When the weekend rolls around, many people like to indulge in a drink or two. This could be a night on the town, a party, a date, or simply relaxing at home. A drink or two can easily become several, and in these cases it can make the following day a challenge. Severe hangovers can ruin weekends, but there are ways to either reduce or eradicate this terrible feeling. So, if you find yourself waking up with a foggy memory, a pounding headache and a horrible taste in your mouth, then try some of these top hangovers cures.
10. Pre-emptive Strike
Many people will tell you that the best way to not get a hangover is not to drink in the first place, but you should be able to go out and let off some steam with a few drinks from time to time. Therefore, instead of not drinking, a way to beat the hangover is to strike before it can set in. This will mean lining your stomach with a big meal or glass of milk before going out, as well as drinking plenty of water before starting on alcohol. During the night, it is wise to pace yourself, carry on drinking water and avoid mixing drinks. If you remember to, once you get home there are also steps to stop or reduce your hangover and that is, you guessed it, drink plenty more water before hitting the hay (painkillers at this point can also help).
9. Hair of the Dog
Perhaps not the most sensible option, but more alcohol will alleviate your symptoms and help you to feel happier. Of course you are just postponing the inevitable with this cure, and you may find your hangover the next day is much worse than the original. This makes it a particularly dangerous remedy to opt for over the weekend, but those on holiday with some more free time may like to indulge themselves in this cure. If the hangover is severe enough, the idea of more alcohol will make you feel queasy and this is your body’s way of telling you that enough is enough. Some people like a refreshing Bloody Mary in the morning or a beer in the afternoon to alleviate symptoms. Your body needs a chance to recover, however, so this is not a recommended cure and you will have to face your hangover at some point.
A quick and easy one, popping a couple Advils (or other ibuprofen) along with a glass of water first thing can help to reduce the pounding headache, as well as decrease inflammation from leftover prostaglandin. If you are feeling sensible before going to bed the night before, taking painkillers and a glass of water can decrease the severity of your hangover once you wakeup, but of course this is often the last thing on your mind after a night out. Taking painkillers first thing, and then going back to sleep for a few hours is the best way to use this cure. When you wake up for the second time you will not be suffering from a headache, which is often what causes the most discomfort during a hangover. If this does not do the trick, taking a couple more after the recommended time gap should help reduce symptoms.
7. Over the Counter Remedies
Whilst you are raiding the medicine cabinet for painkillers, there are also some over the counter remedies which people swear by. This includes things such as Alka-Seltzer or Berocca, which can help to settle a queasy stomach and the water will also help. Another over the counter remedy which people are swearing by is Pedialyte, which is a drink that is used to quickly hydrate children and replace nutrients and electrolytes lost through illness. This is also what you need when you are hungover, and now a third of their sales are to adults as this is proving such a fantastic remedy (many athletes also used it). There are also pills designed specifically for curing hangovers, but there seems to be very little evidence to back these up, so you may want to stay clear of these as they are often expensive.
6. Long Shower
You can feel incredibly groggy and unclean after waking up with a hangover, and one of the best ways to shake this feeling is with a long, hot shower or bath. Whether you do this first thing or after trying a few of the other remedies on this list, you are likely to feel much better after cleaning (and if not, at least your housemates will appreciate it). Mentally it can help you to snap out of it and refresh your mind, but a hot shower can also open up your pores, improve circulation and relax your muscles. Those that are feeling brave might also want to consider a cold shower, as this will give you a jolt that will kick-start your system and certainly wake you up. Unsurprisingly, a cold shower is the least popular hangover cure, but a hot shower can do a world of good.
5. Light Exercise
If you are reading this article with a hangover, there is a good chance that you will keep on scrolling after seeing the word exercise. It may seem like the worst thing in the world upon waking up with a hangover, but if you can face it, it is a fantastic way to shake it off (unless it is a severe hangover, in which case it is a terrible idea). A gentle workout, with lots of water, can boost your endorphin levels, give you some fresh air and generally snap you out of it (although you may not smell as fresh as you’d like once you start sweating). Even going for a walk can do wonders and help you to feel much more normal, but the idea of leaving home will often feel like jumping in the deep end and can prove too challenging at times.
One of the most common symptoms of a hangover is waking up with a rumbling stomach and a craving for as much greasy food as possible. Many people swear by a fully loaded English breakfast to cure their hangover, and this is a great way to replace fatty acids and break down the alcohol in your liver (particularly when you eat eggs). However, the idea of eating this type of food with some hangovers can result in feeling sick, and this is a sign that you should stay clear. If greasy food seems like a risk, or you don’t have the energy to cook, easy to digest foods such as toast, cereal and crackers are a great option. Eating some kind of food shortly after waking up is crucial as it helps you to replenish, but this should also be combined with drinking plenty of fluids (more on this to come).
Even if you managed to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get plenty of sleep, you can still wake up the next day with a hangover. This is because alcohol disrupts your sleep cycle, meaning that you do not get a lot of high quality sleep. If you have nothing to do the following day, going back to sleep (after painkillers and water) can make a big difference and help you to avoid the majority of the hangover. Time is ultimately the only real cure, so if you can sleep it off then this is a great solution, and it can speed the process up as the body has the ability to heal itself whilst sleeping. Even an afternoon nap can alleviate symptoms, but it is important not to disrupt your sleep pattern so that you wake up at a normal time and feel fine the following day.
2. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Despite consuming a large amount of liquid the night before, one of the main symptoms of a hangover is having an insatiable thirst. This is because you are dehydrated, which is causing the pounding headache and dry mouth that you wake up with. Drinking water during the night is a great idea, but if you still wake up with a hangover then water is very much your friend and can make a world of difference. Additionally, fruit juice can give you some sugar and energy, whilst sports drinks will replenish electrolytes, sugars and salts, similar to Pedialyte. Drinking plenty of these fluids throughout the day should alleviate the symptoms, and ensure that the following day you are right as rain. It is important to note that although you may crave them, coffee and fizzy drinks will cause further dehydration (although may offer temporary relief).
As previously mentioned, the only real hangover cure is time. All of these methods may alleviate your symptoms, but ultimately it will take your body a while to fully recover from last night’s antics. This means that when you wake up with a hangover, combining a few of these methods will help, but it is also in your best interest simply to relax and wait for it to blow over. As it turns out, this is an incredibly easy one to do, and embracing your hangover can (sometimes) be enjoyable. Getting some food, liquids (noticing a trend?), curling up on the sofa and watching Netflix all day with the curtains pulled after a night out can be great fun. If you have somebody in the same boat as you this can be even more enjoyable, allowing you to reflect on the night before (provided nothing too embarrassing happened).