Now you've done it and it is official: you have a hangover. Now what? No matter what you do, sleep and water or juice should be included because your body needs rest and to rehydrate in order to recover.
There are many folk cures that are supposed to help cure a hangover. Many of them will help you cope by replenishing the vitamins and liquids you lost over night, while some, like avoiding caffeine, are important for making a quicker recovery. There is no one size fits all cure, the list below is a good place to start and you will need find what works for you. Sadly, that is going to happen through trial and error. There are also a few suggestions from readers who found their own way to cope.
Time Required: As long as it takes to feel better.
- Sleep. Rest is your best friend at this point because your body needs an opportunity to recover. It is best to stay in bed so call in to work if you have to, tell them you have the stomach flu. You will sound so horrible on the phone that they may believe you (unless they saw you at the bar last night, then this is not a good idea).
- Liquids. Replenish your body with fruit or vegetable juice and water.
- Avoid caffeine. A weak cup of coffee may be okay, but a lot of caffeine will continue to dehydrate you, which is the opposite of what you want right now.
- Vitamin C. Drink orange juice for Vitamin C.
- Food. Eat mineral and protein rich food, even if you don't feel like it.
- Pickles. In Poland, drinking pickle juice is a common remedy. Barbara Rolek, About.com Guide to Eastern European Food, has more Hangover Food suggestions from this region.
Drink a Bloody Mary. While the popular phrase “hair of the dog that bit you” may sound logical with a shot of whiskey left in the bottle next to your bed, it will only provide temporary relief. Try a Bloody Mary instead, while your blood is dealing with the new alcohol it is ignoring the old and in the mean time, the tomato juice and celery are full of replenishing vitamins. If you drank the last of the vodka, make a Virgin Mary or Bloody Maria.
Other spicy morning after drink options are Hair of the Dog, in which gin and hot sauce are sure to bite your hangover back, and the Carrot & Cilantro Cooler, another vitamin-packed savory drink. Yet another classic option (sans spice) are the aptly named Corpse Reviver drinks: #1 (brandy), #2 (gin), #2011.
- Take a shower. This will not only clean you up a little bit, but freshen and wake up your sense. Some people will also switch between cold and hot water, though don't take this to an extreme.
- Try Alka Seltzer Morning Relief. One reader says that it's all that he and his wife have found that really works for them. He stumbled across this "cure" while his wife was still suffering after two days, within 15 minutes after taking the Alka Seltzer she was fine.
- Get some exercise. Another reader suggests doing some sort of physical activity. He writes, "In the rare case of having hangover I usually drink about 1-2 liters of water and go outside to do some exercise like mountain climbing, swimming, cycling or just about anything that keeps me sweating." It takes willpower to move like that when standing seems like a challenge, but there is truth to this for making both the body and mind feel better.
- Avoid pain killers if possible. The side effects of aspirin, Tylenol, and ibuprofen can be magnified when alcohol is in your system, so it is best (even though it may be the first thing you reach for) to avoid them to kill the hangover pain. Aspirin is a blood thinner, just like alcohol, and can intensify its effects and Tylenol (or acetaminophen) can cause more damage to your liver. Ibuprofen can also cause stomach bleeding. So be cautious when going for the quick relief.
- Watch the video: Hangover Remedies. Jonathan Stewart demonstrates how to make a blended hangover remedy. There are a more than a few ingredients so you may want to have everything organized prior to overindulging.
- Vitamin B. As an antidote, one reader takes a little extra multi B vitamin and drinks a lot of water before going to sleep.
- Bury me? In Ireland it was said that the cure for a hangover is to bury the ailing person up to the neck in moist river sand. This may be folklore as I don't know of anyone who has tried it and it seems like too much work, especially if your friends were partying with you, but it's a little fun trivia for such a heavy subject.
- More Tips: Share your hangover tips and read tips from others.