Health - Treatments
By: - at August 4, 2013

Top 15 Hangover Cures That Actually Work

Hangover man drinking too muchHangovers seem to be a part of the American bar culture. Unfortunately, they're very unpleasant as you may know. After a night of fun and drinks, it's agonizing to wake up with that pounding headache and foggy mind. However, numerous hangover cures have developed over the years. From the bizarre jack rabbit hangover cure that involves boiling jack rabbit dung in black coffee with dandelions to drinking lots of cool fresh water, the hangover community has a lot of recommendations. The problem is most of them don't work, and there's few things worse than attempting a vile hangover cure only to find out that it hasn't done anything or that it's actually made things work. But the truth remains that some hangover cures actually do work.

It's important to remember though that not all hangover cures work for all people. The main reason that different cures work differently for some people stems from their metabolisms, blood type, and overall lifestyle differences. You may find that one of these hangovers works well for you while another just makes you feel more annoyed and agitated. The key is to keep trying until you find the one that works and keep using it. Don't try more than one until you know which one works and which one doesn't.


15)  Prevent the Hangover from Happening in the First Place With Water
The main reason that hangovers happen is because of dehydration. The alcohol components and sugar levels cause the body to dehydrate significantly. One of the tricks though, is to make sure that you don't get dehydrated. This means that you will have to be drinking plenty of water throughout the night. Different sources recommend different quantities of water. Glamour Magazine and Esquire agree that drinking eight to sixteen ounces of water before you start drinking for the night is a great way to avoid the headache in the morning.

glasses of water

Despite the success of this method, a lot of people are not very fond of it. After all, drinking that water takes up valuable space in your stomach for the alcohol. However, if you savor your drinks and don't throw them back, you'll be much better in the morning. Not only that, but you'll also save money. If you decide that this isn't your preference, then just make sure that you go ahead and drink lots of water the following day. Taking it with some ibuprofen never hurts, and it makes a tremendous difference if you drink the water before you take anything else. Even if you don't get relief, turn to water first and only seek alternate treatments if that does not work. Bear in mind too that drinking water means drinking actual water. Sparkling water and soda water do not count.


14)  Protein for Breakfast Instead of Grease and Bad Fat
One of the classic hangover cures is the greasy bacon and eggs breakfast with cheese and toast on the side with a glass of orange juice and black coffee. As Fit Day points out, grease doesn't actually counteract the effects of a hangover. But this does not mean that a good hearty breakfast won't help to ease the effects. You just need to make a healthy choice.

Organic breakfast without grease

Mercola Institute recommends eating a high protein breakfast. Grease isn't necessary. In fact, you're more likely to cause yourself added grief from heartburn and an upset stomach if you eat a breakfast that contains too much grease. This doesn't mean you can't have bacon. Just get the grease strained off. Enjoy some eggs as well. They're rich in Vitamin B and other vitamins that will help your body recover from the hangover blues. Be careful about anything with sugar though. Sugar will only increase the effects of dehydration, and sugar will also make your head pound more. Remember that fat does not automatically mean a greasy breakfast. Peanut butter is filled with fats, but it is also considered a good ingredient for a hangover curing breakfast. Opt for all natural peanut butter rather than the sugary Jif and Peter Pan brands.


13)  Honey Sandwiches to Ease the Pain
white bread toast with honeyNow, despite the fact that sugar in general will make your hangover worse, honey sandwiches have proven to be a great way to provide hangover relief. It is highly recommend to have a whole wheat organic, honey sandwich. The honey composition provides an anti-inflammatory response that helps to reduce the throbbing for most people.

Bear in mind though that a honey sandwich may not be the best choice if you are diabetic or hypoglycemic. Ideally, pair this with a protein. Eggs are one of the most common entrees with a honey sandwich. You probably wouldn't want to combine those two. And if you want the greatest number of health benefits, get local organic honey. It will help to reduce your allergic reactions to allergens in the air and stings from bees and wasps.


12)  Coffee for Breakfast—Or Not
coffee to goIronically, coffee is one of those hangover cures that may work for you because you drink it, or it may work for you because you avoid it. Health.com warns that this is one of those hangover cures that you're just going to have to try yourself and figure out whether it helps or hurts.

