Ask half a dozen friends how to cure a hangover, and chances are, you will get half a dozen different answers. Some more ridiculous than others. Drink this. Eat that. Have another shot?
Unfortunately, there is no real cure for a hangover. The things that help cure your symptoms are often dependent on what your body is experiencing and your body’s chemistry. Regardless, there are a few tricks that almost everyone can agree that are incredibly useful for any hangover.
Here are five hacks you can use to cure even the worst beach bonfire hangovers:
1. Drink some water and then drink more water
Hydration is at the top of almost every list, and at this point, it probably sounds cliché. But, it is crucial. You need to drink more water.
Water is the closest thing humans have to some sort of magical elixir. In fact, it is required for life. So, if you are looking for some kind of restorative potion, it makes sense to start at the source: water.
Water is particularly useful for hangovers because alcohol consumption often results in dehydration, particularly if you were having so much fun that you forgot the glass-of-water-between-drinks rule.
So raise a glass (of H2O) like your productivity depends on it! Your body will thank you for giving it life, and your hangover will feel a lot less like death.
2. Get Moving (Slowly)
There is a lot of debate about whether exercise really helps cure a hangover. Some swear by hitting the gym, while others insist that you should not move at all unless it involves moving from your bed to the sofa. As it turns out, neither option is a good one. Instead, the solution lies somewhere in the middle.
Be sure to get up and moving the morning after, but do not push yourself further than a lap around the house if you are feeling particularly awful. Because you are already dehydrated, a sweaty workout can make a bad situation worse. Plus, exercise will not force your body to metabolize the alcohol any faster.
Stand up. Touch your toes. Stroll around the kitchen. Hit the gym if it feels right. But, if you are feeling rough, do not be afraid to sit back down again.
3. Indulge in some fruit juice
As it turns out, the juice you mixed with your drinks can make life more palatable even after the party is over.
Fruit juices help your body through the pain that is a hangover, and encourage it to heal faster. Orange juice and grapefruit juice provide plenty of water and natural sugars to nurse your body back to health. Tomato juice is another good option because it fights inflammation and offers plenty of simple sugar to help your body find the energy to recover.
4. Lay off the coffee
Hangovers make coffee feel less like a necessity and more like life support. While a shot of espresso is better than a shot of vodka, you do not actually need the bucket of coffee your cravings say you do.
Indulge in a cup of coffee to give you the motivation and the caffeine to survive the morning, but keep the amount of caffeine you ingest after a night out under control.
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it can make your already dehydrated body, feel worse. So, if you really need that triple shot latte, either make it a decaf, or make sure to take it with plenty of extra water on the side.
5. Support your liver
Your liver is the organ that removes all of the toxins from your body, and liver function is crucial after a night of drinking.
While taking measures to support your liver may not help your hangover immediately, there are foods and dietary supplements that help repair cells and prevent long-term damage to your organs.
Dark, leafy greens like kale, are full of compounds that livers love. If kale is not your thing, try other healthy vegetables like broccoli, beetroot, artichoke, and cauliflower.
In the event your hangover has you temporarily committed to a liquid diet, consider adding turmeric or cinnamon to a juice or smoothie, and get similar effects. Many alcohol addiction treatment centers recommend this sort of diet as the perfect way to cleanse your body from oxide damage.
Alternatively, seek out supplements to help support your liver’s health. Milk thistle aids cell regeneration in your liver, and it has the added benefit of being a potential hangover cure.
Sure, broccoli is green, and it seems like it is not doing you any favors right now. Rather, think of it as a long term investment to your social life.
A hangover does not need to drain the life out of your summer, so use these five hangover-busting hacks to beat the blues, and enjoy more of those warm nights while you can.
Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com