- Drink some fluids.
- You're dehydrated, and some water, Gatorade, or juice (without alcohol, please) will help you recover faster. Skip acidic juices like orange juice; they won't help your upset stomach.
- Go back to bed.
- The more sleep you can get, the more you'll sleep through some of the worst part of a hangover
- Take a headache medicine.
- Ibuprofen can help your headache, but it can irritate your stomach. Tylenol might be a better choice, but is associated with liver disease if you're a heavy drinker.
- Eat something.
- You might be nauseous, but a little chicken broth and some crackers will help settle your stomach and give your blood sugar a boost. Some prefer dry toast with a little peanut butter. Pepto-Bismol (Bismuth Subsalicylate) isn't a bad idea to deal with that stomach upset as well.
The above measures are thought to be of medical benefit for hangovers, but there are a lot of home remedies that people swear by. Below are just a few.
- Ginger root is a time-honored natural remedy for nausea and vomiting, and many people feel seasick when they have a hangover. Ginger Ale is the easiest way to ingest some, but a ginger tea may be even better.
- Honey and Lemon:
- Ingredients of a hot toddy (hold the alcohol), mixing some honey and lemon will boost your blood sugar.
- Vitamin B6:
- A 1973 study found that Vitamin B6, in large doses, can improve a hangover. Later studies, however, found no such benefit and possible risks to the liver and pancreas. Vitamin B-complex, a combination of B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), folic acid, B6 and B12 has also been proposed as a cure. It isn't, but a dose of a vitamin supplement probably won't hurt you.
- If you can't even move after a night of drinking, how can you exercise? Some feel, however, that sweating out the toxins will help a hangover. If you do decide to exert yourself, hydrate well beforehand and keep it to low-impact activities or you might be worse off than before. How about trying a walk around the block first?
Hangover Prevention Tips
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that is the honest-to-God's truth when it comes to hangovers. Make sure to:
- Eat before you drink: Drinking on an empty stomach equals big trouble. Beer has calories, but it's not dinner. Having a full stomach before drinking may help you keep your blood alcohol level down.
- One alcoholic drink, one non-alcoholic: Matching one Old-Fashioned with one glass of water will help keep your alcohol intake down and decrease your chances of a hangover in the morning.
- Pick the right poison: If you're not picky about your poison, try to stay away from dark liquors like, say, bourbon. These have more congeners and are more likely to cause hangovers than clear liquors like vodka. Clear liquors are less associated with severe hangovers.
- Be Bubble-Free: Alcohol in carbonated drinks, like Champagne, may be absorbed more quickly and lead to worse hangovers.
- Head it off at the pass: Take two aspirin with a full glass of water before going to bed. Fatty acids that reduce inflammation in aspirin can avoid a bad hangover.
- Abstain: Do I really have to say why? If you really don't want a hangover, don't drink. Be the designated driver.
ABOUT DR. JOE ALTON
Joe Alton, M.D. (www.doomandbloom.net ) is a disaster preparedness expert, member of the Wilderness Medical Society, and NY Times/Amazon bestselling author of "The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way" and other books. Dr. Alton has also written the just-released and timely "The Zika Virus Handbook". Dr. Alton is a well known speaker and host of The Doom and Bloom™ Survival Medicine Hour syndicated podcast.