We've all been there before. The painful morning after a long night of drinking. You wake up feeling thirsty, with a pounding headache and instantly regret that extra round of shots you took the night before. You're hungover and in desperate need of some practical solutions to get yourself back to 100% again. So without further delay, here are the top 10 most useful hangover cures to help you in your time of need.
First things first. Get hydrated. Drinking alcohol can easily lead to dehydration, especially if done in excess. The reason that drinking alcohol dehydrates you so easily, is that it increases your frequency of urination, and it decreases the production of antidiuretic hormone. This hormone's job is to reabsorb water into the body. As a result of these two factors, your body loses more water with each trip to the restroom. These factors, make you dehydrated and much more susceptible to experiencing a painful hangover.
1. Good Old Fashioned Water
Water is one of your best tools in combating a hangover. While drinking water between every alcoholic beverage will go a long way to prevent your hangover in the first place, you can still help relieve your pain by keeping a bottle of water by your bedside the next morning. Staying hydrated will help you to avoid further headaches, lack of energy, dizziness and many more symptoms.
2. Pickle Juice
As odd as it sounds, pickle juice is actually a great cure for hangover symptoms. By consuming the salt found in pickle juice, you will build back the important electrolytes that have been depleted in your body by drinking alcohol. This will help with your headache, cramping and dizziness as well, because you will start to retain fluids again.
Pedialyte may have been developed for little kids, but it is definitely something that should be utilized as a hangover cure. Drinking Pedialyte will also build up your electrolyte and salt levels as well your potassium concentration, which will help aid in relieving your headache as well as your nausea.
Eat. Good. Food.
After hydrating yourself, the next best thing that you can do to help relieve your hangover is to fill up on nutritious food. Ditch the candy bars, potato chips and cookies because they won't be of much use to you. Look for foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, as these can help to diminish your hangover symptoms.
Eggs contain the amino acids cysteine and taurine, which help the liver to breakdown the remaining alcohol and toxins in your system. Eating eggs has also been shown to help relieve irritation to the stomach lining caused by alcohol.
5. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha contain water, salt, and succinic acid. Each of which your body uses to build back up its store of electrolytes. Succinic acid helps rid the body of toxins like acetaldehyde, which is created when the liver breaks down ethanol.
Bananas are a great natural source of potassium and vitamin B6, which are both depleted because of frequent urination and the diuretic effects of alcohol on your body. Bananas have also been shown to help restore nerve and muscle function after a night of drinking.
Vitamins and Supplements
N-acetyl cysteine or NAC is an amazing solution for a hangover. A form of the amino acid cysteine, NAC helps to increase glutathione, a very important antioxidant that your body uses to ward off acetaldehyde and other toxins that are the cause of your hangover. In a 2003 study, NAC was shown to reduce ethanol-induced liver damage in rats, by elevating intracellular glutathione concentrations.
Alcohol depletes your body of B-vitamins. These include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid) and B12 (cobalamins). Each of these B-vitamins help the body in a myriad of ways including energy production, metabolism of amino acids, nerve cell protection and repair, and much more. By taking a Vitamin B Complex supplement, you can restore these much needed functions to your body, and therefore alleviate your hangover symptoms.
9. Vitamin C
Alcohol also depletes your body of Vitamin C, which is essential in helping the liver to speed up the metabolism of alcohol and its byproducts. Taking Vitamin C before or during a hangover can give your body the help it needs to process the remaining alcohol and acetaldehyde in your system.
Last but certainly not least, is prevention. All of the above solutions can be used to help relieve the symptoms of your hangover after it has already begun. However, using each of these as a preventative measure, will help to ensure that your hangover pain is limited as much as possible if not avoided altogether. As mentioned earlier, simply drinking a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage will go miles in preventing a hangover.
There you have it. The top 10 most useful hangover cures. Next time you plan to go out and have a few drinks, remember these 10 solutions so that you can avoid that nasty hangover the next morning. Good luck and always drink responsibly.
"Kyle Doran is a freelance writer for Intelligent Drinking. He lives in Denver, Colorado and enjoys an active lifestyle that involves healthy nutrition and fitness."