It Happens to the Best of Us
“I’m never drinking again!” If you’re reading this you’ve likely utter those words once or twice. Dry mouth, pounding head, weak muscles, nausea are some of not so fun symptoms of the dreaded hangover. So, what is the best way to cure a hangover? This probably goes without saying, actually this should go without saying: A full-proof, 100% way to wake up hangover-free is abstaining from alcohol. While drinking is not encouraged, especially in excess, it happens.
After a night out (or in… no judgement here), the goal is to avoid feeling like you’ve hit by a mack-truck the next day, so read on the best hangover cures and leave the bad advice at the door, like this guy’s wild quest to find a hangover cure. And what’s that old saying “Hairy dog”, “Bite the dog that bite you”, “Hair of the dog”…either way it’s a bad idea. All that does is prolong the inevitable hangover and possibly make it worse by adding more toxins to your already overloaded liver.
Unfortunately, there is no magic hangover pill, although many pharmaceutical companies have tried to create and market one. One magic bullet that some rave about is IV therapy for hangovers, but some medical professionals believe it offers more of a placebo effect than an actual cure. IV therapy can be beneficial for certain situations, depending on what’s in the bag. And it’s SUPER important to know how much your receiving and QUALITY of the nutrients, but the verdict is out on if IV Therapy is the ultimate hangover cure.
7 Best Hangover Cures
Many of these tips involve some preplanning, so if you know you’re hitting the town with friends or enjoying a date night and you’ll more than likely be boozing it up, then plan ahead! Your future self will thank you.
Hydrate before, during, and after. At wine dinner with friends? Make a drink sandwich… meaning sandwich your drinks with water. Have a glass of water, then wine, water, then wine. It doesn’t have to be a large glass of water about 4oz is great. Contrary to popular belief this will not have you running to bathroom as much as you might think. As well as being a diuretic, alcohol is abrasive to the bladder causing a frequent need to urinate. Consuming water in between alcoholic drinks will cause less bladder irritation (aka less trips to the restroom). By providing the body with much needed water you will replenish lost stores and allow time for the liver to keep up with the toxic load. Extra tip: After a boozy night, chug a BIG glass of water (or two) with electrolytes before you hit the hay.
2. Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach
Drinking on empty stomach intensifies the effect of the alcohol quickly which might make for a cheap night out, but it also intensifies the hangover the next morning. You’ll pay for it… one way or another.
3. Keep the Congeners Low
Ever heard of a congener? You’re not alone. Congeners are the by-product of alcohol fermentation and these babies bring the pain when it comes to hangovers. They don’t necessarily cause the hangover, the amount of alcohol consumed causes the actual hangover, but congeners worsen the effects (1). Typically, the darker the liquor the higher the congeners, so bad news for red wine and whiskey drinkers. Vodka has a low amount of congeners.
4. Get Enough Good Quality Sleep
Sleep won’t cure your hangover but it will help your body recover and help make your hangover more manageable in the morning. Fill your diffuser will lavender essential oil or spritz some on your pillow to avoid those sleep disturbances.
5. Eat Breakfast
After a boozy night, a deep fried, extra salty breakfast might be on your mind, but a nourishing breakfast will serve you better. The body is craving nutrients to “clean house” aka detoxify, so skip the traditional burger and fries and opt for a surge of nutrients with a few 131 recipes: Burger Salad with a side of Sweet Potato Fries, Green Juice, or a 131 Hydrating Popsicle.
As appealing as posting up on the coach and netflixing all day sounds (netflexing is a legit verb, right?!), it’s not an ideal hangover cure. Move your body by doing some sort of physical activity, whatever you can handle. Bonus points if you sweat. Sweating will help rid your body of toxins accumulated the night before. Spend some time in a sauna if you have access.
7. Herbal Remedies
- Prickly Pear. According to one study a prickly pear supplement showed a moderate reduction of hangover symptoms by inhibiting the production of inflammatory makers (2).
- Milk Thistle has been shown to protect the liver, however the study notes that preventive measures (i.e. abstaining from alcohol) are most effective for liver regeneration and protection (3).
- Ginger. An ancient Chinese hangover remedy is to combine ginger with brown sugar plus tangerine extract prior to alcohol consumption has shown to decrease the hangover symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting (4). Interesting, right?!
- Green Tea. A 2008 study concluded that the consumption of green tea before alcohol consumption lessened alcohol induced liver damage (5). So, it might not be a bad idea to sip on a cup of green tea before a night out on the town.