Quick way to cure a hangover: The 6 Best Ways to Prevent (and Cure) a Hangover
The 6 Best Ways to Prevent (and Cure) a Hangover
Certain foods, supplements, and over-the-counter products can help get rid of a hangover. Some practices may even help prevent you from getting one in the first place.
From pounding headaches to stomach pain, fatigue, and irritability, many of us are all too familiar with the long list of hangover symptoms that often follow a night of heavy drinking.
Although there’s no shortage of purported hangover cures — such as chugging a glass of pickle juice or rubbing a lemon in your armpit before drinking — only a few are backed by science.
Fortunately, there are several ways to relieve symptoms of a hangover, as well as steps you can take to prevent or limit it.
This article looks at 6 easy, evidence-based ways to prevent or relieve a hangover.
1. Avoid drinks with congeners
Through the process of ethanol fermentation, sugars are converted into carbon dioxide and ethanol, also known as alcohol.
Congeners are toxic chemical byproducts that are also formed in small amounts during this process. Different alcoholic beverages contain varying amounts (1).
Some studies have found that consuming drinks high in congeners could increase the frequency and severity of hangovers. Congeners may also slow the metabolism of alcohol, which can prolong your symptoms (1).
Drinks that are low in congeners include vodka, gin, and rum (1).
Meanwhile, tequila, whiskey, and cognac are all high in congeners, with bourbon whiskey containing the most (1).
In one older study, 95 young adults drank enough vodka or bourbon to reach a breath alcohol concentration of 0.11%. Those drinking high congener bourbon experienced worse hangovers than those drinking low congener vodka (2).
According to another small study in eight people, higher rates of alcohol elimination could be associated with decreased hangover severity. In other words, the faster your body can process the alcohol you drink, the fewer hangover symptoms you may experience (3).
Choosing drinks that are low in congeners could help speed up the metabolism of alcohol and therefore reduce the incidence and severity of hangovers. However, more recent, high quality studies are still needed.
Choosing drinks that are low in congeners, such as vodka, gin, and rum, could decrease the severity and frequency of hangovers, but more research is needed.
2. Stay hydrated
Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration in a few different ways.
First, alcohol has a diuretic effect, meaning that it increases the production of urine. This can lead to the loss of fluids and electrolytes that your body needs in order to function properly (4, 5).
Second, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, causing further loss of fluids and electrolytes (6).
Although dehydration is not the only cause of a hangover, it contributes to many common hangover symptoms, including increased thirst, fatigue, headache, and dizziness (7).
As such, increasing your water intake may alleviate some symptoms of hangovers — or potentially even prevent them altogether.
When drinking alcohol, a good rule is to alternate between a glass of water and an alcoholic drink. Though this won’t necessarily prevent dehydration, it can help you moderate your alcohol intake.
Stay hydrated throughout the following day by drinking water whenever you feel thirsty.
Drinking alcohol can cause dehydration, which may worsen certain hangover symptoms. Staying hydrated could reduce hangover symptoms such as thirst, fatigue, headache, and dizziness.
3. Get plenty of sleep
Alcohol can cause sleep disturbances and may be associated with decreased sleep quality and duration for some people (8).
Though low to moderate amounts of alcohol may initially promote sleep, studies show that higher amounts and chronic use can disrupt sleep patterns (9).
While a lack of sleep doesn’t cause a hangover, it can make one worse. Symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and irritability can become worse as a result of a lack of sleep (10).
Getting a good night’s sleep and allowing your body to recover may alleviate your symptoms and make a hangover more bearable.
Alcohol consumption may interfere with your sleep. A lack of sleep could then contribute to hangover symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, and headaches.
4. Eat a good breakfast
Eating a hearty breakfast is one of the most well-known remedies for a hangover.
One reason is that a good breakfast can help you maintain steady blood sugar levels. Although low blood sugar levels are not necessarily the cause of a hangover, they’re often associated with it (1).
Low blood sugar could also worsen certain hangover symptoms, including nausea, fatigue, and weakness (11).
In fact, some research suggests that maintaining adequate blood sugar levels could mitigate some of the bodily changes that occur with alcohol consumption, such as the buildup of acid in the blood (12).
Excessive drinking can throw off the balance of the chemicals in your blood and cause metabolic acidosis, which is characterized by increased acidity. It’s often associated with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and fatigue (13).
In addition to helping reduce certain hangover symptoms, eating a healthy breakfast can provide important vitamins and minerals that may become depleted with excessive alcohol intake.
Though studies evaluating the effects of specific foods on hangover symptoms are limited, some studies suggest that L-cysteine — a type of amino acid found in eggs, yogurt, and oats — may be beneficial (14).
