18 Hangover Home Remedies

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You knew it wasn’t a good idea to have that extra vodka martini, and now you are waking up to a pounding headache, dizziness, and an upset stomach. Drinking too much alcohol sends the body into a tailspin, and usually ends up haunting you for the rest of the day after. Thankfully, there are hangover home remedies known to ease the discomfort, such as fruits that can replenish lost electrolytes, liquids that combat dehydration, and foods that increase your energy and vitamins.

What is a Hangover?

Drinking alcohol leads to a range of biological and behavioral effects on the body that can bring unwanted consequences the next morning [1]. A hangover occurs when you have consumed too much alcohol for your system to handle. You are left battling unpleasant physical and mental symptoms that usually fade after 8 to 24 hours.

Causes and Symptoms

Drinking too much alcohol is the primary cause of a hangover, but there are other factors that can come into play, such as gender, weight, types of alcohol, and individual bodily responses to alcohol. For instance, all it takes is a single alcoholic drink to trigger a hangover in some people, while others can drink endless cocktails and never suffer the effects of a hangover.

A hangover is comprised of many different components and not everyone will feel the same. Dehydration usually comes when alcohol causes the body to produce more urine than usual. The inability to concentrate and remember things usually occurs when alcohol triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system [2]. Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting takes place when alcohol irritates the lining of your stomach.

Alcohol can decrease your blood sugar, which causes fatigue, weakness, moodiness and “the shakes.” A headache usually develops when too much alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand. You may wake up feeling groggy and fatigued since alcohol tends to diminish the quality of sleep.

A hangover usually follows a night of drinking that involves five to seven cocktails consumed over the course of four to six hours. It may take more alcohol to affect a heavier drinker since they have most likely developed a higher tolerance. Beside the number of alcoholic beverages you consume, the severity of hangover symptoms worsens when you:

• Drink on an empty stomach
• Don’t have enough sleep
• Were dehydrated before drinking alcohol
• Are in poor health
• Engaged in increased physical activity while drinking, such as dancing

Home Remedies for Hangovers

There’s nothing worse than waking up to a throbbing headache accompanied by a slew of other unpleasant symptoms. Eating something is a good way to not only decrease the rate at which alcohol will infiltrate your bloodstream, but also to ease the aftereffects of a hangover. To learn how to rejuvenate your system, consider the following hangover home remedies:

a) Honey:

Buzz like a little bee to the nearest honeypot and enjoy a couple of tablespoons of honey to start your morning. The fructose found in the honey helps tackle common hangover symptoms. For better results, spread honey on plain crackers.

b) Bouillon:

Make a homemade soup broth out of bouillon cubes dissolved in hot water to replace the salt and potassium lost when too much alcohol is consumed.

c) Toast and Crackers:

In an effort to elevate your blood sugar level, bland foods such as toast and crackers, do the trick. These foods will also treat an unsettled stomach.

d) Pickles:

The minerals found in pickle juice have helped people living in Poland for many years when they’ve needed to rejuvenate from a night of heavy partying. Drink the salty juice to feel better.

e) Gatorade:

Gatorade and other sports drinks contain the electrolytes and salts that your body needs in order to recoup from a hangover[3].

f) Vitamin C:

Eat foods and drink beverages that contain vitamin C, which helps break down the excess alcohol in your system. Orange juice is highly recommended because it contains a lot of fructose.

g) Coffee:

Drinking two cups of coffee will help ease a pounding hangover headache. The brew works on decreasing the swelling of blood vessels that comes when you’ve drank too much alcohol.

h) Eggs:

Eating cooked eggs will help absorb the toxins in the liver left behind by drinking too much alcohol [4].

i) Sauerkraut and Boiled Cabbage:

From ancient Egyptians to Eastern European countries, sauerkraut and boiled cabbage are known to possess components known to relieve the effects of a hangover.

j) Ice:

To treat a headache, fill a plastic bag with crushed ice (or small ice cubes) and place on your forehead. If the coldness is too much for you – wrap the ice bag in a dry towel.

k) Soup:

A lot of hangover cures involve making a soup because it not only warms the body and comforts the senses, but also provides the brain and body with rehydrating liquid.

l) Aspirin:

When you’re left with a headache after a night of heavy drinking, a dose of aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can chase the pain away.

m) Bananas:

When you drink too much alcohol, the body loses carbohydrates and potassium levels drop. Bananas will deliver a nutritional boost with complex carbohydrates, as well as energize your body.

n) Canned Fish:

The minerals found in canned fish products are thought to ease some of the symptoms of a hangover.

o) Pepto-Bismol:

To combat a queasy or unsettled stomach, reach for the pink concoction known as Pepto Bismol – a common item found in many bathroom cabinets.

p) Tomato Juice:

The high amount of fructose found in a glass of tomato juice will assist your body in getting rid of excess alcohol in the body. After awakening to the aftermath of heavy drinking, pour a glass of tomato juice to feel better.

q) Eat Carbs:

When choosing foods to eat after waking up to a hangover, select a small amount of healthy carbohydrates to replenish amino acids (the building blocks of protein) in your body.

r) Ginger:

To ease the symptoms of a hangover, try brewing a cup of ginger tea. To make, add one teaspoon of dried ginger or two teaspoons of grated fresh ginger to one cup of boiling water. Cover the liquid for around 10 minutes, and then drink shortly afterwards.

Resources

[1] http://biology.about.com/od/physiology/a/alcoholhangover.htm
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hangovers/DS00649/DSECTION=causes

[3] http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/drugs-alcohol/hangover8.htm

[4] Five Minute Fixes by Reader’s Digest; pg. 352.

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