A night out drinking with friends and coworkers always seems like an excellent idea until the next morning. Suddenly, your head is aching, and death seems preferable to the hangover that’s beating at your brain and body.
Hangovers are no joke. They can put you completely out of commission for an entire day, leaving you feeling tired, nauseous, aching, thirsty, and sensitive to light and sound. And the last thing you want to do when you’re suffering from a hangover is to try a million different cures—none of which work.
The good news is that there are some scientifically based hangover cures proven to help you feel better fast—all without forcing you to chug pickle juice or rub lemon into your armpit (thank goodness for that). Below are our top five hangover cures based on evidence.
1. I.V. Treatment
When you drink too much alcohol, one of the most common outcomes is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means you have to urinate more often, and you lose essential water as a result. In fact, just four drinks can cause you to lose between 600 and 1,000 milliliters of water. That’s a lot of water and electrolytes you need to replace.
In addition, if your hangover left you vomiting or sweating, you probably lost even more water. There’s a reason why some of the most common symptoms of a hangover are thirst, dry mouth, light-headedness, and weakness.
The problem is that most of us try to drink more water to restore our balance, but that’s not enough. Dehydration is often accompanied by electrolyte imbalance, which is where I.V. Treatment makes the biggest difference.
Not only does I.V. Treatment help you replenish all the water your body lost while you drank, but it’s also formulated with specially selected vitamins, minerals, and medications to rebalance your body. A fast-acting IV Treatment will rehydrate you, give your body back the electrolytes it needs, and provide pain-relief through medicine.
2. Eat a Good Breakfast
When you’re feeling nauseous, probably the last thing you want to do is eat a hearty breakfast, but that’s exactly what you should do. It’s one of the most well-known and best remedies for a hangover. Why?
Excessive drinking can throw off the balance of chemicals in your blood. This can cause metabolic acidosis, which is associated with nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Eating a healthy breakfast can provide essential vitamins and minerals that were depleted due to alcohol, helping you feel better.
In addition, drinking can cause low blood sugar levels, which results in many hangover symptoms such as weakness and fatigue. Eating a well-balanced breakfast can help you maintain adequate blood sugar to mitigate some of your symptoms.
In particular, you might want to consider eating bacon and eggs, which contain an amino acid called cysteine. According to scientists, this acid can decrease the amount of acetaldehyde in your body, which is a toxic chemical produced as your body metabolizes alcohol. Acetaldehyde is known for contributing to hangover symptoms such as increased heart rate and vomiting.
3. Take Medicine
If you wake up with a hangover and your head is pounding, one of the first things you should do is reach for a bottle of aspirin (ibuprofen). Anti-inflammatory drugs such as these won’t stop your hangover, but they will help you suppress your symptoms, particularly the dreaded headache. They can also directly combat alcohol’s many inflammatory effects, which can result in muscle pain and more.
Just make sure you never reach for the Tylenol (acetaminophen); it will only worsen the abuse you’ve already placed on your liver.
Beyond over-the-counter pills, there are a few supplements that have also been known to help.
Red ginseng can reduce your blood alcohol levels and your hangover severity.
Prickly pear can cut the risk of your hangover severity in half.
Ginger, when combined with brown sugar and tangerine, can improve your nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Borage oil reduces hangover symptoms in 88% of people.
Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) can decrease the overall severity of your hangover.
While some of us pass out when we drink, alcohol is actually not very conducive to a good night’s rest. In fact, it’s known to cause decreased sleep quality and duration, which leads to worse hangover symptoms. Lack of sleep can exacerbate your fatigue, headache, and irritability. By getting a good night’s sleep and allowing your body a longer time in bed to recover, you can make your hangover more bearable.
5. Drink More Alcohol
Drink the “hair of the dog” that bit you. The next morning, when your hangover is killing you, try taking another drink to lessen your symptoms. According to scientists, alcohol changes the way that methanol is processed in the body. The more you drink, the more your body converts methanol into formaldehyde, which can cause your hangover symptoms. By drinking more alcohol, you can stop this conversion.
Though we don’t really recommend continuing to drink, since it can lead to unhealthy habits, but if you’re desperate, it can be a viable option.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there is no true hangover cure. However, there are some science-backed ways to deal with the symptoms and to feel better more quickly. If you focus on rehydrating, getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy food, and taking medicine, you could reduce your hangover symptoms for a faster recovery.