Eating more zinc-rich foods — such as nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy products, and whole grains — may also be associated with decreased hangover severity (12).
Eating a good breakfast can help maintain your blood sugar levels, provide important vitamins and minerals, and reduce the symptoms of a hangover.
5. Try certain supplements
Though research is limited, some studies suggest that certain supplements could ease a hangover.
The following supplements have been researched for their ability to reduce hangover symptoms:
- Red ginseng. One older study found that supplementing with red ginseng reduced blood alcohol levels and hangover severity (15).
- Prickly pear. Some research suggests that this type of cactus could help treat hangovers. A 2004 study found that prickly pear extract decreased hangover symptoms. It even halved the risk of experiencing severe symptoms (16).
- Ginger. An older study found that a ginger, brown sugar, and tangerine extract improved certain hangover symptoms. According to test-tube and animal studies, compounds found in ginger may also protect against alcohol-induced liver damage (17, 18, 19).
- Borage oil. One study found that a supplement containing both prickly pear and borage oil, an oil derived from the seeds of starflower, reduced hangover symptoms in 88% of participants (20).
- Eleuthero. One study found that supplementing with eleuthero extract — also known as Siberian ginseng — alleviated several hangover symptoms and decreased the overall severity (21).
Keep in mind, though, that research in humans is lacking and that most available studies are outdated. Therefore, further studies are needed to evaluate how effectively supplements may reduce hangover symptoms.
Some supplements, including red ginseng, prickly pear, ginger, borage oil, and eleuthero, have been studied for their ability to decrease hangover symptoms. Still, more research is needed.
6. Take a pain reliever
Over-the-counter pain medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), could help relieve certain symptoms associated with hangovers.
In fact, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin are often used to reduce pain and treat issues that frequently accompany hangovers, such as headaches and muscle aches (22).
What’s more, one small study found that a medication made with a type of NSAID called naproxen and a type of antihistamine called fexofenadine significantly reduced hangover severity compared with placebo (23).
However, you should not use these medications if you’re experiencing symptoms such as nausea or stomach pain, because they could irritate your digestive system and worsen your symptoms (24).
Additionally, keep in mind that pain relievers containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, could increase the risk of liver damage when combined with alcohol. Do not use these to treat a hangover (25).
NSAIDs may help treat certain hangover symptoms and could reduce the severity. However, never use acetaminophen to treat a hangover, and avoid NSAIDs if you’re experiencing digestive symptoms such as nausea or stomach pain.
While there are many well-known hangover cures out there, few are backed by science.
Still, there are several evidence-based ways to avoid or limit the unpleasant symptoms that typically follow a night of drinking.
Strategies include staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, eating a good breakfast, drinking in moderation, limiting high congener drinks, and taking certain supplements or medications.
Just one thing
Try this today: Pairing alcohol with a hearty meal and plenty of water is a great way to moderate your alcohol consumption. It can also help you stay hydrated and increase your intake of vitamins and minerals to help prevent or limit a hangover.
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7 Effective Home Remedies (Supported by Science)
Written by Stephanie Watson
- Korean Pear Juice
- Phyllanthus Amarus
- Pain Relievers
- ‘Hair of the Dog’
If you’ve ever had a few too many drinks on a night out, you know what the next morning can bring. The nausea, headache, parched mouth, and fatigue are telltale signs you’ve got a serious hangover.
Each of these symptoms stems from a different cause. Alcohol disrupts sleep and leaves you groggy in the morning. Drinking widens your blood vessels, which can trigger headaches. Alcohol also irritates the lining of your stomach, leading to nausea and sometimes diarrhea.
For almost as long as humans have had hangovers, we’ve tried to cure them with remedies that run the gamut from vitamin B to pickle juice. Some hangover treatments work better than others, but none is an actual cure. The only way to avoid a hangover is to limit how much you drink or avoid alcohol entirely. And if you find that hangovers are affecting your work or relationships, talk to your doctor about your drinking.
That said, a few hangover remedies can bring you relief from at least some of your symptoms. Here are a few tips to try.
A big glass of water might be the easiest hangover solution. Alcohol dehydrates you by increasing the amount of urine your kidneys make. You also lose fluid when you sweat, vomit, or have diarrhea after a night of bingeing. Dehydration causes symptoms like a dry mouth and headache.
If you drink alcohol, drink water before you go to bed. It will curb the effects of the booze in the morning. Another drink of water when you wake up will help keep you hydrated. Have a sports drink to replace the sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes you’ve lost from vomiting or diarrhea.
