Alcohol: It makes conversation easier, but the next day can become challenging depending upon how much you have inevitably consumed. Hey, life's about experiences and making memories, and sometimes, that comes with the physical price to pay, usually a sore head.
The bad news is that there's no magic pill or mystery herb that can retroactively erase your consumption. The good news? We have some ideas to help soothe your way out of a hangover nightmare. For a full conversation on hangovers, drinking and decision-making in general when it comes to alcohol, please refer to a specialist.
Chamomile to Reduce Anxiety (or Hangxiety)
For some, hangover-induced anxiety, or hangxiety, can be as taxing emotionally as some of the physical symptoms of a hangover. If this doesn’t sound familiar, it might be because hangxiety affects us all differently.
Researchers have discovered that shy people have greater anxiety levels the day after drinking alcohol. Therefore chamomile tea can be used to soother and calm any emotionally overwhelming feelings brought on by drinking. Double bonus: Chamomile can help you sleep more soundly and relieve an upset stomach.
Electrolytes + Vitamins
As you drink, you lose important electrolytes and many hangover symptoms result from nutrient deficiencies, particularly potassium and salt, but also chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sulfate. Vitamin B is particularly affected by alcohol use, according to a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which is why if you restore energy with vitamin B and protect immunity with vitamin C, you can cover many bases when it comes to a safe hangover recovery.
The morning after a night out, consider taking the appropriate supplements and chase it down with this, (or a similar) tasty drink, to not only rehydrate, but also replenish electrolytes and nutrients you lost while drinking.
You’ll need to mix together:
1/2 Cup pineapple juice, preferably fresh
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
2 Cups coconut water
2 Tbsp organic raw honey
1/2 Tsp grated fresh ginger or ginger powder
Sprinkle of Himalayan salt
One of the most effective natural ways to prevent that nasty drinking migraine is to take magnesium as you begin drinking. Combine your magnesium with zinc, an essential mineral for liver health that also aids your body in absorbing other essential nutrients, for a natural and effective hangover cure.
Research has shown that Red Ginseng helps your body metabolise alcohol more quickly, making for a less severe hangover, and helps soothe upset stomachs.
Milk Thistle is a potent natural liver cleanser, protector, and detoxifier, whilst Turmeric is known as a super-spice due to reducing the production of acetaldehyde (the primary hangover-causing toxin), increasing serotonin levels, and is an anti-inflammatory that can help prevent gastro-intestinal issues caused by drinking.
If you’re someone who suffers badly from hangovers, there’s a good chance you’ve been trying and testing all different methods to reduce some of the discomfort, which is why a quick and effective IV drip is probably the most legit way to combat a hangover, by restoring nutrients and cleansing your system. After all, "what do you get in the hospital when severely dehydrated? An IV“.
IVs deliver vitamins and minerals directly into the bloodstream and counteract dehydration and its effects more quickly than other methods, therefore an IV can significantly decrease hangover symptoms and how long your hangover lasts, but those fancy med-spa treatments aren't cheap.
Food + Drink
Food is wonderful, but many of us can empathise with a lack of appetite for food the morning after drinking, but eating is vital with alcohol consumption hitting your blood glucose levels hard.
Cliché would dictate that you tuck into the greasiest full English available, but research warns against this – ditch the morning-after fried breakfast and tuck into something a little healthier.
Load up on vitamin C with fruits and vegetables like broccoli. Also reach for oranges, red bell peppers, kiwis, and strawberries. Bananas deliver potassium, an electrolyte you lose when you sweat or pee. So if you hit the dance floor super hard, the fruit may help! Avocado, eggs and salmon are a brekkie winner in order to replace missing vitamin B, C and D.
Any liquid can be helpful for hydration, but coconut water gets extra credit since, unlike water, it contains electrolytes. Replacing the sodium and potassium you lost last night helps your body perform cellular functions that bring you back to baseline.
Also, the addition of pineapple juice doesn't just make the drink taste more like a piña colada, it adds extra sugar that can moderate your moodiness once it hits the bloodstream.
If last night's indiscretions—cough, tequila—left your stomach irritated, a tomato juice could be a simple solution to deliver nice and healthy complex carbohydrates that improve blood sugar with longer-lasting results than regular sugar. Orange juice is an A+ hangover hydrator, along with green tea, fruity smoothie or simple old lemon water.
