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How to cure a hangover: 5 hangover remedies that actually work

If you’ve ever had a hangover, you know just how horrible it can be. A hangover is a combination of physical and mental symptoms, after heavy drinking. The most common symptoms include fatigue, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and sensitivity to light and loud sounds. Despite how common hangovers are, scientists still aren’t completely sure what causes them, which means there is no official cure for hangover. However, there are some things you can try to prevent and easy those annoying and troublesome symptoms. Check out five tips to try if you need to know how to cure a hangover.

Eat Nutrient Rich Food Before and After Drinking

To prevent or help ease a hangover, its ideal to consume nutrient rich foods. Eat food before drinking can help increase anti-diuretic hormone levels (ADH), sugar fructose and blood flow to the liver. This then helps the body break down alcohol faster. If you’re already hungover, many people think eating a big greasy meal is your ticket to getting rid of the symptoms. However, this is incorrect.

“Craving a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich the morning after a night out drinking is your body’s response to low blood sugar and dehydration,” says dietitian Maggie Michalczyk, RDN. Contrary to popular belief, the truth is these foods will not absorb the alcohol, instead Michalcyzk recommends reaching for complex carbohydrates. This includes foods like:

  • Bananas
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans
  • 100% whole wheat bread
  • potatoes
  • whole plant foods

Drink Water and Some Caffeine

This may sound simple, but drinking water before and after a night of drinking truly makes all the difference. Alcohol dehydrates you in multiple ways. It increases the amount of urine your kidneys produce, and also causes fluids to be loss due to sweat, vomiting and diarrhea that may occur after drinking.  Before going to bed, make sure — or have a friend make sure — you drink a glass of water. Make sure to drink plenty of water when you wake up as well, to keep you as hydrated as possible the next day.

Aside from drinking water, you might want to try a little bit of caffeine to shake off some of the effects of your hangover. If you do take this advice, make sure not to take to much, as caffeine can make dehydration worse.

Try Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier

To take your hydration game up a notch, and try Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier. Liquid I.V. is a non-GMO electrolyte powder that you pour into your water to deliver hydration quickly to your bloodstream. Because of its powerful hydration benefits, many people are now using Liquid I.V. to help with hangovers.

According to Liquid I.V., one Hydration Multiplier provides the same hydration as drinking two to three water bottles. It also contains three times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks. Essential vitamins in the formula include vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12 and vitamin C. Other ingredients include potassium citrate, sodium citrate, citric acid, dipotassium phosphate, silicon dioxide and stevia leaf extract.   This is one of the best products that will rehydrate and replace electrolytes. It will also help replenish carbohydrates, as it contains 11g of sugars. Liquid I.V.’s powder comes in seven different flavors, all extracted from natural sources. A Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier 16 pack retails for $24.47.

Take Ibuprofen, Not Acetaminophen

Hangovers can cause body aches, headaches and overall pain and discomfort, which makes taking over-the-counter pain killers extremely common. Taking pain killers to ease hangover symptoms is one of the oldest tricks in the book. But, not everyone knows that if you’re going the painkiller route, take ibuprofen, not acetaminophen. Acetaminophen can have toxic effects on the liver if taken when there is alcohol in your system. The metabolizing process of acetaminophen produces a toxic by products, NAPQI, that can kill liver cells. This means, stay away from Tylenol which is by far the the most popular acetaminophen brand. Instead, take ibuprofen pills like Advil, Aleve and Motrin.

Try Prickly Pear Extract

Prickly pear extract isn’t the most talked about remedy, but it does work wonders at easing hangover symptoms. Some studies suggest this stuff can reduce the severity of a hangover by half. The same study showed that this extract can reduce several hangover symptoms like nausea, dry mouth, and food aversions. Prickly pear extract can be find as supplements, such as capsules, online. The prickly pear extract works as an anti-inflammatory, and reduces inflammation in the liver, which Bacharach says “otherwise directly leads to hangover symptoms such as headache and nausea.”