How to Quickly Cure a Hangover Naturally
We’ve all done it. Gone out with friends Friday night and drank until the bars closed, only to wake up with a pounding headache and hangover. Although there is no direct cause of what causes a hangover, we’ve come with up natural remedies that can help reduce some of the most common symptoms quickly and effectively.
After a long night out, you may have found yourself waking up with a pounding headache, nausea and extreme fatigue. This is all a result of alcohol poisoning and it happens more than you’d think to people that drink on a regular basis.
The body absorbs a fixed amount of alcohol per hour which varies depending on sex, body mass and how heavily one drinks. According to Edouard Coupet II, MD, a Yall Medicine emergency doctor in New Haven, Connecticut, and a Yale-sponsored National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) scholar, “alcohol enters the bloodstream within minutes of your first sip and is then absorbed by the digestive tract. It is processed in the liver as your body works to break down the alcohol. It can take sometimes upwards to an entire day for the body to get rid of every last drop of alcohol.
So what causes all of these hangover symptoms such as thirst or that horrible headache you feel in the morning?
Alcohol is a poison and there are impurities in it that can vary from one type of alcohol to another. In other words, you get what you pay for. Cheap liquor is going to be full of sugar and added preservatives. Your body has to process this along with the alcohol so it’s been exhausted which leads to fatigue in the morning. However, even the most expensive alcohol can cause hangovers if you drink enough of it.
Kelly Kennedy, RD, a staff nutritionist at Everyday Health, explains that drinking in moderation can still cause hangovers and there is no special cure but to prevent it in the first place. All in all, most of the time we don’t think about prevention when we go out for the night, but there are some things you can do to ease the pain successfully.
1. Water is your best friend, so drink lots of it.
Alcohol can make you very dehydrated in the morning. It acts as a diuretic, which can make you urinate more often. It’s the most common hangover symptom. When you’re dehydrated, you don’t sleep well and can cause you to wake up in the wee hours of the morning dying of thirst.
If you know you’ll be drinking all night, it’s important to stay well-hydrated throughout the day and have plenty to drink before heading to bed. If you still wake up with a hangover, do your best to drink as much water as you can. Every sip will help you feel better.
2. Grab a few electrolyte-enhanced waters or beverages.
Alcohol makes you go to the bathroom a lot, which depletes your body of essential vitamins and nutrients. This can result in dizziness, nausea, and cramping.
Research published in 2015 by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that drinking electrolytes after long periods of dehydration actually restores important minerals, like sodium, potassium, and calcium.
Well, there are what seems like hundreds of different electrolyte drinks hitting the market today, but which ones are the best for you? We suggest trying our own branded electrolyte-enhanced water Evolve. It will get you back on your feet faster without all the added sugars and high fructose corn syrup found in most electrolyte beverages out there.
3. Eat nutrient-rich foods before and after drinking.
Just like athletes carb up before a big event, it’s important to eat a full meal before indulging in alcoholic drinks. The digestion of food before and during alcohol consumption can help increase anti-diuretic hormone levels (ADH) and blood flow to the liver, all which work to help your body break down alcohol quicker.
There are plenty of things you can do to prevent a hangover, but what if you’re already hungover? Contrary to the popular belief that greasy foods will help you absorb the alcohol, it’s not always the best option. Maggie Michalczyk, RDN, a dietitian and food blogger based in Chicago explains that craving a strip of bacon or french fries in the morning after a night out drinking is your body’s response to dehydration and low levels of sugar.
Since the alcohol is already being processed out of your body, it’s important to each complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables upon waking up in the morning. Experts strongly advise eating bananas because they are rich in potassium which alcohol depletes from the body.
4. If you’re nauseous, try eating some ginger
Ginger is one of the best natural remedies for an upset stomach, which is a very common symptom of a hangover. A study done in December of 2019 by the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that ginger reduced vomiting in cancer patients going through chemotherapy by up to 60% and reduced fatigue by 80%.
5. Chamomile tea can reduce hangover-induced anxiety
Another common symptom of a hangover is anxiety. If this doesn’t sound familiar, well it’s because hangover affects us all differently. Chamomile tea can help calm any emotionally overwhelming feelings brought on by drinking. This flowering plant, according to Michaelczyk, is able to soothe anxiety and help you sleep more soundly at night.
6. Protect your immunity and restore energy with vitamins
Many hangover symptoms are a result of nutrient deficiencies. The two most important and depletes vitamins are vitamin B and C. Vitamin B is responsible for energy, brain function, and keeping the immune and nervous system acting properly. The feeling you get of fatigue and depression are often associated with a depletion of vitamin B. If you can’t get your mind off breakfast in the morning, eggs are a great source of B vitamins that alcohol flushes out. Pair it with lean protein like turkey bacon and whole-grain English muffins to feel better faster.
7. Avoid taking medication that can cause adverse effects with alcohol.
There are certain medications and drugs that can interact with alcohol and cause severe hangover-like symptoms. You will want to check the label of any prescriptions you are taking because there is a good chance it says do not take while drinking alcohol. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, medications mixed with alcohol may cause dizziness, drowsiness, impaired concentration and an increased risk of overdose. Some of these medications include antidepressants like Wallbutrin, Zoloft, Effexor, and stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin. Allergy medication can negatively interact with alcohol as well.
It’s important to talk with your physician if you are planning to drink while on medication which can possibly increase the hangover severity.
8. Go back to bed and sleep it off
One of the most restorative remedies you can do while hungover is simply sleeping more. In fact, delayed cognitive function during a hangover is likely linked to poor sleep. IN fact, alcohol actually disrupts sleep and will put you in that morning slump the next day. The National Sleep Foundation notes that alcohol disrupts your circadian rhythm and prevents REM sleep. Poor sleep is linked to anxiety, irritability, and depressed mood, and alcohol only exacerbates these effects.
If you’re looking for the best way to feel better sooner on a hangover? Hydrate and hit the snooze button.