The effectiveness of popular hangover remedies will depend on the severity of the hangover and factors such as the body weight and age of the individual who is afflicted. What works for one person may not work for someone else, but there are some remedies for getting rid of hangovers that are generally considered worth trying.
Feed the Hangover
The body’s glucose levels, vitamins, and minerals are depleted by excessive alcohol consumption and need to be restored by eating something nutritious. A fry up is traditionally regarded as a ‘cure all’ for a hangover, but this is high in fat and may irritate a delicate digestive system. Something lighter such as a boiled egg with toast or a grilled bacon sandwich is a good alternative, accompanied by some fresh fruit, freshly squeezed fruit juice or a fruit smoothie.
Alcohol metabolism produces a particularly nasty toxin known as acetaldehyde, which is many times more toxic than alcohol itself and thought to be largely responsible for hangovers. Eggs and other high protein foods are commonly cited as hangover cures because they contain cysteine, an amino acid which helps to ‘mop up’ any remaining acetaldehyde the liver has yet to get rid of.
Rehydrate the Body
Alcohol is a diuretic causing excessive water loss, and dehydration contributes greatly to hangover symptoms. This should be addressed by drinking plenty of water to rehydrate the body. Drinking a noncarbonated, caffeine-free sports drink will also help to replace electrolytes lost through dehydration.
Many people reach straight for the coffee when they wake up with a hangover. However, although coffee, coke and other caffeinated drinks can induce a temporary feeling of alertness, caffeine is a diuretic, and more water loss is the last thing the body needs after a night of booze. Coffee is not a wise choice as a hangover cure.
Sleep off the Hangover
Sleeping for as long as possible can help to get rid of a hangover. Drinking alcohol puts the body under a great deal of stress, depletes its supply of energy, disturbs sleep and leads to tiredness in the morning. If it is a work day, and the hangover is particularly bad, it may be necessary to call in sick.
Resting to let the body-mind itself is preferable to struggling through the day, but this should not become a regular occurrence.
Curing a hangover is one thing, but prevention is better than cure. The only way to be sure of preventing a hangover from alcohol is to avoid drinking alcoholic drinks in the first place, but this is often easier said than done.