So, you’ve got a hangover. You went out drinking and now you’ve got a throbbing head, upset stomach, you are trembling, experiencing fatigue, and dry mouth. You’re not alone. About 75% of people who drink to the point of intoxication report experiencing a hangover at least some of the time. You are not alone!
A hangover is a terrible way to end a night of fun and it can cause you to miss out on important life events and work the following day (if not several days!) This article will give you 8 suggestions on how to get rid of a hangover, or even prevent it from happening in the first place, so you can still have a fun night out and feel fine and refreshed the following day.
1. Drink water.
Water will help to treat the dehydration portion of the hangover and can improve your headache symptoms. While you’re out drinking, try to have at least one glass of water for every alcoholic drink that you drink. Then, try to drink a tall glass of water before you go to bed and another one when you wake up in the morning.
Continue to drink water throughout the day to ensure that you stay hydrated. You will be surprised at how much water loss you experience after a night on the sauce!
2. Eat complex carbohydrates.
Bland, carb-containing foods like toast or crackers may help to treat the low-blood sugar issues caused by alcohol. Eating these foods can help to ease the symptoms of nausea that you feel while hung over.
There is a reason they call it ‘drunk food!’ While it may not be the healthiest, consider indulging in your favorite pizza, pasta, or Asian food after a late night of drinking to help avoid a hangover. This will also help soak up the excess liquor in your system.
3. Load up on electrolytes.
Foods that are high in the electrolytes salt and potassium can help to decrease the dehydration that you experience during a hangover. Try eating a banana and a pretzel, but other potassium rich foods should do the job as well. Consider trying Swiss chard, dried apricots, and potatoes along with something salty.
4. Drink ginger or peppermint tea.
Certain types of herbal teas are known for their stomach-calming effects. Ginger and peppermint tea can be particularly effective at helping to treat the nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea symptoms associated with alcohol. Because alcohol can also lower your immune system, this is a great way to fight off a cold at the same time!
5. Get enough sleep.
When a friend tells you to “sleep it off”, they might not be wrong. Getting enough sleep can help you fight off the fatigue that you experience with your hangover and can help get you back to normal sooner. Getting enough sleep is an important step any day of the week, of course!
6. Try an aspirin or ibuprofen.
If your headache symptoms continue, an anti-inflammatory drug like Aspirin or Advil can help to relieve the pain. It should be noted, however, that those drugs are hard on the stomach and should be avoided if you are experiencing nausea or gastro-intestinal pain. You should also avoid taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) after a hangover because alcohol metabolism makes acetaminophen more toxic to the liver.
Of course, the best cure for a hangover is really prevention. The following tips will help you to plan your night so that you can avoid having to deal with a hangover in the first place.
7. Consume alcohol in moderation.
The severity of a hangover is proportional to the amount of alcohol that you drink. If you drink more alcohol, your hangover will be worse. If you drink less, your hangover won’t be as bad. The Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines can help you to make smarter decisions when it comes to drinking so that you’re less likely to feel the nasty effects of a hangover afterwards.
8. Choose alcohol that is low in congeners.
The severity of an alcohol hangover can be associated with the type of alcohol you drink. If you want to minimize your chances of a hangover, choose clear drinks like vodka and gin. Darker drinks like bourbon, brandy, and red wine are more likely to give you a hangover.
Lastly, it’s important to note that drinking more alcohol will not cure your hangover. Having another alcoholic drink will just increase the amount of toxins in your body and will result in an even worse hangover when you get to that stage.
Alcohol suppresses the body’s natural anti-dieuretic hormone, causing people to urinate more and become dehydrated. As the body works to correct the dehydration and restore fluid balances, it slows blood vessels in and around the brain. The brain then dilates its blood vessels to compensate and that can cause swelling and pain. Alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach. Alcohol causes stomach inflammation and can increase the amount of secretions from the pancreas and intestines, causing nausea and diarrhea. The fatigue and trembling you feel is caused by a lack of sleep mixed with the dehydration and physical irritation.
Hangovers are the worst. No one wants to spend a whole day feeling terrible after a fun night out. The tips above can help you avoid all of the negative effects of a hangover so that you can have fun and feel good. Staying hydrated, consuming carbohydrates and electrolytes, drinking herbal tea, getting enough sleep, and certain medications can all help you get rid of a hangover once you have overindulged. But really, prevention is key. Drinking low-congener beverages in moderation can help you to avoid the need to cure a hangover in the first place.
Note: This information is not a substitute for medical advice. If your hangover persists or worsens, please seek the advice of a medical professional. Please seek the attention of an emergency medical professional if you think someone has the symptoms of alcohol poisoning.