Some people say that getting fluids through an IV can help ease hangover symptoms. This method has the informal name of “drip bar.” It can be pricey, and health insurance doesn’t cover the bill. But there’s no need to pay for IV fluids when you can drink a glass of water for free. IVs also carry risks like infection.
Korean pear (Asian pear) juice is an old-school hangover remedy. Research shows that drinking about 7 1/2 ounces helps lower blood alcohol levels and makes hangovers less intense. The catch is, you need to drink it before you have alcohol. Drinking it afterward won’t work.
Researchers say Korean pears might work with your body’s chemistry to break down alcohol faster. Only a couple of studies have been done, which is far from proof that this hangover remedy works. But if you can find Korean pear juice at your local supermarket, it doesn’t hurt to try a glass before you go out drinking.
This root has been a feature of Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Herbalists use it to treat ailments ranging from stress to asthma. In one small study, a drink made from red ginseng cut down hangover symptoms.
An unrelated herb that goes by a similar name, Siberian ginseng extract, also improved hangover symptoms like headache, dizziness, and stomachache. But the Siberian type isn’t the ginseng used in Chinese medicine.
Ginseng is safe for most people. Check with your doctor before using it if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Some evidence suggests it might affect blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
This medicinal herb grows along tropical coasts. It treats liver, kidney, and stomach ailments. In one small study, taking Phyllanthus amarus extract twice a day for 10 days helped lower blood alcohol levels, ease hangover symptoms, and improve mood in regular drinkers.
You can find extracts made from this herb online and in health food stores. Some of these products go by the name “stone breaker” herb. That’s because it may help reduce risk for kidney stones.
Alcohol lowers your blood sugar. That may explain the dizziness and shaking some people get with a hangover. Your brain needs carbs for fuel. Have a couple of slices of wheat toast or a few whole-grain crackers to bring those blood sugar levels back up to normal. You’ll give yourself an energy boost, too.
An over-the-counter pain reliever will calm a pounding headache. Just be careful how much you take. NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin irritate the stomach, which could make nausea worse. Avoid acetaminophen when you have a hangover. It can worsen the bad effects of alcohol on your liver.
The idea behind this popular hangover remedy is that taking another drink will relieve the effects of the last few you had. The name comes from an old folk tale that says the way to treat a dog bite is to cover the wound with hair taken from the dog that bit you.
But the truth is drinking again will just throw your body back into the same destructive cycle without giving it time to heal. Experts don’t recommend trying this method.
When it comes to getting over a hangover, time and rest may be the best medicine. Alcohol disrupts sleep. Even if you go to sleep for a few hours after a night of heavy drinking, it won’t be restful. Once you’ve had a glass of water and popped a pain reliever, slip back under the covers and catch up on more restorative sleep.
Nutrition and sleep: Self-care: Lenta.ru
They say that if you walk well in the evening, it will be bad in the morning. A hangover manifests itself differently for each person, but the symptoms of this condition always interfere with normal working capacity, concentration, and life in general. Often, after fun gatherings, people turn to the unchanged cucumber or cabbage pickle and other folk methods of dealing with a hangover syndrome, passed down from generation to generation. Will they help? Experts doubt this and warn that in some cases there will be only harm from such funds. “Lenta.ru” found out what really needs to be done with a hangover.
What is a hangover
Hangover, according to psychologist and narcologist Oleg Shevchenko, is a post-intoxication condition that appears approximately 8-10 hours after alcohol abuse. It is characterized by nausea, severe headache, sweating and dehydration.
Liquid is actively excreted together with ethanol – hence thirst and dizziness. And irritation of the gastric mucosa causes abdominal pain and vomiting. Acetaldehyde, which appears during the breakdown of ethanol, causes tachycardia, affects the central nervous system, and reduces sleep. In addition, the nervous system suffers – there is increased anxiety, unreasonable panic, trembling and weakness in the arms and legs
Oleg Shevchenkopsychologist and narcologist
The duration of this state can be up to three days, although it usually does not exceed 24 hours. It all depends on the amount drunk, weight and gender. In men, alcohol is excreted faster than in women, and overweight people get rid of alcohol and its decay products faster than thin people.
The medications a person takes also play a role. Some of these can make hangover symptoms worse, so it’s best to avoid drinking while on medication.
The main symptoms of a hangover:
- increased pressure and, as a result, headache;
- gastrointestinal disorder;
- nausea and vomiting;
- photophobia and incoordination;
- intense thirst;
- swelling of the face;
- tremor of limbs;
- muscle aches;
- general weakness.
