You know those nights when you are having a great time out with friends or colleagues, only to realize that when you get up in the morning, you’re in for a tough time?
Hangovers are the worst, and they can really get in the way of enjoying the daytime of your weekends and engaging fully in what’s going on. So what can you do? What’s the secret sauce for fixing hangovers?
Ultimately, these tips are only ever going to help manage the symptoms you experience, to some extent. Although not a “cure,” the most effective remedy for hangovers is intoxication recovery therapy, a service we pride ourselves on here. But what about when you haven’t scheduled something in advance? What about when you’re off on vacation or can’t get IV-based therapy? Well, here are some options for making your hangovers just a little less terrible.
1. Resist “hair of the dog.”
This goes to the core of many assumptions about hangovers. Ultimately, drinking more the next day, aside from it being a troubling sign also of alcohol dependence and addiction, only really serves to perpetuate the cycle.
It can be difficult to resist social pressures in this respect. The cult of brunch has really emphasized that a great way to rid oneself of a hangover is to start with a mimosa or bloody mary the next morning. But, again, this only perpetuates a cycle.
2. Think healthy food choices.
Often times, people opt for a greasy spoon to settle the stomach and push away the grogginess and sluggishness that often comes along with hangovers. In reality, though, this doesn’t really help.
Instead, look for good sources of carbs and healthy fat. For instance, as cliche as it’s become, something like avocado spread across whole grain toast will give you energy, clarity of mind, and will help move your body beyond the nausea which often comes along with hangovers.
Furthermore, looking for healthy fruits that contain natural sugars will help energize and focus your mind.
Fresh fruits, oats, whole-grain breads — these are the carb sources that will put you back into balance. Also don’t forget the assistance of grass-fed butters, olive oils, and the like, which can really assist in recovery. Combining macronutrients together multiplies their effects, so don’t look to “cut” things. Rather, look for opportunities to combine them.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
There are many theories about this, but ultimately, your body is lacking a great deal of fluid when you’re hungover. Alcohol is a diuretic which is why you often have to go to the bathroom when drinking. As such, a huge key here is drinking lots of water.
Furthermore, this is something you can do during a social function to preempt rough effects the next morning (in addition to helping you drink less alcohol by alternating drinks with water). Don’t forget, the bartender can just as easily make you a quick club soda and fruit juice that will help to hydrate you while still giving the impression that you’re imbibing like everyone else. It can be your little secret.
But hydrating the next morning is also essential. When we put patients through intoxication recovery therapy, the IV component is a huge part of how the system works, paired with the vitamins and supplements that go into it. But the next best thing is to drink lots of quality water.
4. Use coffee and tea in moderation.
Another really helpful piece of the puzzle can be stimulants, like caffeine from coffee and tea. We recommend you go with these because they are natural sources, as opposed to energy drinks or soft drinks which, yes, have caffeine, but it is artificially added to the beverages in question.
The natural brewing aspects of coffee and tea can help the caffeine absorb better, more fluidly. But don’t overdo it. Too much caffeine can make you jittery and give you a queasy stomach — symptoms which you likely are already experiencing. So just make sure that you handle it in moderation.
5. Avoid OTC “hangover cures.”
Taking something for your headache like ibuprofen or aspirin is fine, but be skeptical of hangover remedies that are advertised as supplements. The FDA doesn’t regulate these items, and as such, there are a lot of products out there that promise the world, but will not solve your problem.
Sometimes, the “placebo effect” comes into play, where people have tried their preferred method and feel better. But this doesn’t mean that what worked for one person will work for another. So always be cautious whenever you see a product that is being labeled as a “cure.” Just remember — when it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Use your head and vet other claims. Opt for natural, more healthy options. Your body will be grateful for it.