You know better than to buy anything labeled “hangover cure” for the mornings after a wild night, but there has to be something out there to ease the headache, nausea, and overall sense of feeling like crap-right?
Many traditional hangover remedies often aren’t effective, and some of them may actually make you feel worse. Even though there isn’t one solution to fix all the symptoms of a hangover, a few things can help alleviate specific problems.
Find out what hangover cures will help, and what is too good to be true.
Lots of people-hung-over or not- use a cup of coffee to wake up and feel alert at work. Caffeine narrows your blood vessels and boosts blood pressure. Both of these may make the hangover worse. But if you drink coffee regularly, you might try a very small amount in the morning. Wait 30 to 60 minutes and see how you feel.
H2O is a must to cure a hangover. As you likely know from the frequent trips to the bathroom during a night of debauchery, alcohol is a diuretic and can cause dehydration. Before falling into bed, drink 16-20 ounces of water. And next time you go out, order a glass of water with every beer- and alternate between the two to replace lost fluids as you go.
Even though the diuretic effect of alcohol may cause the body to lose some electrolytes, it’s not so much that you need to replace them right away. Research has shown that sports drinks are no better for a hangover than water from your tap, so save your money.
Even though the thought of a Bloody Mary may appeal to you , a Virgin Mary is a much better choice the morning after. The worst thing to do the next day is to have another drink.
The alcohol may temporarily help your symptoms but could hurt in the long run. Hangovers make you feel horrible because alcohol is toxic, and you need to give your body a chance to recover. That morning drink could lead to an even worse hangover the following day.
What you eat after drinking doesn’t matter-it’s what you eat before all those Jagerbombs that can help lessen the hangover the next day. Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol, and the longer it takes the alcohol to reach your blood stream, the longer it is until you become intoxicated.
Alka-Seltzer has been used to treat hangovers for nearly 80 years. All Alka-Seltzer varieties contain sodium bicarbonate ( also known as baking soda), which will help settle a queasy belly by neutralizing stomach acid. Still, other ingredients, notably aspirin and citric acid, may irritate your stomach after a night of heavy drinking.
One drink- a 12-ounce beer , 5-ounce of wine, or 1,5-ounces of hard liquor- is metabolized by your body in about an hour, so the whole “sweat it out” theory to cure a hangover is myth. At the same time, the endorphin release could boost your mood. And burning off a few calories may ease your guilt about how much you drank. Just be sure you keep your water bottle handy so you don’t become even more dehydrated.
Ease a pounding head with a pill or two, but stick to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include ibuprofen ( Advil and similar drugs) and naproxen (Aleve). Or you can try over-the-counter remedies like Pamprin and Midol. These often combine some sort of pain reliever with caffeine.