Is a hangover dangerous
Painful sensations the next morning after heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages in a healthy person occur due to poisoning by the breakdown products of ethanol, primarily acetaldehyde. Hangover symptoms – headache, nausea, dizziness – are painful, but after a while they pass by themselves. Often, to relieve a headache, one tablet of “No-shpy” or “Spasmaton” is enough.
For people with alcohol dependence, the situation is more complicated. In their case, a hangover can result in delirium tremens and other psychoses. “It is impossible to treat such a person with folk remedies,” explains narcologist and psychiatrist Nikolai Nazaryev. “In some cases, this can only be done in a hospital setting.”
Abstinence, that is, chronic alcoholic withdrawal syndrome, must be removed with the help of a specialist who will put a dropper for detoxification
Nikolai Nazaryev Narcologist and psychiatrist who is not addicted, at this moment he is disgusted with alcohol, while in alcoholics the opposite is true.
Signs of alcoholism:
- the need for alcohol increases on the background of the slightest stress;
- people do not control the amount of alcohol they drink;
- develops alcohol tolerance;
- amnesia appears for the period of intoxication;
- personality changes in the absence of alcohol: the patient’s mood deteriorates, he becomes nervous;
- appear alcoholic psychosis (delirium): hallucinations on the background of insomnia, tremors, nervousness and lack of appetite.
When considering home remedies for dealing with a hangover, it should be understood that they will help only those who are not addicted to alcohol. For people suffering from alcoholism, only drug treatment and drug treatment will help.
How to get rid of a hangover at home
First of all, you should eliminate the causes of a hangover: dehydration and intoxication. To do this, it is necessary to restore the water-salt balance, as well as the level of sugar and oxygen in the blood.
How to restore the water-salt balance, sugar and oxygen levels in the blood?
- Long sleep. Despite the fact that excessive drinking usually makes sleep short, restless and superficial, it will be difficult to get rid of a hangover syndrome without proper rest. If possible, you need to sleep as much as possible, rest and recuperate.
- Oxygen supply. Fresh air, which saturates the blood with oxygen, helps to remove acetaldehyde from the blood faster. It’s good to go out and walk. If this is not possible, the room should be well ventilated.
- Drink plenty of water. Alcohol is a diuretic, removing water and electrolytes, without which the body’s systems cannot function normally. Vomiting, which is also common during a hangover, leads to even more fluid loss. Therefore, it is very important to drink more at this time – you can just clean water, you can orange or grapefruit juice, because after alcohol abuse the body needs vitamin C. To restore the level of electrolytes, it is useful to add salt, sugar or honey to the water – the latter contains trace elements and redox enzymes that positively affect metabolism.
- Anti-hangover herbal remedies. Red ginseng, ginger and eleutherococcus extract are good for nausea, vomiting and indigestion. Foods that contain antioxidants, such as spinach, carrots, nuts, green tea, are also useful.
- Balanced diet. For breakfast on a hangover morning, try to eat lean protein and complex carbohydrates. For example, oatmeal, chicken and steamed fish, chicken broth, which is quickly digested and restores strength. Fermented milk products are also good – they are rich in trace elements and vitamins and partially neutralize intoxication.
- Contrast shower. He will invigorate and refresh after waking up. “Keep in mind that a contrast shower is contraindicated in diseases of the cardiovascular system, hypertension and withdrawal symptoms in chronic alcoholics,” warns Oleg Shevchenko. “In these cases, it is better to take a regular cool shower.”
Photo: Eva Bronzini / Pexels
Folk and medicines
For a mild hangover, simple recipes are effective to help relieve unpleasant symptoms.
The most popular and effective folk remedy for a hangover:
- Cabbage or cucumber pickle. They stop dehydration of the body, eliminate swelling, saturate the body with B and C vitamins. An important point is that the brine should be without vinegar. Vinegar will irritate the stomach, which is already suffering from the effects of alcohol.
- Adsorbents. Activated charcoal, polysorb, enterosgel accelerate the elimination of toxins, relieve symptoms of intoxication, and prevent the absorption of acetaldehyde into the blood. True, some experts, in particular the narcologist Nikolai Nazaryev, consider these funds to be ineffective. “It’s too late to use activated charcoal for a hangover, because the metabolic products have already been absorbed,” he says.
- Glycine. It tones and normalizes mental activity.
- Regidron. This tool prevents dehydration and compensates for the lack of minerals and salts.
What not to do when you have a hangover
It must be borne in mind that the wrong actions can aggravate your condition. Here is what the narcologist and psychologist Oleg Shevchenko advises:
- Sometimes you want to eat more when you have alcohol poisoning. However, you should not take heavy fatty foods, because, like alcohol, it puts a huge burden on the liver, and also slows down the process of removing toxins.
