Ouch. It’s the morning-after-the-night-before, and you’re paying for that overindulgence last night. The threat of a hangover never seems to stop the party while it’s in process, but they can be a real drag the next day. While the jury is still out on what causes our bodies to feel hungover, there are plenty of interesting ideas on how to “cure” hangovers.
– and no, the “hair of the dog that bit you” or continuing to drink when you wake up, will not help! (Not for long anyway). Here are some hangover cures that work better than others.
Water dilutes residual booze in your body, which makes it a bit easier for organs to process, while also flushing it out. Don’t overload, though. Too much water too quickly can increase hangover-induced nausea. If you can’t bear to take a sip, a ginger tea helps with that upset stomach and still provides hydration.
Avoid caffeine and painkillers
Sounds like the worse advice, right? Well, the alcohol has already dehydrated you, so more caffeine will only add to that. If you get painful caffeine withdrawal without your usual morning java, try tea or just one coffee instead of four. Painkillers are actually dangerous if you’ve still got a lot of alcohol in your system, as the alcohol can increase the blood-thinning effects of acetaminophen, or worsen the stomach and liver damages of excessive ibuprofen use.
Start out plain and simple — saltine crackers or dry toast. If those go well, move on to something more robust, but still not overly exciting for your tummy. Chicken soup isn’t only for your soul. The protein and broth are good body-boosters, and the noodles or crackers you add provide some needed carbs for energy. Many swear by greasy food as a hangover cure that works, claiming it “absorbs” the alcohol, but there’s no scientific evidence to that.
Have a shower and a short walk outdoors
Again, no magic concoction or medicinal ingredients, but scrubbing the smell of last night’s shenanigans off of you goes a long way, and a dose of fresh air rarely fails to clear the head at least a little.
While studies have proven over-the-counter hangover pills are a waste of money, the fizzy stomach relief provided by this old friend often makes you feel much better and better-able to hydrate and replenish missing nutrients with some good food.
Try a hangover cure smoothie
Fruit has sugar – and sugar is good for a hangover. If your pounding head can bear the sound of the blender, there are hundreds of recipes for hangover smoothies on the internet. Some have obscure ingredients, so unless you’ve gone to the health foods market before your binge, you may want to try this one or this smoothie recipe made with stuff you probably already have in your kitchen.
Sleep it off
There really is no better way for your body to process a large amount of alcohol than to allow your body that time and energy to do so. Sleeping cuts down on our body’s other responsibilities so it can make getting that alcohol out of your system its top priority, making it the truly best cure for a hangover that actually does work.
Of course, the best way to prevent a hangover from happening in the first place is simple. Don’t drink any alcohol. But for most of us, that’s not realistic so instead try limiting yourself to one or two standard-size drinks, staying hydrated, and eating a full meal before drinking. Cheers.