Most of the symptoms of a hangover are caused by dehydration because alcohol itself is a diuretic, which means it removes fluids from your body. You can start the cure early by trying to have a glass of water of flat non-alcoholic drink between alcoholic drinks. The chances are though if you’re reading this – it’s the morning after and you just need a cure for now!
We’ve put together some of the best hangover cures below, all of which focus on rehydrating your body and getting back all of the nutrients your body has been depleted of. By using all of them you should get instant relief and then gradually start to feel better throughout the rest of the day.
Hangover cure #1 - Pain relief
First things first, get rid of the headache with Paracetamol rather than aspirin, which can irritate the stomach further, increasing your nausea. Take as soon as you wake up as it’ll often take 30 minutes to kick in, giving you time to jump in the shower while the Paracetamol starts to take effect.
Hangover cure #2 – Replace your fluids
Due to the alcohol removing fluids from your body you need to try to get the levels back to normal as quickly as possible. Don’t gulp a drink down as this may make you feel more sick, instead take large sips. Water is best to start with and you may then find a cold sugary drink may help you to feel less trembly by increasing your blood sugar level. Avoid coffee as it contains caffeine which may enhance your headache (as it’s also a diuretic), making it feel even worse.
Hangover cure #3 – Get the vitamins back in your body
Rather than eating a bacon sandwich or big fry-up, the best way to get all of the good nutrients and minerals back into your body is by eating a vegetable soup or broth. It also has the added advantage of being able to digest if your stomach is feeling delicate or if you just don’t feel like eating anything. You can even pour it into a mug and drink the soup if it helps you to just get it down.
Fruit is another great source for vitamins and if you don’t have any fresh fruit in your kitchen, head straight from the fruit juice or a vitamin supplement. You’ll also find they’ll help with the trembles as they contain the natural sugar form fructose, helping to keep your blood sugar levels nicely balanced. Bananas have a further advantage of being high in magnesium, which can help to reduce your headache by relaxing your blood vessels.
Hangover cure #4 – Get the salt back in your body
Salt is present in most foods you’ll find in your home such as pies, soups, ready-meals and cheese. If you only fancy snacking, try salted popcorn, which help you to rapidly replace your depleted salt levels. Just be careful not to have too much and keep it in moderation.
When you have a hangover of any form, it’s best to think about your body like a machine that needs to be topped up. Levels are usually perfectly balanced but excessive alcohol consumption throws this out, causing you to feel the way you do as your body tries to cope. The aim is to try to get the levels balanced again by taking in fluids, providing your body with extra minerals, vitamins and salts, as well as getting your blood sugar level back to normal. When the balance has been achieved, the hangover symptoms will then start to reduce significantly. The quicker you can do this the better!