How to Cure a Hangover

how cure hangoverEveryone has their own little hangover cure don’t they. There must be thousands of them out there, but how many actually work? The truth is different people probably need different things to help them, depending on their individual constitution.

However there are a few reliable cures that seem to work for everyone. One of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration (largely responsible for your headache), so clearly the best thing to prevent or cure them is rehydration – plenty of water or fruit juice (as that often contains anti-oxidants too).

Sugar filled soft drinks like cola are NOT a good idea, because although they’ll make you feel good temporarily by boosting your blood sugar, you’ll very quickly feel even worse again as you suffer from the insulin crash afterwards.

Having said that, caffeine can often help with a headache and get you feeling sharper again, it depends on your preference. Unfortunately most caffeinated drinks are also diuretic, meaning they will dehydrate you even more. Part of your rehydration might perhaps include essential electrolytes too (Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium etc).

Another cause of hangover is acetaldehyde, the toxic chemical produced when alcohol dehydrogenase breaks down alcohol in the liver. This is what causes the ‘poisoned’ feeling. There are a couple of things which work quite well to mop this up – the first is an amino acid called cysteine, which is found in large quantities in eggs. So that’s breakfast sorted out. You can also buy N-acetyl cysteine as a supplement in health food shops. The second thing which mops up acetaldehyde quite well is probiotics – the healthy bacteria found in yoghurt. However perhaps the best way to take this is in capsule form where it’s far more concentrated. A few of these before bedtime can really help you.

Most alcoholic drinks will leave you with low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) by morning, so its important to get that back up again in a slow, stable way. Which means complex carbohydrates as opposed to simple ones. What I mean is whole grains, like wholemeal bread or muesli, vegetables and fruit (particularly bananas to boost your potassium levels again). Carbs like simple sugars, white pasta or potatoes will not help.

The nausea can be eased very effectively with ginger or peppermint tea, and again with those rehydration salts (or electrolytes).

Painkillers are obviously quite tempting, but paracetamol causes further toxic strain on the liver and kidneys, and ibuprofen can irritate the stomach. So aspirin is probably the safest analgesic for a hangover.

Finally you might well benefit from some B vitamin supplements – to calm your central nervous system (responsible for the tremors, sweats and anxiety), but these will tend to have a more long term effect rather than being a short term cure.

No doubt you’ve got plenty of suggestions for your own hangover cures too, so lets hear what works for you in the comments…

97 Comments

  1. John Mackenzie 14 February, 2017 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Amazing post and thank you so much for this post and yeah before even thinking about your first drink, take 2 teaspoons of olive oil. It will help protect the lining of your stomach and slow the absorption of alcohol. Plus, olive oil is FULL of antioxidants that will hurry away the toxins you’re about to bombard your system with.

  2. V 4 March, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Best cure ever…!! One more glass of alcohol.. And it will take your hangover away.. It helped me .

  3. R 6 February, 2016 at 8:03 am - Reply

    I have the best ever, a fried egg sandwich and lots of coconut water. Microphone drop! I got it!!!

  4. jahroots 20 December, 2015 at 5:46 am - Reply

    try drinking re hydrating salt,sounds weird but it helps for me. you will fill better in moments but extremely hungry afterwards.

  5. Cindy 11 November, 2015 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Best hangover cure… after drinking alcohol, drink 16 oz of water before going to bed, add in an extra 2 oz of water w/ Super Orange Emergen C packet, Vitamins to add – 1 magnesium, 1 potassium, 1 probiotic. If you have a Zantac and or Omeprazol around that can be supplemented for the probiotic. Next morning…. 16oz of water, shower, go for a brisk walk and I tend to add another packet of Emergen C.

    • Cindy 11 November, 2015 at 1:02 am - Reply

      Oh and food, I almost forgot food!!! Have some eggs, a banana, dry toast and honestly some bacon.

  6. Nyra 2 May, 2015 at 4:00 am - Reply

    This cure was so effective it lead to having the energy to binge drink. I do t recorded that last bit.
    B vitamins of course with magnesium and a multi. Pair that with probiotics.
    If too nauseous for food in the morning. Bentonite and psyllium or if you simply need something to eat with vitamins. Whey powder and probiotic yogurt in a quick smoothie.

    While resting sip of dandelion tea and take a nip of apple cider vinegar three times a day. Your body will thank you with ACV.

    If listless and depressed, a good comedy, chat with an old friend and a tablet of 5-HTP to boost serotonin which may help with a bad night’s sleep of feeling down on yourself.

