Good morning! Or—maybe not so much. If the light's too bright, the noise is too loud, your tummy is doing somersaults, and your head is throbbing, you may be cursing yourself for that extra drink, or two—last night.
If you partied too hard and you simply cannot get anything done, it may be time to implement these tried-and-true hangover cures that will get you back in full working condition as quickly as possible.
These pre-, during-, and post-drinking methods will first and foremost help you avoid the morning-after illness, and assist you in battling it if it comes.
If you know you will be drinking later today, a pre-game with pear juice may help prevent the nasty after-effects a night out may bring. Scientists claim that consuming pear juice before consuming alcohol can keep hangovers at bay. Pear juice contains essential enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism, keeping blood-alcohol levels down and reducing hangover symptoms the next day. Pear juice also has anti-inflammatory effects on the whole body. Some experts say that hangover is a case of low-grade inflammation and that is why it works to reduce hangover symptoms.
Remember to pace yourself while you drink. For every shot/cocktail/beer, drink a glass of water. Water will help to dilute the alcohol in your bloodstream, avoiding a nasty toxin-overload on your system. Don't worry, you'll still get buzzed—but you'll be significantly reducing the chances of an unmanageable hangover the next day.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic to your system, meaning that it makes you urinate more liquid than you're taking in. This can cause you to be dehydrated, which may also lead to a headache and light-sensitivity you feel when you have a hangover.
For an even more hydrating drink, bring along some coconut water which has essential electrolytes to replace the ones you'll be losing.
Congeners are toxic compounds that appear in alcoholic beverages during the fermenting and distillation processes. Scientists found a correlation between elevated levels of congeners and the severity of hangover symptoms. Bourbon whiskey has the highest concentration of congeners. Whiskey, cognac, and tequila all have high levels of congeners as well. Instead, go for vodka, gin, and rum, which has the lowest concentration of congeners.
The reason you're feeling so bad is probably that you're dehydrated. Drink lots of water, juice, or coconut water to replace your electrolytes. A great option is to use your blender or juicer to make a hydrating and nutritious drink that will get you back on your feet fast. Bananas, blueberries, leafy greens, and other fruits and vegetables contain a lot of nutrients that your body is lacking and are easily blended into a delicious shake.
Your liver could also use some help in the form of liquids to flush out all those toxins you pumped into your system last night.
Even if you're feeling a bit queasy, your body could use some protein and minerals to recover. Start with something bland like toast, saltines or pretzels and when you feel you can handle it, eat chicken soup or even plain broth. Neglecting your body will certainly not help it recover, so supplying much-needed nutrients is good for you in the long-run.
Alka-Seltzer has been used to treat hangovers for over 85 years. Those suffering from hangover nausea will surely welcome this medicine which neutralizes stomach acid, reducing queasiness and making an unhappy belly a little happier.
Add ginger to juice or a shake, or make ginger tea to calm an angry gut. For centuries people have been using ginger for its anti-nausea and anti-vomiting effects. If you want to sweeten your ginger tea, add honey to it. The fructose in the honey will help metabolize any alcohol left in your system.
All those toxins left over in your body are making you feel sick, and up to a third of them can be eliminated through your skin. Light sweat-induced exercise will help rid your body of toxins more quickly. Just make sure to stay hydrated by drinking a sports drink or coconut water which contain electrolytes that need to be replaced.
If you feel too sick to exercise, taking a hot shower can cause you to sweat it out as well. It can also ease a headache and help you feel refreshed and energized afterward.
If you've finished a light workout, a cool shower can do wonders for your body as well. The cool water will wake you up and excite your senses, bringing you back to balance.
If you can afford the extra hour or two on a nap, going back to bed during the day can significantly reduce hangover symptoms like a headache and light sensitivity. If you were out late partying, the lack of sleep you're experiencing is not doing any good to your immune system and might be making you feel sicker.
Give your body the rest it needs and let it heal with sleep. You'll feel a lot better when you wake up from a nap.
If you have no choice but to pick up and carry on with work or class, a cup or two of coffee can help you cut down on hangover symptoms—especially if you're a regular coffee drinker.
If you drink coffee daily, don't skip it when you have a hangover. Withdrawal symptoms can make your hangover headache even worse. Don't drink too much though. Caffeine narrows blood vessels and increases blood pressure, which can make other hangover symptoms even worse.
The best cure is prevention, so be sure to take care of yourself before and during the party by staying hydrated, pacing yourself, and staying away from drinks with high levels of congeners.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.