A hangover is a feeling everyone experiences in their life. Lack of sleep after drinking is never enjoyable. The next day after drinking too much, you may have many different symptoms, as is well documented. One such symptom is a headache, but there are many others. There are a plethora of home remedies and over-the-counter medications touted as “cures” for hangover headaches. However, most of them lack solid evidence from scientific studies showing they’re effective. If you want to avoid the dreaded hangover headache, it’s important to restrict your alcohol intake in one sitting. However, we also have some advice that will lessen the likelihood that you’ll suffer from a headache in the first place, and some other suggestions that can assist alleviate the discomfort if you already have one.
Weakness, sickness, and aching muscles are all common hangover symptoms. Many people claim that a certain home remedy for a hangover helped them greatly. There are several negative psychological and physiological effects of alcohol consumption. Alcohol’s aftereffects have a role in the discomfort felt by those suffering from a hangover. If you’ve been drinking heavily the night before, you can wake up with a pounding head, nausea, thirst, and weariness. You may feel alone in your hangover, but you are not. There are many folk remedies for a hangover, such as having a glass of ginger ale or massaging a lemon under your arm before going out, but only a few are supported by evidence.
Home remedies for hangovers attempt to alleviate these signs. Some cures may help alleviate the effects of a hangover, but there is no known food, drink, or drug that will eliminate them. This article takes a critical look at the usefulness of several tried-and-true remedies for hangovers.
What are the home treatments for a hangover?
After moments of drinking, ethanol is received by the stomach and subsequently the liver, where it undergoes a series of chemical reactions that lead to the breakdown of ethanol. The poisonous contaminant acetaldehyde is produced during alcohol metabolism and must be flushed out of the system. The rate at which your body breaks down acetaldehyde and eliminates it can have a significant impact on how you feel. When it comes to acetaldehyde, some folks just don’t have it in them to break it down. The liver is responsible for much of the alcohol metabolism process, however, it is assumed that the pancreas and the brain may also be involved. The intensity of a hangover may also be affected by the contaminants present in the alcoholic beverage consumed. That is to say, the less terrible the hangover, the purer the alcohol.
Following are the home treatments for a hangover
Increase your water intake
Staying hydrated to rehydrate the body may alleviate hangover symptoms. Intoxication causes a rise in urination because alcohol acts as a diuretic. Dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities might arise from fluid loss. A hangover is caused in part by these things. You may be able to avoid or at least lessen the severity of the hangover the next day by consuming alcohol while keeping yourself well hydrated. Rehydration powders and sports beverages containing electrolytes are commonly used to help people rehydrate and restore electrolyte balance. However, the effectiveness of this remedy as a hangover treatment is not supported by any recent studies.
To begin with, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes one to urinate more frequently. Fluids and electrolytes, both of which are essential to bodily function, may be lost as a result of this. Second, alcohol increases your risk of dehydration and electrolyte loss due to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Get lots of rest
Some research suggests that alcohol use is linked to poorer sleep quality and shorter duration. While studies suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation can help you get to sleep, research also shows that drinking excessively or using it regularly can alter your sleep schedule. Sleep deprivation doesn’t cause hangovers but can certainly make them more severe. Sleep deprivation can amplify symptoms like tiredness, headache, and irritability. You might be able to lessen the severity of your hangover symptoms by getting some rest the night before. If you drink alcohol and find that you sleep less soundly than usual, getting additional shut-eye may help alleviate the next day’s hangover symptoms. Just getting some extra shut-eye can do wonders for curing a hangover. The poor sleep that often accompanies heavy alcohol consumption is likely to blame for the subsequent impairment of cognitive function that occurs during a hangover.
Have a healthy morning snack
One of the best-known treatments for a hangover is a big breakfast. Maintaining consistent blood sugar levels is one of them, and a nutritious breakfast can help with that. However, it is widely believed that low blood sugar contributes to hangovers, even if this is not always the case. Some of the unpleasant effects of a hangover, such as feeling sick, tired, and weak, could be exacerbated by low blood sugar. Several studies have found that preventing low blood sugar levels by eating regularly may help prevent some of the negative physical effects of drinking alcohol, like the formation of acid in the body.
A rise in blood acidity known as metabolic acidosis can be caused by consuming too much. Eating a good breakfast can supply crucial nutrients and vitamins that may get depleted with heavy alcohol consumption, which can help minimize severe hangover indications.