  7. Michael Wood 21 April, 2014 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    So took about 5 cinnamon toast crunch shots and like 2 beers I don’t drink much anymore really cuz the hang overs started to take two days instead of the usual 1 so I read the above thread and happen to work out so I have amino acids by the jar full and also had hard boiled eggs already stocked up in frig, and also had probiotics on hand and is how I found this thread looked up ” do probiotics help with hang overs” so the moral of the story is an egg for aminos and an amino supplement drink plus a double dose of probiotics helped flawlessly been about 2 hours and I’m bout to head to work and feel 100% better already from two day hangovers to two hour hangovers not bad but I also take into the fact that I didn’t get as drunk as I have in the pass

  8. Dr T 24 November, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Magnesium, Vitamins B Complex, Carbonhydrates Food, Water, and mostof all
    SLEEP!!

  9. jon 23 April, 2013 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    To be warned. Drinking to cure a hangover works but it can start serious dependacy issues.( its how you become an alcoholic

  10. jon 23 April, 2013 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Marijuana all the. As soon as i feel the rapid heart beat and sleepnessless a couple hoots ( not much) will relax stomache muscels and aid in any withdrawl symtoms and then your hungry and then you sleep. I also live in BC canada were marijuna is alot more accepted. Great hangover soltion for me anyways

  11. Mvillasana 6 January, 2013 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    What’s works for me is red Gatorade and piece of wheat toast and lots of rest

  12. mike 3 January, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    I’ve tested different pills on hangover, and I should say that Noglo helped for the most terrible hangover attack I’ve ever had πŸ™‚

  13. Dan 19 August, 2012 at 7:39 am - Reply

    I drank cider and beer last nite I feel like my heads going to implode. I always have ice cold ribinia and a good size cooked breakfast then I feel tired a few hours later then get my head down . Then wake up then do it all over again haha party on !!!

  14. vlad 12 April, 2012 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    bollocks ! It always depend on what u drink thee nite before ..u rinks lots of beer drink beer in the morning than have a wank and sleep.. if u drink vodka and other staff more than 40% try chicken stock,sometimes strong espresso,or something greasy as well depends on your stomach if it ask for it..don’t forget plenty water if u can and some pills don’t recommend as not helps to everyone..if that doesn’t work then try to trow out and then one pill for headache and one for sleep..than u wake up fresh but fckn hungry.. good luck !!

  15. sharon 14 February, 2012 at 8:43 am - Reply

    the one thing that does the trick for me is pepermint tea.

  16. Gifted5thGrader 30 January, 2012 at 12:00 am - Reply

    (Hopefuly I will not get so high I get a MAJOR hangover the next day.)

    • Anonymous 8 March, 2015 at 8:00 am - Reply

      New Years Day of 2014 I woke up to my best friend from across state lines visiting. He surprised me and that’s when I noticed the pounding in my head and I knew I had a few too many… I got kicked out of my uncles school lol.

  17. Gifted5thGrader 29 January, 2012 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    I came to this page because I am working on a brochure about alcoholism.This was actually pretty helpful, one day I will remember this page and use these cures. Thank you, Kelly, Carl!

  18. Kelly 17 December, 2011 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I personally think this site is really good. I put ‘how to cure a hangover’ on google, a I’m currently lying I bed after a LOT of alcohol and no sleep, and was led to this page, it’s helpful an its good that people can say what they think a good cure is! But ye.. Orange juice, toast, tea, sleep. The one thing I’ve had that works straight away and is amazing is alka-seltzer πŸ™‚

  19. carl jones 17 November, 2011 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    Its funny to me so many people stating the obvious to not drink in the first place, problem is if you are searching google and come up to this page its because you where drinking probably last night.
    I am a dj and have had my share of wild parties and crazy long nights, and yes i have felt like s***t the next morning aka “the hangover” so I have tried many of these cures some work other dont. something that I have realized is that for some people you might just drink a few beers and voila no more hang over or atleats it lightens the pain of the headache. others cant go near a beer after the hang over I guess it depends on what you had to drink the prior night.

    As Elly point out above I have heard sweating it out works i.e. running or dancing or whatever makes you sweat and drink water. Some hispanics tend to eat spicy soups and in the end do the same thing makes them sweat and also rehydrate with the soups because it contains water and salt.

