You had a little too much fun last night, so today you’re sick in bed, suffering from dry mouth and a brain that just can’t function as long as there’s light and noise in the world. However, you can’t waste a whole day feeling under the weather, so try a few of these ten simple ways to cure a hangover effectively.
1. Drink plenty of water.
This can start as soon as you get home from the party. You get a hangover because your body is dehydrated—you drank too much alcohol and not enough water! If you think about it in time, you can alternate one alcoholic drink with one glass of water all night, and possibly avoid a hangover entirely. Otherwise, start drinking plenty of water when you wake up the next morning. It will rehydrate your body and help you feel better all over.
2. Drink sports drinks.
Drink some Gatorade or Powerade. You can’t say it’s as good as water, because it’s not natural, but it will help rehydrate you! Also, these drinks have electrolytes and sodium that your body needs replenished after a night of drinking.
3. Drink fruit juice.
Basically, drinking anything that’s not more alcohol is going to help you. Juice will help your body rehydrate just like water and sports drinks do. In addition, the sugar in fruit juice helps burn off alcohol quickly, and you’ll give yourself a vitamin boost.
4. Drink coffee.
Drinking two cups of coffee, not much more, preferably not less, is enough to cure your pounding headache. Coffee acts as a vasoconstrictor, which means it lessens the swelling of your blood vessels that causes your headache. And if you’re trying to get up and moving for work the morning after, the caffeine doesn’t hurt!
5. Eat a banana or kiwi.
Not all fruit will make you feel good, and eating the wrong thing might make you feel worse. Try a banana or kiwi. They are good sources of potassium, which is a mineral you lose a lot of when you’re drinking due to the diuretic effect of the alcohol.
6. Eat honey on toast or crackers.
Carbs are going to help you feel better by bringing up your blood sugar, so eat some toast or crackers. If you can handle it, add a little honey. Honey is a concentrated source of fructose, so, like fruit juice, it will also help burn off the alcohol.
7. Take pain meds.
It’s OK to take medicine if none of these natural remedies are doing the trick, but make sure you stick with aspirin or ibuprofen instead of Tylenol (aka paracetamol). Tylenol is fine for headaches, but when combined with a liver trying to metabolize alcohol, it can cause liver damage or even be deadly.
8. Eat a balanced meal.
It’s hard to eat a good meal after drinking—you’re craving greasy food, or nothing at all! Fast food is the cheapest and easiest to get your hands on, but it’s not the best for you. Eating a balanced meal will help your body replace some of the essential nutrients you lost the night before.
9. Take amino acids and vitamins.
Get amino acid capsules from a health food store. Amino acids are a building block of protein, and get depleted when you drink a lot of alcohol. You can also take vitamin B, which will help shorten the duration of your hangover.
One drink is metabolized by your body in about an hour, which means you can’t exercise to sweat out the alcohol. There’s really no reason to exercise to cure a hangover, but it’s going to make you feel better overall. Exercising will release endorphins that help improve your mood, and if you burn calories, you’ll probably ease a little of that guilt about drinking so much the night before! Just make sure you keep your water bottle handy so you don’t get even more dehydrated.
Featured photo credit: Jack Newton via flickr.com