The general wisdom is that if you're a regular coffee drinker, you need to avoid coffee. Black coffee can cause an increase in the throbbing because it increases blood pressure levels by narrowing your blood vessels. However, if you don't drink coffee on a regular basis, then black coffee can sometimes cut through the hangover fog. When you're experimenting with the hangover cure that works for you, make sure that you don't drink a lot of coffee all at once. Drink six ounces of black coffee first thing in the morning. Don't drink any more for another half hour to an hour so that you can see whether it's making it better or worse. Also do not assume that the initial jolt of energy you feel is a sign that the hangover has passed. That's just an effect of the caffeine, and you may find that your symptoms worsen significantly after it passes. So don't skimp on the waiting time. You don't want to worsen that throbbing if you don't have to.


11)  Gentle Exercise with Plenty of Hydration
One of the more popular remedies for a hangover among the fitness community is a good old fashioned run. However, Fitness Magazine warns that a run might be one of the worst things you can do because most people struggle from dehydration. Running induces sweating, and that increases your dehydration even more. However, this does not mean that exercise won't help.

athelete running

Most of the time, a hangover will leave you feeling sluggish and, with the exception of the blood in your head, your blood will be crawling through your veins. Getting some gentle exercise can help to counteract the sluggishness and purge the body. The key though is to make sure that you aren't moving too quickly or stressing yourself. A gentle walk with plenty of water or a sports drink is a good solution. It will help your body metabolize the alcohol, but the hydration is the most essential component. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that working harder will make you get better faster. The opposite is true.


10)  Catch Some Zzzzzzs
girl sleepingProbably one of the most pleasant ways to cure a hangover is to just sleep it off. In fact, for years, that was considered the go to method among bachelors and drunkards. It was easier than making them get up and drink black coffee or something worse. Plus most of the time that's what you want to do when you're struggling with a hangover.

Both Prevention and Fitness Magazine recommend getting a nap or just sleeping for awhile. When you sleep, your body continues to metabolize the alcohol. In most people, alcohol is metabolized at a rate of approximately .015 an hour. Bear in mind that the smaller you are, the longer it will take. It also varies based on the kind of alcohol you've been taking. But regardless of the alcohol type, sleeping will allow your body to repair the damage and help you battle the hangover. You just have to make sure that you get something to drink when you get up. Not an alcoholic beverage, of course. Water is the best solution, and sports drinks with electrolytes remain a solid secondary choice.





9)  Coca Cola and Over the Counter Pain Relievers
For most people, over the counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen are go to solutions for a hangover. They work on your hangover in the same fashion that they work on a regular headache or migraine. You just need to be careful though because aspirin and other medications can erode your stomach lining.

Pain relievers aspirin tylenol

This becomes even more problematic when you're drinking hard liquor like vodka. So don't just pop the over the counter pain relievers if another solution works. Fitness Magazine actually advises individuals who get drunk more than three times a week to avoid Tylenol completely as damage to the stomach lining and intestines becomes almost a guarantee.

Fresh coca cola pictured in glassHowever, in some cases, it may be the only thing you can think of. When that happens, your main goal, of course, is to make that painful throbbing go away. While sugar generally worsens the symptoms, many people find that Coca Cola helps to decrease the hangover if they take the pain reliever with a serving of regular Coca Cola. "Odd Hangover Cures that Work" report that it has something to do with the original Coca Cola formula. In fact, Coca Cola was originally invented to be used as a bitter, and it became a common hangover cure ingredient when it was first released. You cannot get the same effects from diet soda or even from Pepsi. In fact, they'll probably make it worse.


8)  Chug Some Coconut Water
If you're fortunate enough to live in a place where you can get coconut water, then this should be one of your go to remedies for a hangover. Coconut water is filled with powerful electrolytes. It has low sugar quantities as compared to beverages like Gatorade, and it does not provide the same irritation to the stomach lining as orange juice and cranberry juice. Coconut water has the same electrolytes that your body naturally produces. In fact, if it works, you can actually expect to see results within one hour.

