Hangovers are maybe the worst thing in my life… it is like having really strict parents who won’t let me have any fun. My hangovers debilitate me for 2+ days and now I avoid places like Las Vegas at all cost. I used to be a weekend warrior getting after it Friday, Saturday and the odd Sunday funday… however now my body just tells me to F*** off. Remember when you were 22 and hangovers didn’t exist… good times.
With that said, for years I have tried it all to cure hangovers. If I was good at one thing from 25-30+ it was partying… so take my advice that I have analyzed this subject as much as anyone. I was/am so in need of help I researched it to death and created this article. I brought together some information, conjured up remedies, tips and even have created some great recipes to help fend off hangovers. I also have some amazing comfort foods to shake the rust off the next morning. On top of that I gathered some extra advice from health websites to aggregate all the info you need in one place.
Before we get to the best ways to cure hangovers or take some of the sting off, let’s first learn what causes hangovers. Of course to figure out how to solve the issue, we need to know the main causes of the pain and nausea you get from said issue.
What causes Hangovers?
According to www.healthline.com the main things alcohol does to your body to cause a hangover are;
- Gastrointestinal effects.
- Electrolyte imbalance.
- Lower blood sugar.
- Immune system effects.
- Headaches from vasodilation (expanding blood vessels).
- Gives you a very poor quality of sleep.
- Carbonated drinks speed up the rate alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream..
Healthline also says congeners help create hangovers. Congeners are chemical by-products found in darker drinks such as bourbon/whiskey and red wine and clear liquors like vodka and gin has little or no congeners at all. Common congeners are methanol, tannins and acetaldehyde.
Now with that said… anecdotally I rarely drink bourbon/whiskey/red wine and always drink the clear stuff… yet, still have the worst hangovers. Congeners are still something to be aware of for some though however it is not the be-all end-all of avoiding death the next day.
How to Help Hangovers
Since we learned the main causes of hangovers we also in turn learned some great ways to combat them instantly. From each of the above causes we can in turn figure out what we need in order to help curb those causes. Simple enough basic overarching helpers via healthline are below. My tips & recipes below touch most of these points as well so be sure to read below for cures you can make or do!
- Rehydrate & replenish electrolytes .
- Eat carbs to stabilize your blood sugar levels .
- Take antacids. Or try to do this naturally with fresh ginger and hot water.
- Ibuprofen. DO NOT take acetaminophen (tylenol) as those worsen effects on your liver.
- More sleep.
- Vitamins. Specifically B6 rich foods like bananas, carrots, spinach and avocado.
With all of that said we get a lot of good preventative ideas as well as how to help your hangover the morning after. The obvious things to prevent a hangover or to help it the next day would include:
- Eating a carb rich meal before and after you drink. Pizza for everyone!
- Light colored drinks without carbonation are ideal.
- Drink lots of water and electrolytes throughout the night.
- Drink on a day where you can sleep a lot the next.
Other tips include drinking in moderation and “knowing your limit” but knowing my readership we can safely assume those are thrown out the window. Apparently you aren’t supposed to smoke either, but if you smoke cigarettes post 1998 then I hope you aren’t even reading this site anyways.
What is the ultimate step by step guide to help prevent and cure hangovers?
Now this is what you came here for… let’s get you some damn information so the world can stop spinning. Below will be some tips as well as recipes that can help be preventative as well as good for the morning after to speed up your recovery. From all of the research I have read and aggregated here is the ideal way to help prevent or help your hangover.
- Eat a carb loaded meal before you start drinking.
- Drink lots of water.
- Try to avoid carbonated drinks.
- Drink water. Try to drink a glass of water between each drink.
- Don’t smoke.
- Allegedly light alcohol is better than dark alcohol filled with congeners. So drink light alcohol.
After drinking before you go to bed
- Drink lots of water and electrolyte filled drinks such as coconut water, gatorade, pedialyte etc.
- Drink one of the detox drinks I have listed below to help your immune system, liver & stomach.
- Eat carbs again.
- Have ibuprofen on the nightstand to take when you wake-up if you have a headache. Some studies even say to take ibuprofen before bed to help reduce inflammation from the toxins you took in.
When You Wake Up
- Hydrate, electrolytes and detox drinks.
- Eat carbs. Ideally more bland carbs to not irritate your stomach.
- Take ibuprofen in dosages per the label.
