Sugary cocktails, along with mixers like cranberry juice and sodas, can also contribute to a bad morning, Ms. Supan said. They initially elevate your blood sugar levels, and then, as those levels drop, you feel fatigued and weak. Even if you pride yourself on drinking in moderation, the dreaded hangover doesn’t often play favorites. Sometimes, the easiest way to cure a hangover is actually to prevent one in the first place (but not by avoiding cocktails altogether, don’t worry). Being prepared with a hangover prevention plan will help you counteract a night of drinking and avoid feeling sick tomorrow. Here are the best, proven hangover prevention tips from doctors and experts, as well as potential remedies if those hangover symptoms still hit the morning after a big night out.
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There is some evidence that alcohol with more congeners, the substance that flavors and colors drinks, leads to more severe hangover symptoms. Bourbon and whiskey, for example, are high in congeners, while vodka has essentially none.
Avoid waking up in rough shape with these preventive hangover pointers and natural remedies.
“Prickly pear extract naturally reduces inflammation of the liver, which otherwise directly leads to hangover symptoms such as headache and nausea,” Bacharach explains. Starting with the first of those symptoms, dehydration, Dr. Loyd says drinking water is your best bet. But he added, “Many people can benefit from caffeine, too, to help boost their energy and concentration.” Just make sure to use it in moderation as too much can worsen dehydration. To cure a hangover, you should hydrate with water and sports drinks to replace lost electrolytes.
The notion is that hangovers are a form of alcohol withdrawal, so a drink or two will ease the withdrawal. That’s why he recommends working out or finding another healthy way to relieve stress before you go out.
Can Coffee Help Cure a Hangover?
Preservatives and pesticides may be why people feel more hungover drinking wine in the U.S. than they do in Europe, says Wendy Leonard, RDN, founder of Rhode Island Nutrition Therapy. Hydration is just as important the next day, to help ease a headache and replenish fluids. For most people, simply drinking water or seltzer will be enough; a good practice is to drink fluids until your urine is pale yellow, Ms. Supan said. Lots of people—hungover or not—use a cup of joe to wake up and feel alert at work. But a trip to Starbucks won’t give you lasting benefits, and caffeine can both treat and cause headaches and migraines, so this one is a personal preference. If you do down a cup to cure a hangover, be sure to drink water, too, since studies suggest caffeine causes dehydration. Participants were given either whiskey or vodka mixed with cola one night and a placebo of cola and decarbonated tonic with a few drops of whiskey or vodka on top the other night.
An easy food to eat before going out that’s filled with healthy fats is avocado—so you won’t regret an order of guacamole for the table. Don Draper’s go-to and a cure that old-timers tout relentlessly, Alka-Seltzer apparently will neutralize the stomach acid churning in the depths of your stomach.
This method has the informal name of “how long does a hangover lastip bar.” It can be pricey, and health insurance doesn’t cover the bill. But there’s no need to pay for IV fluids when you can drink a glass of water for free. “They can definitely replenish fluids and decrease the dehydration that contributes to a hangover,” says Kennedy, who recommends watermelon and cucumbers, which both have a high water content. “A sprinkle of salt on either can replenish electrolytes if someone has vomited,” Kennedy adds. One older study found that supplementing with red ginseng reduced blood alcohol levels and hangover severity . Choosing drinks that are low in congeners could help speed up the metabolism of alcohol and therefore reduce the incidence and severity of hangovers. However, more recent, high quality studies are still needed.
- B vitamins and zinc.A study recently published in The Journal of Clinical Medicine evaluated the diets for 24 hours before and after excessive drinking occurred.
- Some evidence suggests it might affect blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
- Another review found that ginger had potential antioxidant and liver-protective effects.
- Find more top tips from Drinkaware on how to drink responsibly.
Scientists are finding some interesting foods that may help too, like asparagus. Research has found that extracts of asparagus leaves and shoots contain amino acids and minerals that may help liver cells better metabolize alcohol and reduce inflammation. Those components may also provide liver-protective effects, which could help your body recover faster, the research suggests — but no studies have yet been done in humans. The quest to “cure” a hangover, or at least make it significantly less miserable, has eluded scientists and laypeople for years.
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While there is no research to back up the fizzy medicine’s treatment of hangover, the sodium bicarbonate in the ingredients may help to settle an upset stomach. Scientists have found may decrease the amount of acetaldehyde in the body—one of the byproducts of alcohol metabolization which may contribute to some of your hangover symptoms. The caffeine can help relieve headaches and give you an energy boost, but be wary, because caffeinated drinks are also diuretics, and can end up dehydrating you more. One shouldn’t entirely avoid eating, try to keep something down to boost your energy.