Fresh cocount water

It's best to drink organic coconut water. If you are not able to find one, then make sure that you read the ingredients. Avoid any beverage that has MSG, high fructose corn syrup, or additional sugars. These will only worsen the effects. Also, unless you know how to handle coconuts and drain the water, you should not attempt to get a green coconut and make this on your own. You're more likely to hurt yourself than you are to get some good coconut water.


7)  Eat Some Pickles
picklesA number of college football players and cheerleaders swear by the Gherkins Remedy. Sweet Gherkins are the perfect solution to a hangover. They are particularly important if you have been throwing up or having other health problems related to the alcohol. The alcohol strips your body of all kinds of minerals, vitamins, and salt. Pickles, on the other hand, are rich with them. You can get all kinds of nutrients ranging from vitamin A to iron to calcium to vitamin K.

The one exception to this is if you struggle with ulcers in the stomach or intestines. Obviously, you should not be drinking liquor either, but this doesn't keep some people from doing it anyway. If you aren't sure, then pay attention to your stomach. If, of course, you feel acid churning in your stomach, nausea, or vomit blood, don't eat the pickles. And make sure that you don't drink the brine instead. Many college football players drink the brine straight, but this can worsen the headache or cause other problems. It's also a popular method in Poland, though the pickle brine is generally saved after being prepared for home pickling. This means that it has less sugar as well as fewer preservatives and chemicals, making it easier for the body to digest and causing fewer long term problems.


6)  Whip Up a Whole Fruit Smoothie
With all of those lost vitamins and nutrients, it's little wonder that so many of the most popular remedies that work involve nutrient rich foods. While you could try to put together a fruit salad, one of the easiest ways to get your nutrients back is to make a whole fruit smoothie. Now, bear in mind that just drinking straight fruit juice is not the greatest way to get your system back to normal. Fruit juice is too easy to absorb. The fiber and pulp have the richest concentrations of vitamins and nutrients. This is why a whole fruit smoothie is the best choice.

Assorted fruit smoothie

You can choose from a wide number of fruits. Bananas provide plenty of potassium, which is often drained from a night of heavy drinking. The lack of potassium is also responsible for most of your cramps and aches the next day as your muscles lock up. Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and other similar fruits are an excellent choice. For many people, grapefruit juice and orange juice are too acidic and lead to too many stomach problems in the long run. If you need some more flavor, you can also add ginger. Ginger works more to calm your stomach, and it works best when you use it fresh. Combine it with lime or lemon in the smoothie for the greatest effects. This whole fruit smoothie will replenish some much needed vitamins as well as help to right your pH balance.


5)  Pop Some Vitamin B
vitamin bVitamin B is one of those vitamins that can make you feel a lot worse when you don't have it and get drunk. In fact, vitamin B is actually key to coping cognitively. The key vitamins are vitamins B6 and B12. The problem is that these vitamins, even when taken in capsule form, have a nasty after taste. Some people can't keep them down. Additionally, if you aren't careful, you may take too many and cause problems from an excessive overdose.

The best way to get vitamin B is actually through natural sources. Eggs provide a hearty level of vitamin B as does regular beefsteak. It doesn't matter whether you have your eggs hard or soft or whether your steak is rare or well done. Try to get organic whenever you can, but remember that the most important thing is that you get it into your system. If you still have problems digesting the vitamin B, you can always invest in vitamin B drops. You just put a few under your tongue, and your body absorbs them directly into your bloodstream. Follow it up immediately with some water, and avoid drinking coffee or taking painkillers if you can.


4)  Replace that Stomach Lining
milk pouring in glassIn addition to the hangover, many people suffer from stomach pains and throbbing. This comes when the lining of your stomach starts to erode or when you start to develop ulcers. The best thing that you can do in this case is to take something that will help to replace your stomach lining. Whole milk is one of the best sources for this. The fat helps to line your stomach while the calcium and other vitamins promote healing and growth. You can add the whole milk to your smoothie as well if you would rather not drink it straight.