    There is a very famous drink in Mexico which I have tryed and recommend its called clamato. It is very much like a bloody mary. To prepare your own the main ingredients are tomatoes juice with clam juice (not v8!) salt pepper Worcestershire sauce, a drop or two of tabasco hot sauce a little drop of soy sauce and freshly squeezed limes add one beer to this mix and drink as many as needed usually one does the trick.
    and you are welcome πŸ™‚

  20. Elly 1 November, 2011 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Interesting but no amazing cure ! Running is the best cure for me but obviously not drinking in first place would do it, easy for me to say sitting here with my glass of rose

  21. Becca 10 June, 2011 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    I think having hangover cures on a site to help people with their drinking problems, is a good idea. The clue is in the tag line ‘to help beat alcohol dependence’ If the site was full utterly sober people on the wagon, the need for hangover cures would be redundant.
    Many of the people here, are struggling to cut down, or abstain all together, and sometimes they will relapse (myself included) and wake next day feeling like death….again!!
    and have to start…again!

    I personally find I always have a craving for bacon and tea the next morning. Unless its really bad!!
    I have heard, but don’t know how true it is. That vitamin C helps the liver process alcohol.
    Also read somewhere, if you eat eggs (hungover or not) you should have Vit C with them to help distribute the iron through your body.

  22. anne 22 April, 2011 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I also found it a little strange that a site about cutting down includes hang-over cures, but I get it. This site is just so practical and I am so happy to have found it!

    I’m grateful for having the fact that paracetamol has to be worked off by your liver along with the alcohol highlighted, so not a great option.

    As for my cures, I have always been a junk-food fiend for hang-overs – juicy, yummy burgers oozing with fat… mmm. In fact, it is one of my drinking causes as I have developed positive associations with hang-overs: for me they have always meant lazy days, not putting pressure on myself, and allowing myself ultra greasy food that I otherwise don’t eat, often in the company of similarly hung-over friends.

    I really try to avoid it, but I do find a bit of hair of the dog works. Icy cold beer or bubbly I can often stomach and it is frightening how quickly it brings me back up to a perky state.

  23. Elizabeth 18 March, 2011 at 1:38 am - Reply

    A big tall chocolate milkshake does wonders for me. Also Emergen-C. And to avoid the craving next time, keep a bottle of carbonated mineral water, like Pellegrino, going, and take a few gulps every time the intense craving hits.

  24. Sean Ice Cool 2 March, 2011 at 1:52 am - Reply

    There is no cure. I am afraid you just have to ride it out with a good strong pain killer. The hair of the dog worked for me but only about 3 hours later and by then i had about 12 pints and 6 of those were spewed down the dunny. Still what ever you all do if it seems like it works for you then don’t stop doing it but do try to ease up a bit on the booze. Stay cool and don’t ever forget to eat before drinking.

  25. Paul 25 February, 2011 at 5:06 am - Reply

    One of the best cures I have ever used is to jump into the ocean and soak your hangover away. Something about the cooler water on your entire body makes you feel better, the salt water probably helps your electrolyte and hydration issues. Lay in the sun after your dip in the ocean, and repeat. The cooler the water tempurature, the sooner you will feel better. Has worked for me many times.

    • Sean Ice Cool 2 March, 2011 at 1:41 am - Reply

      I love coming here and looking at all these funny things. Have you ever heard of alcohol related Hyperthermia Paul lol But on a plus side cold water can slow the heart down but on the not so plus side it can give you a heart attack lol. But i do seem to remember reading some medical jargon on ice cold water and booze heads but its a long time ago and the booze has frazzeld my brain and confusion has just set in big style again hahaha cold water please. Parker fire me in the sea.

  26. June 4 November, 2010 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Slowly drink plenty of water, take a shower and get cleaned up, and get moving. Unless your hangover is very, very severe, laying around will make you feel worse. Preferably outside. Take a walk, go to the store. I swear, you will feel a lot better. Eat something mild and take a multivitimen if you can stomach it.

  27. WillInKalifornia 18 October, 2010 at 2:36 am - Reply

    Far easier to prevent a hangover than cure one…

    NAC (N-Acetylcysteine) and Vitamin-C before you drink!

    NAC (from your local vitamin shop) is the secret ingredient in expensive hangover prevention pills… The ones that work anyway. Vitamin-C makes it work much better.

    Gotta take it before you start tho… It won’t work after.

    If you can’t get your hands on some NAC, a bag of peanuts while you party will help. Peanuts=cysteine.

    Ginger Ale and Cinnamon Toast in the morning will take off any rough edges. Then eggs and orange juice if all goes well.

    http://www.ifyoudrink.info

    Cheers!

  28. willy 14 October, 2010 at 11:50 am - Reply

    ouch !!!!!!

  29. Sean 10 October, 2010 at 12:20 am - Reply

    Come on more input on this page. Hay you yes you reading this dribble that i am taking my valuable time to put down come on put a bit of input into this page even if its to say hello. Now how hard can that be.

Leave A Comment