- Take antacid or natural liver helping remedies. Ginger is a big one!
- After hydrating, eating and pain relieving… try to go back to sleep and get a better rest.
- Close the windows as you will be more sensitive to light and sound.
- Hair of the dog? There are some studies that have said this could help as it slows down a certain hangover process but it could just delay the effects.
Amazing Hangover Tips & Ideas
- Drink pickle juice before bed (pickle juice is great for electrolytes). This is also huge in Russia as their traditional hangover cure. Pickles hold digestive probiotics and the large quantities of salt helps replace electrolytes.
- Mexican Coke! There is evidence this can actually help you. The caffeine will help constrict the blood vessels as expanding of the blood vessels from the alcohol is the main reason you have a headache. The sugar will raise your blood sugar… so right there you’ve helped 2 of the main hangover causes! Standard coke works okay as well but the natural sugar in Mexican coke is significantly better than the high-fructose American version.
- Where Russia’s cure is pickle juice… in Canada the cure is Poutine. It is full of carbs, salts and is an overall amazing comfort food when you’re on your death-bed. Here is a very simple way to make poutine and go from hell right to heaven!
- A simple avocado and toast is a great remedy as well. It checks many boxes with carbs as well as the B6 rich avocados.
- Always have a bottle of water. Socially you are used to having something in your hand to drink and it is comfortable to have a drink there, meaning you don’t ever stop drinking. Put a water in your hand sometimes and you are killing two birds with one stone.
- Drink gatorade/pedialyte/nuun before bed for water and electrolytes.
- If I wake up around 4/5/6am randomly I will take my ibuprofen and go back to bed.
- Hair of the dog. If you go this route then you must go with a bloody mary or even better the Canadian caesar Recipe here and below! The salt again helps your electrolyte side as well as the the heat from the drink will get some sweat out and take your mind to a different place. However, many scientists say this will just prolong or delay your hangover vs. help it…
- If you are in dire need… Dramamine has always been great for nausea and puts you back to sleep.
As mentioned I have a few great recipes for detoxes that will help you combat everything that was mentioned above. These drinks will help all facets of the pain and issues caused by hangovers. To make all drinks even better, always add a little ginger as it is great for inflammation and calming your stomach vs. taking pills.
This recipe is full of hangover helpers. This drink has a ton of benefits including the following that really help your stomach and insides when fighting off the effects of a hangover. Activated charcoal itself is a known helper meant to absorb toxins in your body and potentially even alcohol before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. As mentioned, you could even add a little fresh ginger for your stomach.
Carrot Apple Ginger Turmeric Detox Juice
This one is a mouthful but it also is a stomach full of tons of vitamins, superfoods and detoxing ingredients. As intimidating as it sounds the recipe is really simple with just a few ingredients found at your local grocer. Tip, healthier food stores like Sprouts in Arizona sell turmeric in bulk and it is $2 for a lifetime supply.
Mermaid Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drink
Similar to the drink above, it seems imposing but really is just a few ingredients mixed together. The thing that sets this drink apart of all other apple cider vinegar recipes is the inclusion of spirulina. What is spirulina? Only arguably the best superfood on earth. Read this article above to see more about it and its benefits.
As mentioned above you need to carb and salt up! I have a few perfect options for you to wake up to an amazing breakfast, brunch or lunch! Carbs are apparently the way to go so might as well enjoy getting out of the hangover hell you’re in.
Around the world this is a favorite! The growing sensation of Canadian poutine is not only heaven on earth but is also a lovely comfort food post hangover. It has the carbs, fats and salts your body is craving to help you get rid of some fogginess and feeling a little better. Some poutine and a nap… hangover gone!
Some like it sweet in the morning and this is the perfect recipe for ya. French toast just takes 5 minutes and you can be back in bed in no time! You can also make a superfood rich berry compote (in the recipe above) which will also help you get on your feet. Try it with bananas as well as bananas are high in B6, which you need to recover from a hangover.
This is amazing to make if you are hosting people or for a guys/girls trip. You can make 1-2 big batches and leave it around for the weekend. It is another favorite of mine… add a little toast and again you’ve got the carbs, fats and salts your body is craving.
Hair Of The Dog
If you do go the hair of the dog route then you have to make this. Much better than bloody mary mix, this combo of ingredients and salts are a God send. I have to have one the morning after drinking and while it is not scientifically sound… it is anecdotally amazing.