- Eliminate strong tea, coffee, any carbonated drinks – all this gives an extra burden on the cardiovascular system and kidneys.
- Don’t get drunk! An additional dose of alcohol will only increase the intoxication of the body, the concentration of acetaldehyde in the blood will increase. Relief of the state after a hangover will soon end, and everything will start all over again.
- Do not eat spicy hot soups, which, of course, can invigorate, but also greatly irritate an already exhausted stomach.
- You should not go to the bath or sauna, although it is believed that toxins and ethanol metabolite products come out with sweat. But the benefits are not so great, but sweating a dehydrated body is extremely harmful. In addition, hot steam puts additional stress on the heart.
- Do not take medicines containing paracetamol. It has a bad effect on the liver, which already suffers from alcohol abuse. You should also not take Corvalol and Valocordin: they contain phenobarbital, which can cause delirium while taking alcohol. Instead, it is better to use preparations based on acetylsalicylic acid, such as aspirin or cardiomagnyl.
How to get rid of an unpleasant smell from a hangover
This smell, popularly called fumes, appears due to the breakdown of ethanol. It will disappear completely only after the final removal of alcohol from the body, but there are several effective ways to help muffle it:
- rinsing the mouth with mint or water with the addition of essential oil;
- a small amount of coffee beans, nutmeg, parsley, bay leaf – these should be chewed well;
- mint flavored chewing gum;
- refreshing mouth sprays;
- toothbrushing the root of the tongue.
How to prevent a hangover
Obviously, not to fight a hangover, but simply to avoid it. This is not so difficult to do, and it is not at all necessary to give up alcoholic fun. It is enough to take precautionary measures before the start of the feast.
First of all, you should drink high-quality drinks, because the severity of the state of the next day is determined not only by alcohol itself, but also by various flavor enhancers and other additives. Before the party, try to eat well, even if you have plentiful snacks on the festive table. It is better to snack on alcohol while drinking with something light: salads, fruits, bread – fiber acts as an absorbent. But drinking carbonated drinks is not worth it. In general, you should drink more water during a feast to speed up the withdrawal of alcohol
Oleg ShevchenkoPsychologist and narcologist
Russian scientists have discovered that peach juice is the ideal cure for a hangover. As the specialists of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Biotechnology” said, they examined it for the content of biologically active substances. “Consumption of peaches and peach juice products reduces oxidative stress in the body, and peach juice consumption may have a protective effect on metabolic disorders caused by obesity, including hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and insulin and leptin resistance,” the study authors note.
10 ways to get rid of a hangover
Medicine and health
A painkiller tablet and a bowl of warm soup can help with a hangover after the holidays. But everyone has their own ways. Our readers told how they stand under a contrast shower in the morning and drink herbal tea for nausea. A lot of new tips have accumulated in the comments – we are sharing them with you.
Daria Ristevski: “Yesterday I overdid it. It’s been hard since morning. It’s good that there is pho-bo “
Price: the average price in Moscow is 395 R
Olga Deltsova: “For some reason, food from Maca helps out in the morning. Or something else fat”
Price: from 99 R for “Makzavtrak”
Lyubyatov’s cracker: “Doshik comes in great in the morning”
Price: 901 94 from 20 R
Nellie Z: “After each glass, drink a glass of water. Firstly, with this approach, you won’t drink much, and secondly, you won’t get dehydrated”
Price: from 16 R for 0.5 l
John Wick: “And when you wake up after drinking, you can look down, walk around for a couple of minutes and fall asleep in a hungover state. So you sleep while the body is recovering”
Egor Grishin: “After drinking, before going to bed, I drink painkillers. This makes the morning aftermath easier. In the morning, if the hangover is mild, I try not to eat anything, ideally until the evening, otherwise the condition worsens sharply”
Price: 102 R
Svetlana Schastlivaya: “A cool shower and pu-erh are a must in the morning. Puer amazingly removes all withdrawal symptoms after a spree. If you don’t have it, you can use green tea without sugar”
Price: from 105 R
Bacon and eggs
Daria: “Hangover breakfast works well: scrambled eggs with bacon and a glass of orange juice. The main thing is not to start the morning with sweets and other empty carbohydrates”
Price: The average price in Moscow is 260 R
Radik R.: “My way to cure a hangover is steeply salted tomato juice. And also there used to be a Polish cocktail “Klukovka”, a real balm: relief came with every sip”
Price: from 35 R per 0.33 l
Sleep at home
Vinsent Teil: “In any case, you need to go sleep home. Like a secular aristocrat, you wake up in your bed, take a bath and drink some water with lemon. For me, the main thing is not to experience feelings of guilt and anxiety after drinking”
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