8 Ways To Cure A Hangover As Fast As Possible
Ahhh yes, you’re hungover. As sick as a small hospital. Nature’s way of telling you you’re not as young as you used to be, you shouldn’t be doing this, and you might need help…plus it’s never just an issue of achiness and a headache. The whole body loves to chime in on this one.
In fact, it’s quite the group effort. Diarrhea, fatigue, headache, nausea, and even some ridiculous shaking are the classic symptoms of a bad morning after last night’s mistake. Shit, sometimes blood pressure goes up, your heart beats faster, and sweat glands overproduce making you a real smelly piece of…
The exact causes of the hangover are as varied as the different types of alcohol you drank last night but let’s keep it simple here - Basically, all that booze you drank last night is metabolized into acetaldehyde – the primary substance that's toxic at high levels and straight up destroys your liver and kidneys…
You’re on a roll, what else helps make a terrible hangover?
Drinking messes up your sleep pretty bad. Yeah you might pass out as soon as you hit the pillow, but being sedated is not the same as good quality sleep - so a solid hangover may include some form of sleep deprivation. Alcohol confuses the hormones that keep our biological clocks in order, which may be why a hangover can feel like you just got off an 18 hour flight to Bangkok.
Booze can also trigger migraines, so some people may think they're hung over when it's really an alcohol-induced migraine they're suffering…sounding familiar?
So, when does the hangover start?
Hangovers start once your alcohol levels begin to fall. In fact, according to some experts, the worst symptoms occur when levels reach zero…so brace yourself, you’re probably getting close to this.
The key ingredient in a terrible hangover seems to be drinking to the point where you’re getting drunk… how much you drank to get there is not that important, but merely how intoxicated you are. In fact, several studies suggest that light and moderate drinkers are more vulnerable to getting a hangover than heavy drinkers.
Alright, you’re probably thinking, “All these negative effects on my body…I’m not drinking again…” Sure you’re not….but hey, either way we’ll show you how to get out of bed and feeling better.
NUMERO UNO: Hair of the dog. Drinking to ease the symptoms of a hangover is sometimes called taking the hair of the dog. This comes from the idea that hangovers are a form of alcohol withdrawal, so a drink or two will ease the withdrawal.
There may be something to it, but just a heads up on this one, researchers say some people may end up with drinking problems because they drink in an effort to relieve hangover symptoms. Probably the last thing you need right now…no judgment here, this just isn’t helping with the recovery aspect.
2. Drink fluids.
No shit, eh? Down some water, Gatorade…whatever you can. Alcohol promotes urination because it inhibits the release of vasopressin, a hormone that decreases the volume of urine made by the kidneys. If your hangover includes diarrhea, sweating, or vomiting, you may be even more dehydrated. Although nausea can make it difficult to get anything down, even just a few sips of water might help your hangover.
3. Get some carbohydrates into your system. Drinking may lower blood sugar levels, so theoretically some of the fatigue and headaches of a hangover may be from a brain working without enough of its main fuel. Moreover, many people forget to eat when they drink, further lowering their blood sugar. Toast and juice is a solid way to gently nudge levels back to normal.
4. Get some Protein & Amino Acids ASAP. Remember those acetaldehydes we talked about earlier? They are straight up chilling in your system right now and the best way to get rid of them is to get some amino acids (building blocks of proteins) in you right now. If you can get a direct source of amino acids, go for it. If you can’t at least get some eggs & bacon (the protein will deconstruct into the amino acids needed to expel the acetaldehydes).
5. Avoid darker-colored alcoholic beverages. Experiments have shown that clear liquors, such as vodka and gin, tend to cause hangovers less frequently than dark ones, such as whiskey, red wine, and tequila. The main form of alcohol in alcoholic beverages is ethanol, but the darker liquors contain chemically related compounds (congeners), including methanol. According to Dr. Swift's review paper, the same enzymes process ethanol and methanol, but methanol metabolites are especially toxic, so they may cause a worse hangover.
6. Last Night’s Mistake Beverage. Here it is people, the goddamn all-in-one solution sent from the gods themselves. This little “shot” of liquid tastes like a jolly rancher, has 3 types of b-vitamins in quantities that could cure the hangover from a 3 day binge, contains amino acids to expel the acetaldehyde, and enough caffeine to equal two cups of coffee…need we say more?
7. Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine may not have any special anti-hangover powers, but as a stimulant, it could help with the grogginess.
8. Vitamin B6. A study published over 30 years ago found that people had fewer hangover symptoms if they took a total of 1,200 milligrams of vitamin B6 before, during, and just after drinking to get drunk. But it was a small study and doesn't seem to have been replicated.
8. Take a pain reliever, but not Tylenol. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, other brands), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help with the headache and the overall achy feelings. Tylenol, though, may irritate a stomach already disturbed by alcohol and might make the acetaminophen more toxic to the liver.
9. Have any other suggestions? Comment below!