Hangovers are your body’s way of punishing you for a night that was just a bit too much fun. They range from general malaise to a brutal, body crushing agony complete with violent stomach aches. For some it can take a few hours to a few days to get over one, and each time will make you swear you’re never drinking like that again. But what causes a hangover?
A hangover happens because your body has become dehydrated and depleted of vitamins necessary to function. Large amounts of water are necessary to help the body filter out alcohol, and unless you’re drinking it during the night, your body will make you pay for it in the morning. While the best cure for a hangover is to not overindulge in alcohol, there are ways to help cure it when you do.
10. Hair of the Dog That Bit You
Other than sleep, it is perhaps the oldest, if not the wisest, of hangover cures. A little drink can help stave off the inevitable hangover when you get up. This is not recommended of course, but if you’re already home for the day and don’t mind that you’re going to feel far worse later, go ahead and have another beer as a wake up drink
Water replenishes the body after a night of drinking and can help to alleviate headaches and hangovers. While you’re drinking at night, drink water between drinks. this will help lessen the hangover the next day. Waking up and hitting the water can get things moving again.
8. Sports Drinks
Like water, sports drinks replenish the body after being dehydrated. Sports drinks work by adding electrolytes and salt back to the body after a night of drinking. Drinking them before sleeping can help reduce the hangover in the morning but if that’s not possible, they can help once you do wake up.
7. Pain Medicines
While these should never be taken while drinking because of the risk of liver damage, over the counter pain medicines can help ease the headaches that come with hangovers. Some of these pain medicines may contain caffeine, and can help you be more alert.
6. Take a Hike
Or a walk, or hit the gym. A good hard sweat can really help shake off a hangover. This is not always the nicest option if you really feel miserable, but exercise can help you to sweat off the damage done the night before. The bonus to this cure is that you’ll be drinking a lot of water or sports drinks with it and that can really help you get through the hangover.
Like water and sports drinks, taking vitamins helps replenish what you stripped from your body by drinking. High doses of vitamins such as powdered “pick me up” formulas offer a quick shot of vitamins to get your body functioning again. These should not be used regularly at high doses as it can cause long term liver or kidney damage but for a quick hangover cure, B6 and B12 supplements can really help.
If you’re fighting nausea, food definitely won’t seem like the best cure for a hangover but if you went to bed on an empty stomach it can definitely help. Even simple saltine crackers can help ease the nausea of a hangover. Why food helps is based on a simple fact – if you drank all night and didn’t eat anything your blood sugar will drop, giving you one mean headache in the morning. If nausea isn’t a factor, a proper meal can help to cure a hangover.
This one is a mixed bag. Caffeine can artificially help wake you up and get you moving but it is a diuretic and will make you more dehydrated in the long run. Caffeine can help with the headache to an extent but it should be used as a step on the way to replenishing lost fluids with water or sports drinks
Not the redhead – good old ginger root. Ginger can help quell nausea and make you feel better. It can be brewed as tea, assuming you can stand up long enough. If standing isn’t possible, ginger ale works as well.
You don’t want to just sleep in to cure your hangover – you’ll need to eat and drink before you roll back over. Even a glass of water and some toast before going back to sleep can help!