In terms of protecting your stomach, you can help reduce the effect of the hangover just by drinking whole milk the night before. You can also get a similar effect from eating cheese and lean protein. Don't do this if you are lactose intolerant. Contrary to some theories, alcohol will not reduce the effects of lactose intolerance. Additionally, soy milk and almond milk are not adequate substitutes. It's best to just avoid them entirely if you cannot drink regular cow's milk. Research has not been done on whether goat's milk and yak's milk have the same effect.


3)  Sip Some Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea has received quite a number of commendations from sources like Health.com, Prevention, and Fitness Magazine. It started out as being so beloved for its ability to speed up the metabolism and increase energy levels. However, Glamour Magazine reports that peppermint tea's antioxidants and debloating properties actually helps it to serve as a powerful hangover relief treatment. Since many people struggle with stomach problems after a night of heavy drinking, peppermint tea is a good choice. It calms the stomach and does not add to the further erosion of the stomach lining. It's particularly good for women, and it helps to prevent damage to the ovaries.

teapot with exotic tea

Peppermint tea of almost any kind will work in some way. The best way to drink it though is if you can get fresh loose leaf tea leaves. You will need a tea strainer to keep from having bits of tea stuck in your cup and teeth. However, regular boxed peppermint tea from Wal-Mart will still have the same positive effect. Just don't try to reuse the bag. You won't get the full effect otherwise. It doesn't matter whether you drink it cold or hot, although most people tend to prefer the soothing warmth of the peppermint tea more than a cold drink. If this is too strong for you, you can get similar results from sipping a strong cup of chamomile tea.


2)  Serve Up a Virgin Bloody Mary
bloody maryKnown as the hair of dog remedy, drinking more alcohol the day after a hangover is not the greatest cure. In fact, all it does is postpone the inevitable pain that you're going to endure. However, that didn't keep the Bloody Mary from becoming one of the more popular home and bartender remedies for the morning after. Part of the reason that this myth soon took such shape was because there was something in the Bloody Mary that helped cure the hangover: everything but the alcohol.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C as well as glutathione. Your body naturally produces glutathione when it's trying to get rid of the hangover, and so sipping some refreshing cold tomato juice can go a long way in boosting your body's response rate. The lemon juice in Bloody Mary's was originally added to help disguise the flavor of canned tomato juice. Once again though, the actual juice turned out to be more beneficial than what it was intended for. Lemon juice provides numerous healing qualities. Not the least of these is its effect on the liver. Prevention strongly recommends regularly sipping iced lemon water to cleanse the liver and promote healthy cell growth. When you drink a virgin Bloody Mary first thing in the morning, you provide your body with plenty of nutrients, and the ingredients work together to create a hangover curing remedy. The plus side of this particular remedy is that, unless you struggle with a sensitive stomach, there are no downsides to drinking a couple of virgin Bloody Mary's. Just make sure they really are virgins.


1)  Burn Your Tastebuds
Spicy foods have a powerful effect on the body. You feel them most on your tongue, but they actually boost your metabolism and increase blood circulation and immune system responses. Both of these things are important and can help to reduce the effect of a painful hangover the morning after.

Cayenne pepper and wasabi are considered two of the most effective spices for curing a hangover. Business Insider recommends that business people turn to these methods first thing in the morning. If they are going to work on you, they will work within about fifteen minutes or so. Even if they don't work, they will help to increase your overall circulation while also helping your body purge the toxins that you picked up. Other spicy foods can also work. Habenero peppers as well as jalapenos have been linked to improved hangover cures, but cayenne and wasabi provide the most numerous benefits. As for how much you should take, aim to take as much as your mouth can handle. Be sure to combine it with some milk or something to cut the burn. Otherwise, you might be hurting for a whole other reason. Also remember that fresh and organic options are generally stronger than prepackaged ones.

habenero pepper

Natural News takes it a whole different way though and reports that soaking in a bath infused with wasabi can have similar effects. This does not work for everyone, but it does help to reduce the dulled skin effects of a bad night of drinking. Just make sure to use two to four tablespoons in bathwater as hot as you can stand. Since you can expect to sweat in the bathtub, make sure that you are sipping water while in the tub. Otherwise, you run the risk of dehydrating further and passing out in the tub. Lots of people have died from this, so don't just assume nothing bad will happen.


 

 

 

 

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