Put something in your system to ease the discomfort
You may get some relief from your hangover symptoms by using over-the-counter strong painkillers. In reality, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin are commonly used to alleviate pain and address ailments that often accompany hangovers, such as migraine headaches and muscular pains. Further, a tiny trial indicated that an NSAID called naproxen and an antihistamine called fexofenadine greatly mitigated the discomfort of hangovers against a placebo.
Avoid these drugs if you’re feeling queasy or have stomach pain; they can aggravate digestive issues. Additionally, take into account that pain medicines comprising acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, may raise the likelihood of liver damage when coupled with alcohol. Don’t try to cure your hangover with these. Some medications, when used with alcohol, can produce effects similar to a terrible hangover.
Recognize your limitations
Here’s the simple advice which means don’t consume more than you want to or at all if you don’t want to. Everyone has different tolerance levels, and you may occasionally feel like partying just because those around you are. The second component of this is to follow your instincts and draw on your prior knowledge. Perhaps you can handle one drink without feeling any ill effects, but much more than that and the next day will likely bring on a splitting headache. Choose the option that makes you the happiest. The average person can absorb and process a standard drink (approximately 16 ounces) in roughly an hour. So, pace yourself and drink no more than once every hour. If you drink alcohol, do so during this time frame, your alcohol content level will be reduced and you will be able to function normally the following day.
Do some moderate workouts
In most cases, you shouldn’t work out the day after drinking. Light exercise, however, can speed up your metabolism and aid in the elimination of alcohol and its byproducts. Because your system is already fighting the consequences of thirst while you’re hungover, you must drink enough water.
Having a cup of coffee or tea
Caffeinated beverages, including coffee, can function as stimulants and help combat the drowsiness that often accompanies a hangover. Antioxidants included in beverages like cappuccino, black tea, and herbal tea may mitigate the dangerous side effects of imbibing. Caffeinated beverages, on the other hand, are diuretics and may exacerbate the negative health effects of dryness. Caffeine does not lower the health hazards associated with alcohol consumption because it does not affect a person’s amount of a substance.
Pick drinks with less color
Generally speaking, the darker the alcohol, the greater the hangover. This is due to the high concentration of congeners in distilled, dark liquors like scotch, bourbon, and brandy. The production or distillation procedure used to create these darker liquors produces congeners. It significantly increases the likelihood of experiencing hangover symptoms like headaches. Choose clear liquors like vodka if you want to wake up with less of a hangover.
What causes a hangover and what can be done about it?
Despite the widespread occurrence of hangovers, not much effort has been put into discovering causes and creating cures. Most existing research is of questionable quality, leaving open important questions. Researchers have a tough time studying potential hangover treatments since the intensity and duration of a hangover can be affected by so many variables. Some of these criteria include the individual’s gender, age, fitness level, biological make-up, and personality as well as the quantity and frequency with which they consume alcohol. There may also be a hereditary predisposition for particularly bad hangovers in some people. Self-reported hangover symptoms can vary widely from person to person and day to day, making it challenging for scientists to reliably generalize their findings. A hangover can be avoided without risk if one refrains from consuming alcoholic beverages. If one consumes less whiskey the night before, the following morning’s effects should be less severe.
Due to a lack of study, numerous urban legends and anecdotal claims have developed regarding the most effective methods for curing a hangover. Companies may also promote their products with healing claims that have no or little scientific backing.
The Bottom Line
There are numerous well-known remedies for a hangover, but very few of them have any basis in science. There are, however, many tried-and-true strategies for avoiding or lessening the negative consequences of a night of alcohol consumption. Some methods involve taking vitamins or medication, drinking moderately, reducing high-congener drinks, and obtaining enough sleep and water. Moderation is crucial to preventing the headache of a hangover. It’s important to drink alcohol slowly to avoid any negative effects. Rather than gulping or slamming shots, try sipping. If you’re already suffering from a hangover, though, give any or several of these solutions a shot and see if they help. To begin, try fueling your body with nutritious foods and consuming a lot of water prior, throughout, and after you consume alcohol. Taking precautions in advance is the greatest approach to avoiding a hangover headache altogether.
The symptoms of a hangover cannot be remedied at this time. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs or antacids, having a healthy breakfast, drinking plenty of water, and consumption of foods high in antioxidants are just some of the home treatments that can help alleviate hangover symptoms. However, there is a lack of high-quality studies in this field. No concrete recommendations can be made for coping with hangovers until further deep study is available.
The easiest approach to prevent a hangover is to not consume alcohol at all or to drink moderately. A hangover can be prevented or at least lessened by getting adequate sleep, drinking water throughout the night, and limiting alcoholic beverages that contain congeners.