Even though you always swear you'll never overindulge again, every so often you may find yourself staring bleary-eyed at the ceiling, pondering the best ways of getting rid of a hangover. Ask ten people how to do it, and you're likely to get ten different answers based on everything from drugstore cures to old wives' tales and "proven" remedies learned from some guy at the supermarket.
Food and Drink Remedies
A significant number of suggestions for getting rid of a hangover involve eating or drinking certain foods or beverages. The hung-over body is usually in need of nutrients, liquids or even both; the following cures may not be miracle solutions, but they will usually make you feel a bit better.
The Dog Hair Solution
One of the oldest and most recommended hangover therapies, this 'hair of the dog' antidote requires putting even more alcohol into your system. Some people insist that drinking the same concoction that caused the hangover is the only guaranteed fix, while others maintain that consuming any alcoholic beverage will suffice. The supposed benefit to this therapy is that it rehydrates the body; the drawback is that if you overindulge in the "cure" you may end up back at square one in a few hours and have to start all over. Note that physicians advise against drinking more alcohol to cure a hangover.
Fatty Food Treatment
No doubt you've seen early morning patrons at family style restaurants chowing down piles of eggs and bacon and gazing at their surroundings through bloodshot eyes. Many swear that filling the body with foods high in fat and protein will "soak up the alcohol" and cure a hangover before the check comes. However, most medical professionals debunk this theory. Whoever is right, the food still tastes good, and you can probably use the fuel to get yourself restarted. Adding an easy mixed drink like a Bloody Mary to the meal gives the dog hair solution a chance to work as well.
Coffee, Water and Sports Drinks
Although coffee will replenish the body fluids, the caffeine raises blood pressure and constricts blood vessels, both of which may make the hangover worse or bring on a headache. Water tastes good, but gulping it may induce waves of nausea. Sports drinks fortified with electrolytes supposedly help the body bounce back to its original state after the ravages of alcohol.
Getting Rid of a Hangover with Drugs
There are several over-the-counter medicines that many people swear cure hangovers.
This cure-all tablet invented in 1931 has been used to treat hangovers for the last 80 years. Although the sodium bicarbonate may quell queasiness, the aspirin in the remedy that cures headaches has the potential to increase nausea.
Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Tylenol
Aspirin and ibuprofen are great for easing the pain of headaches and general physical discomfort, but they can be hard on the stomach lining. Heavy and chronic drinkers should avoid Tylenol because the active ingredient, acetaminophen, can cause serious liver damage.
Several products on the market, like Caser Plus, claim to be surefire hangover preventatives/cures. They normally contain the same ingredients as the aforementioned pharmaceuticals and vary greatly in achieving the promised results.
Since you're the one who wrecked your body with too much alcohol, bringing it back to normalcy can be both psychologically and physically rewarding.
Sauna or Steam Bath
Few remedies feel better than sitting in a hot room and letting the alcohol toxins sweat out of your system. Unfortunately, excessive sweating after dehydration can be harmful or even deadly since it creates risky drops in blood pressure and can create abnormal heartbeats.
Limited exercise may brighten your spirit and ease your guilt, but since alcohol depletes the body of fluids and nutrients, heavy workouts are discouraged during hangovers.
This cure is easy, takes absolutely no effort and, when you eventually wake up, you'll probably feel better than you did when you fell into bed. Plus, it's a free solution that can be administered almost anywhere.
Contact your physician if you experience black outs, continued vomiting, vomiting blood or if you experience other serious hang over symptoms that last more than 24 hours.
Hanging Out Instead of Hanging Over
No matter what the occasion or which alcohol you are consuming, moderation is the key. Make a conscious effort to drink a glass of water in between each cocktail, which not only cuts consumption in half but also hydrates the body. Instead of reaching for another drink, grab an appetizer or a handful of pretzels or peanuts. Mingle more and watch other people drink while you muse about how much better you will feel in the morning than they will. Last but not least, a surefire way to skip a hangover is to be a hero and make yourself the designated driver so you can avoid alcohol altogeher.