Drinking alcohol, especially too much, can be accompanied by various side effects. A hangover is the most common one, with symptoms including fatigue, headache, nausea, dizziness, thirst and sensitivity to light or sound.
While there’s no shortage of purported hangover cures, ranging from chugging a glass of pickle juice to rubbing a lemon in your armpit before drinking, few of them are backed by science.
This article explains few ways to cure a hangover.
- Eat a good breakfast
Eating a hearty breakfast is one of the most well-known remedies for a hangover. One reason is that a good breakfast can help maintain your blood sugar levels. Although low blood sugar levels are not necessarily the cause of a hangover, they’re often associated with it. Low blood sugar could also contribute to some hangover symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue and weakness.
In addition to helping reduce certain hangover symptoms, eating a healthy breakfast can provide important vitamins and minerals, which may become depleted with excessive alcohol intake.
- Get plenty of sleep
Alcohol can cause sleep disturbances and may be associated with decreased sleep quality and duration for some individuals. While a lack of sleep does not cause a hangover, it can make your hangover worse.
Fatigue, headaches and irritability are all hangover symptoms that can be exacerbated by a lack of sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep and allowing your body to recover may help alleviate symptoms and make a hangover more bearable.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration in a few different ways. First, alcohol has a diuretic effect. This means that it increases the production of urine, leading to a loss of fluids and electrolytes that are needed for normal functioning.
Second, excessive amounts of alcohol can cause vomiting, leading to an even further loss of fluids and electrolytes.
Although dehydration is not the only cause of a hangover, it contributes to many of its symptoms, such as increased thirst, fatigue, headache and dizziness.
Increasing your water intake may help alleviate some symptoms of hangovers and even prevent them altogether.
Few home remedies to overcome the ability to reduce hangover symptoms
Ginger is a tried and tested treatment for nausea and seasickness. And that’s why it is considered as one of the best home remedies for a hangover. Ginger gives fast relief by assisting in the digestion of alcohol, thus soothing the stomach.
Lemon juice or lemon tea is a popular home remedy for hangovers. It helps to assimilate alcohol and provides instant relief. The best trait of lemon is that it makes a gentle medicine that can be taken on a possibly upset stomach.
- Pickle Juice
The vinegar, water and sodium combo is the ultimate pick-me-up, combating dehydration and boosting energy. It will help to level out your acid and alkaline levels, but it’s worth adding honey to sweeten it and make it more drinkable.
- Raw Fruits
Eating raw fruits or having a fresh and crunchy fruit salad is an effective way of treating hangovers. Apples and bananas in particular work as effective hangover cures.
Honey is one of the simplest and easily available home remedies. It has potent powers to neutralize the harmful effects of alcohol, thanks to the presence of fructose, which competes with the metabolism of alcohol. Honey also helps in the digestion of alcohol inside a person’s body.
Tomato juice contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps your body metabolize alcohol faster. This is why dehydration caused due to a hangover can be compensated by taking freshly prepared tomato juice or soup.
Lime is the answer to queasiness, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound and all kinds of muscle aches caused due to excessive alcohol intake. It offers vitamin C which stabilizes your blood sugar levels.
The ancient Greeks and Romans placed great importance on the healing powers of cabbage. They would eat large quantities of cabbage at night before drinking, as this would allow them to drink more alcoholic beverages without feeling the side effects. Perhaps this is why many consider cabbage with vinegar a good hangover remedy.
Preventive Measures for Hangover:
- Make sure you never take alcohol on an empty stomach. Always eat something before or while you are enjoying your drinks as this will not only slow down the rate at which alcohol enters your blood, but will also reduce the after-effects.
- Try to alternate between an alcoholic drink and a non-alcoholic beverage. This will lead to an overall reduction in the quantity of alcohol you consume.
- Prefer clear alcohol, such as white wine, vodka, gin etc. It is believed that the darker the alcoholic drink, the more likely it is to cause hangovers.
- Avoid sweet and sugary foods after or while you drink. Sweet taste makes it tough for the drinker to judge how much alcohol he/she is actually consuming. It also believed that sugar makes the drink hit you harder.
- Try not to have a carbonated drink with alcohol as carbonation speeds up the alcohol absorption.
- Drinking water is the best cure for a hangover. So try to drink as much water as you can while you are drinking.
- Juice, especially freshly squeezed orange juice, helps raising your blood sugar levels together with easing some of the hangover symptoms. However, if your stomach is upset, skip acidic juices such as orange juice and stick to apple juice instead.