Nine Ways to (possibly) Relieve a Hangover
What you may not have learned in Biology class
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 14:11
Maybe you had a few too many beers at a frat party, or got carried away by free drinks at ladies night. Or maybe you were over-excited by your favorite sports team winning a game and celebrated with one too many shots. Either way, you’ve just woken up with an agonizing hangover and feel like you’ll never want to drink again. According to MedlinePlus a service run by the National Institutes for Health, the best way to cure a hangover is prevention (drinking in moderation the night before or not drinking at all), but have no fear: There are a few other remedies for the morning-after that are worth trying. With your head feeling like it’s about to explode, you might be looking for anything that could remotely help you out of your misery.
Plain old H20 can go a long way for your poor, hung-over body. When you drink alcohol, you get dehydrated, and dehydration causes many of the common hangover symptoms, making rehydration essential after a night of drinking. Also, alternating between water and an alcoholic drink during your night will help the next day, or drinking a few glasses of water before going to bed can also be beneficial. If you fail to do either of these things, drinking water the next morning is still a tried-and-true way to help your body recover.
The saying “sleep it off” is well-put, because sleep is one of the only proven natural cures that helps your body heal itself. The problem is that after a night of drinking, though it may feel like a good night’s sleep because you simply pass out, your body is not actually resting. According to an article about hangovers from the Mayo Clinic and the national institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism, alcohol puts you to sleep quickly, but once it wears off, you sleep restlessly or are woken up abruptly, and that’s why you may wake up very early after a long night out. If you have the luxury of sleeping in or going back to sleep the next morning, do so.
Many people believe a nice cup of Joe will help speed up the hangover-recovery period because it makes you alert, wakes you up after a long night and will sometimes relieve a bad headache. But it is also widely criticized because it’s a diuretic, meaning it causes dehydration, which is not something you need. The best thing to do if you’re craving a cup of coffee is to drink water along with it, to stay hydrated while still getting your caffeine fix.
Toast or Crackers
Do you remember when you were sick as a kid and your mom always gave you saltine crackers or plain toast to help settle your stomach? Well she was right to do so, because although no food can stop your stomach from feeling queasy when you’re hungover, according to MedlinePlus, carbs restore your blood sugar levels to normal and give you energy. By eating carbs, you’re giving your body new energy to work with, and it will help you feel less tired and irritable.
For many college students, getting that greasy delicious omelet with bacon and hash browns on the side is the perfect cure to a horrible hangover, but in reality this is just wishful thinking. The best thing to do is eat a full meal before going out and drinking so that there will be something in your stomach to absorb the alcohol. If you are hungry the next morning, eating something is better than nothing, and greasy food does usually fill you up and can help restore the salts that were lost from dehydration.
This might be one of the first things your aching hungover body searches for when you wake up after a long night, and rightfully so because over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are designed to help relieve common ailments, but you have to be careful when choosing which one to take. Tylenol or acetaminophen, when combined with a liver that’s already working hard to metabolize all the alcohol you just drank, may cause liver damage, so opt for aspirin or ibuprofen if possible.
A salad or green veggies don’t usually seem that appetizing when you’re just trying to hold down last night’s dinner, but if you’ve been partying , it’s likely your body is low on Vitamin B6. According to the National Institutes of Health, Vitamin B6 is responsible for many metabolic functions in the body, including breaking down alcohol. It’s not hard to restore this back into your body though; all you need is to eat some Vitamin B-rich veggies such as spinach, broccoli, beets or red peppers.
According to MedlinePlus Vitamin C is an antioxidant required to help heal wounds and have the immune system working properly. In turn, it is responsible for helping the liver break down alcohol in your body. Drinking Vitamin C, found in juices such as orange or grapefruit, is a great way to add more enzymes, which help speed up the process. It also gives you natural sugars which will both help break down the alcohol and restore your dehydrated cells.
Alka Seltzer has been known to help settle stomachs for almost 80 years, and now they have a formula called “Morning Relief,” specifically designed for hangovers. The sodium bicarbonate fizzy medicine helps upset stomachs by neutralizing stomach acids and includes aspirin for pain relief.