How to cure a hangover: Myths debunked

beerWhile the party is raging and you are pouring the spirits down your neck, what you don’t want to think about is the headache, nausea and dizziness the next morning. Yes, partying hard in the weekend bash comes at the cost of an unavoidable hangover, a good reason why Sundays are usually unproductive.

Hangover is characterized by a number of physical and mental symptoms like Nausea, fatigue, headache, Vertigo, decrease in sleep and attention span, anxiety, etc. With so much to lose after one night of heavy drinking, quitting alcohol doesn’t seem that hard now.

It’s true that quitting alcohol is not the only way out of a hangover. There are many ways to reduce the suffering of a hangover, given you know the right answer.

The myth of hangover remedies

There is a lot of conventional wisdom and friendly advice floating around when it comes to find a cure for hangovers. But, take a step back and hold your horses for a while because under the scrutiny of randomized and controlled scientific studies, they all fall short.

Here is a list of remedies that have little to no effect

  • Hair of the Dog: Have you ever taken a detour to avoid traffic jam and yet end up being stuck in one. Drinking alcohol the next day to avoid hangover is exactly like that as it will delay the arrival of symptoms, but rest assured, it ain’t over yet.
  • Hangover pills: Countless studies have proven that they are good at making you feel that they work than actually working.
  • Greasy Food: There is no wisdom in eating hard to digest breakfast when your stomach is already feeling uneasy. What is the use of eating bacon and eggs when you’ll be unable to enjoy it.
  • Coffee: No it doesn’t remove hangover. It leads to even more dehydration and must be avoided unless you are a regular java drinker. In that case, you may feel caffeine withdrawal. To remedy that drink a small cup of coffee and wait for an hour to see how you feel.

A remedy for hangover?

The above facts beg the question whether there is a remedy to cure hangover or not. Essentially, the only proven cure of hangover is Time. When you have undergone the bitter experience of a hangover, it will fade away slowly with time.

You can observe precautionary measures to avoid or lessen the effects of a hangover. Just follow these basic rules-

  • Limit the amount of alcohol going in your body: Do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Take a look here to find out how much is 14 unit of alcohol.
  • Limit the number of drinks per sitting: It means to avoid taking large quantity of alcohol in one party. Obviously, binge drinking must be avoided. It does not matter whether you drink chardonnay or lager, the amount of alcohol in blood matters.
  • Eat before and with drink: Eating a meal with carbohydrates and fats before drink and while you are drinking limits the rate of absorption of alcohol in your bloodstream. Eating after you have drunk will make you throw up.
  • Avoid dark colored liquor: Congeners either occur naturally or are added to the alcohol during the production or ageing phase. It imparts dark coloration to alcohol. So instead of bourbon drink gin, vodka or white rum.
  • Mix and match: In between your drinking session have some non-alcoholic drink in between to keep the fluids afloat and reducing the amount of alcohol being introduced in your system.

So what about the plethora of hangover treatment available online, what are they?

Most of the remedies available online are symptomatic treatments that treat or lessen one or more symptoms of hangover.

Symptomatic treatment of hangover

Alcohol is diuretic in nature, that is, it reduces the water content in your body, and therefore some of the symptoms in a hangover are a result of dehydration which a lot of remedies can cover.

  • Lemon detox water– There are a lot of detox drinks that you can have but a lemon detox water will not only hydrate you but provide the necessary vitamins to your body that will alleviate your suffering.
  • Green tea – Packed with antioxidants a lemon iced tea would be a healthy alterative to reduce your suffering. Make an iced green tea for a soothing effect.
  • Medication– Over the counter painkillers like Ibuprofen or Paracetamol based medicine are effective in treating headache or muscle cramps. Try to avoid aspirin, it will worsen your nausea.
  • Sports drink– Gatorade or any other sports drink will fulfil the loss of essential salts and water from your body.
  • Bouillon soupBouillon soup is an easily digestible recipe packed with vitamins and minerals necessary to fill the nutrition deficiency created by alcohol.

Keep in mind, that moderation and abstinence is still the best remedy for alcoholic hangovers.


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