Ways to Get Rid of a Hangover Faster
Written by Sneh Chaudhry on December 28, 2021
Everyone has had a night where they drank a little too much and woke up the next morning with a headache and a whole lot of regrets. For some of us, it’s nausea and a churning stomach. For others, it’s a pounding headache and an aversion to loud voices and sunlight. Whatever it is that’s plaguing you, there are things you can do to feel better.
Here are 16 ways to feel better when you’ve got a nasty hangover.
Drink a ton of water.
The most obvious solution, yet one of the best, is to pour yourself a tall glass of water and get to drinking. One of the reasons you feel so headachy, nauseous, and light-headed is because alcohol causes your body to lose lots of water, causing dehydration. Drinking water throughout the day can help you to rehydrate and recover the water you’ve lost. This can dramatically improve your headache.
- While we’ve probably caught you the day after, anytime you can do this before you fall asleep on a night of drinking, you can lessen your hangover symptoms the next day.
Drink a sports drink.
Isotonic sports drinks, like Gatorade or Powerade, are another great way to replace your lost fluids. These drinks contain electrolytes, which are important for you to replace when you’re dehydrated.
- Although it’s tempting to try to wake yourself up with some caffeine, it’s better to avoid caffeinated sports drinks, as they can further dehydrate you and even make the hangover worse.
- Vitamin packets — or oral rehydration packets — are another great thing to toss into some water for a pick me up.
Drink fruit juice.
This might sound a little out there, but one study found that people who drank fruit juice had less severe thirst and headache symptoms. This could be because fruit juices are generally high in fructose, which is a sugar that affects your energy and your liver function. Your liver is in charge of processing the alcohol you drank, so juice might improve how quickly your body metabolizes alcohol.
- Tomato juice, orange juice, and coconut water are all good choices, as are green grape juice and pear juice.
Drink ginger tea.
Ginger tea is an excellent way to combat nausea and vomiting. It’s often used by pregnant women when they’re dealing with morning sickness.
- One option is to boil several slices of fresh, peeled ginger root in about four cups of water for 5-10 min, then add the juice of one orange, half a lemon, and a half cup of honey. This yummy concoction can provide quick relief from your hangover by stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
- While it might be tempting to swap in ginger ale over ginger tea, fizzy drinks are a bit iffy for your hangover. Because they’re bubbly, they can increase the pressure you’ll be feeling on your stomach.
Sip fluids throughout the day
It might feel awful to try to chug a lot of fluids. Instead, try taking small sips throughout the day. Taking regular sips of water, fruit juice and/or a sports drink will help you replenish your lost fluids, vitamins, and nutrients as the day go on, making you feel better in the end.
Avoid caffeinated drinks
- Plus, caffeine narrows your blood vessels and raises your blood pressure (yikes!). This can make your hangover symptoms worse.
Eat some eggs.
Eggs contain an amino acid called cysteine, which breaks down the toxins that make you feel crummy after drinking. By helping cleanse your body of these leftover toxins, eggs can help you to feel rejuvenated and more energized.
- Avoid making your eggs with too much fat or grease if you feel nauseous, as it might exacerbate those symptoms.
Have bouillon soup to restore your vitamins and minerals.
Soup is a great way to get down some nutrients when you feel too queasy to eat. Don’t know what bouillon soup is? It’s a thin vegetable, beef, or chicken-based broth that is a good source of the vitamins and minerals you need to replenish after drinking. In particular, it’s perfect for replenishing the salt and potassium that you may have lost.
Eat foods rich in potassium.
Ever notice how often you have to pee when you drink? It turns out that when you pee so much, you lose more potassium than normal. Those lowered potassium levels can contribute to tiredness, nausea, and weak limbs, all symptoms you might be feeling right now.
- Luckily, you probably have some cheap ways to tackle this already waiting in your kitchen. Bananas and kiwi fruits, as well as baked potatoes, leafy greens, mushrooms, and dried apricots, are all good potassium sources.
Eat bland foods like toast and crackers.
Alcohol causes low blood sugar, which might make you feel too tired to eat. If you’re feeling tired and nauseous, flavourless foods might be your best option. Complex carbohydrates (like oatmeal or whole-grain bread) are also a good choice if you think your stomach can take it.
- Remember, the point of eating to tackle a hangover is not to “absorb” the alcohol, but to boost your blood sugar and replenish your nutrients.
Go back to bed if you can
This might be your first instinct anyway, and it’s a good one. The kind of sleep you get right after drinking may involve less of the REM (rapid eye movement) stage — the part of sleep that actually makes you feel rested. So, it’s natural that your body and brain want a little more rest. In the end, the most surefire cure for your hangover is time, so if you can kill a little bit of that time sleeping — all the better.
Take an easy walk.
If you can, try to get out of the house and take a walk. A brisk walk can help speed up your metabolism and the clearance of alcohol from your system. You also might be able to increase the rate that alcohol toxins are broken down in your body by increasing your oxygen levels. Overall, a huge win!
Take an over-the-counter painkiller.An obvious (and effective) way to kill your headache is to take an over-the-counter painkiller. Stick to aspirin-based painkillers or NSAIDs (like ibuprofen) and steer clear of acetaminophen-based painkillers (like Tylenol, Paramol, and Anacin), which can damage your liver when taken with alcohol in your system.
Take an antacid pill for your stomach
One of the worst parts of a hangover is the overwhelming queasiness and the feeling that you can’t eat. Antacid pills (think Tums, Mylanta, Maalox) can neutralize your stomach acid and tackle your feelings of indigestion — making your stomach woes more bearable.
Take a multivitamin pill.
After a night of heavy drinking, your body has likely lost nutrients like vitamin B12 and folate that need to be replenished. A multivitamin tablet is a great way to restore those nutrients to your body. Be careful to avoid effervescent tablets, as they might make your nausea worse.
- The added carbon dioxide in effervescent causes them to fizz up — adding pressure to your stomach (like ginger ale!) — and exacerbating stomach pain and nausea.
Be wary of “miracle cures
Anytime someone promises you a miracle cure, they are likely overpromising. Like most things in life, hangovers don’t have one easy, cure-all solution. While ‘hangover pills’ claim to be able to tackle all your hangover symptoms at once, scientific studies have concluded that their effectiveness is, at best, limited.
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