operate, go ahead and maintain that routine but don’t drink too much. The last thing you need is a caffeine-withdrawal headache on top of the one you already have.