Coffee, black tea, and green tea contain some antioxidants that may reduce the adverse effects of alcohol consumption and act as a stimulant to improve the feelings of fatigue. However, drinks that contain caffeine, like Coke, which can actually curb a pounding headache, are diuretics, which may worsen the effects of dehydration in the body, so drinking even more water to counter this is important.
If you aren't a fan of coffee, chicory root and dandelion coffee both have properties that could aid digestion and speed your hangover recovery while supporting your liver. It may not taste exactly like coffee, but it's warm, has a roasty flavour, and is a natural hangover cure.
Doctors and nutritionists alike agree that ginger is one of the best natural remedies for soothing an upset stomach, which is often a common symptom of a hangover, so by adding some freshly sliced or grated into hot water, you are settling your stomach and remaining hydrated.
Take A Sauna
There are mixed opinions on the use of sauna as a hangover remedy. Some say the best way to heal is to detox by sweating it out. Others advise against it based on a sauna causing dehydration.
Some research has concluded that it's not a question of “if” but rather “when?” When using a sauna to cure a hangover, timing is everything.
First let’s define a hangover. Symptoms of the run-of-the-mill hangover from a bout of binge drinking generally include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and noise, lethargy, dysphoria, diarrhea and thirst. In addition to the physical symptoms, a hangover may also induce psychological symptoms including heightened feelings of depression and anxiety.
There are many therapeutic features of a sauna that can help cure a hangover. The quiet serene setting, dimmed lighting, and mellow music can be powerful medicine. A sauna can also help you hydrate, if done correctly that is, so for every drop of sweat, drink more water during the experience. Additionally, a sauna can stimulate food intake, relieve anxiety and depression, and promote deeper sleep – a powerful anti-hangover activity, if performed correctly. Advised not to take one alone.
There really is no substitute for sleep, and alcohol can seriously damage the quality and quantity of our shut eye. Whether the night has gone on until the early hours of the morning, or drinking has impaired your ability to sleep, the downsides to even light sleep deprivation are significant.
If you’re feeling under the weather the following morning, make sure to schedule in an afternoon nap - and don’t forget an early night at the end of the day to recovery swiftly.
From fresh juices to spin classes, there are countless mythical hangover "cures" out there. But just like a berry juice won't undo a night of drinking, there's no solid research that supports the theory of "sweating out" the alcohol either. The reason why some people may feel better after working out with a hangover probably has more to do with the positive effects of exercise itself.
Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down neural function, affecting your mood and emotion, according to the Addiction Center. Even the hangover aftermath can actually make you feel more stressed or anxious. Exercise is the extreme opposite, physical activity causes your body to release endorphins (your body's natural painkillers), which help boost your mood and can help reduce stress and/or anxiety, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Not to mention, exercise can also help lower inflammation in the body, another hangover symptom.
In most hangover cases, dehydration doesn't stretch much beyond a dry mouth and maybe a little dizziness, but when you throw sweating and exercise into the mix, the effects of dehydration become more risky, so taking a walk or gentle jog is advise over a hardcore HIT session the day after a heavy drinking session.
Avoid Medication That Can Cause Adverse Effects With Alcohol
There are hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are not safe to mix with alcohol. The dangers of mixing alcohol with medications can range from increased side effects to potentially life-threatening symptoms, overdose, and even death.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), there are several reasons that it can be harmful to mix medications and alcohol. The ways that drugs and alcohol interact in your body can go both ways: Alcohol can change how a medication works, and certain drugs can change how you feel the effects of alcohol.
Alcohol can make some medications less effective by interfering with how they are absorbed in the digestive tract. In some cases, alcohol increases the bioavailability of a drug, which can raise the concentration of the medication in your blood to toxic levels.
Even allergy, heartburn, cold, flu and anxiety medication, plus many more, can interfere with alcohol consumption and your recovery, so be sure to think before you drink and always read the labelling.
Some of the main benefits that CBD provides coincide with many of the symptoms produced by hangovers. Unpleasant side effects like trouble sleeping, nausea, heightened anxiety, headaches and sore muscles are common for hangovers, and are known ailments that CBD can help relieve.