Need a hangover cure? You're not alone - we all drink too much from time-to-time and it's nothing to feel bad about. While we can't help with the memories of your messy night, we can teach you how to cure a hangover quickly and easily.
Don't waste time in bed with a bad head. Learn how to get rid of a hangover faster than it takes you to down a Sambuca shot with our all-natural tips.
What causes hangovers?
You can't get a hangover without alcohol, that much we all know. But what is it about this substance that makes us feel so ill?
Despite popular belief, it's not dehydration alone that causes us to feel hungover. Alcohol is a diuretic, which increases the amount we go to the toilet. We also naturally drink little-to-no water when we are drinking. Despite this, studies have shown electrolyte levels to be similar in those of hungover/non-hungover people.
What dehydration can be responsible for, is your terrible headache. However, the stomach upset/nauseousness has another cause entirely. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining and intestine whilst also increasing gastric acid production and pancreatic acid and intestinal secretion.
Why do hangovers make us feel SO bad?
Some hangovers are so bad, they make us feel like we're on death's door - a toxic feeling caused by a toxic compound produced as a by-product of drinking. When the body processes alcohol, acetaldehyde is produced. It's 30 times more toxic than alcohol itself. Put that into Sambuca terms, and you get the idea - it's pretty nasty.
Got a big night out planned? Try this...
How to avoid a hangover
Going out is all fun and games, until you wake up the next morning with a banging head. Learning how to avoid a hangover will mean you wake up feeling as fresh and upbeat as you did before the drinking began.
1. Alcohol tolerance
Ever wondered why your friends can drink way more than you? Height, weight, and even genetics mean everyone's alcohol tolerance is different.
Figure yours out now, and once you have, don't be too demanding of your body.
2. Pear juice
Pear juice may not be your usual pre-party tipple, but a glass of this good stuff has been shown to aid the body in getting rid of alcohol, thereby reducing the severity of hangovers. Learn even more reasons to try pear juice as a hangover prevention in Anushka's article.
3. How to avoid a hangover using food
There's method in the madness of having a big meal before you go drinking. Eating a balanced meal that includes carbohydrates, will help slow down the rate of absorption into the body and acetaldehyde production.
4. Milk as a hangover cure
Not only does milk contain a plentiful supply of calcium and B Vitamins, but it also coats the stomach's surface. Many people swear by drinking a glass before a night out to limit the amount of alcohol absorbed into the bloodstream.
5. How to avoid a hangover by staying hydrated
We've already briefly covered dehydration in relation to hangovers. Whilst it's not likely to be solely responsible for your hangover, drinking plenty of water will reduce the risk of any unnecessary headaches the following morning.
6. Avoid carbonated drinks
It's bad news for you Prosecco-lovers. Carbonated drinks, including champagne, lemonade and Coca-Cola speed up the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, so are best avoided.
7. Which alcohol doesn't give you a hangover?
If you're serious about avoiding hangovers, it's time to get smart when it comes to which alcohol you choose to drink.
Generally, the darker the liquor, the worse the consequences. To reduce the chances of waking up with a hangover, stick to clear spirits, such as vodka, gin and rum.
8. Olive oil as a hangover prevention
This hangover cure is rather strange, but it's been used in Meditteranean cultures for years. Taking a shot of olive oil before you commence drinking is supposed to lessen your hangover, as the fat limits the amount of alcohol your body can absorb.
Think you have a hangover? Time to find out...
If you didn't see our ways to prevent a hangover before your big night out, you may be suffering from some of the following hangover symptoms.
- Difficulty sleeping
- Thirst and dry mouth
- Tiredness and weakness
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Increased heartbeat
- Increased sensitivity to sound and light
Get ready to say goodbye to your horrendous hangover...
How to get rid of a hangover
If you've woken up with a throbbing head, it's probably a little too late for hangover prevention remedies. Hangover cures, however, will be your best friend and have you feeling better in no time at all. Learn how to get rid of hangover faster than you ever thought possible with our natural hangover cures.
1. How to cure a hangover at breakfast
Providing your body with correct nourishment when you have a hangover is paramount to a fast recovery. You’re going to like what nutritionists recommend eating for easing your hangover symptoms - fats. For breakfast, opt for foods that are high in healthy fats, such as avocado and cysteine-containing eggs, which break down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde.
Meanwhile, avoid greasy foods and dairy, which are hard to digest and put more, unnecessary strain on the digestive system.
2. Replenish electrolytes
It’s not only water that’s important when curing a hangover. You can drink all the water you like, but if your electrolyte supplies are low, you’ll remain dehydrated. Most sports drinks contain high levels of electrolytes, but they can also be found in food. Head to Live Strong for a list of foods containing electrolytes.
3. How to cure a hangover with sleep
Sleep may not be one of the most exciting hangover cures, but it’s almost guaranteed to make you feel better. After breakfast, try and get a few more hours kip in and you’ll wake up feeling much fresher.
4. How to cure a hangover using painkillers
If the NHS recommends something, you know it’s worth trying. Whilst painkillers aren’t the complete hangover cure, they will relieve any headaches you have. Take them alongside plenty of water, a good breakfast and lots of sleep and you’ll feel better in no time.
5. Is ginger the hangover cure you’ve been looking for?
If your hangover symptoms are more stomach-based, then ginger could be the perfect hangover cure for you. Ginger is one of the best natural remedies for calming an upset stomach.
Brew up a ginger tea, add a teaspoon of honey, and sip away.
6. Fermented foods can help cure a hangover
If ginger tea isn’t really your thing, try fermented foods instead. Fermented foods such as miso soup and sauerkraut are a great hangover cure, as they contain healthy bacteria which balances out the bad stuff and soothes your irritated stomach.
Do you have any weird and wonderful ways to cure a hangover? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below!