How to cure a hangover fast: foods to eat, supplements to take, activities that help, and more.
One minute you’re out having the time of your life with your friends and the next morning, you’re keeled over a toilet with a pounding headache to boot. While it’s true that the degree of hangover is often correlated to the amount of alcohol you drank the night before, other factors can play a role as well. For example, some people have a higher tolerance for alcohol, as their systems have optimized from frequent alcohol consumption, while others who drink less often may find it doesn’t take much at all to suffer from a hangover, explains Roger E. Adams, PhD, personal trainer, doctor of nutrition, and owner of eatrightfitness.
Another influencing source, according to Dr. Adams, is what or how you are eating while consuming alcohol. “Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach will not only increase your chances of a hangover, because the speed of alcohol absorption is quicker, it will also cause your blood pressure to skyrocket,” he says. “On the other hand, if you had a heavy meal, this will likely delay the alcohol from entering the bloodstream and may make your hangover less potent or nonexistent.”
Aside from taking steps to prevent a hangover, there are also some tried-and-true solutions for curbing even the most horrendous hangovers when they hit. Read on for how to cure a hangover fast, according to experts.
How to cure a hangover fast
Drink lots of hydrating fluids
You probably already know the importance of sipping water the day after a night of drinking, but you may underestimate just how effective at curing your hangover this tactic can be. Put simply: Hangovers from alcohol (and its sugar content) are extremely dehydrating. “The body becomes inflamed and stressed, and there are a lot of toxins that need to be flushed out,” says functional nutritional therapy practitioner Tansy Rodgers, FNTP.
While plain water might not be appetizing when your mouth is a desert and you’re feeling queasy, Rodgers recommends adding some refreshing flavors like lemon juice. This not only adds a more appetizing taste, but also helps alkalize the body from being so inflamed. “You can also drink coconut water, which is filled with vitamins and minerals that help refuel the body, or add some sea salt to your water to help increase the minerals that were compromised,” she adds.
Eat a big breakfast
This is a well-known remedy ,and,according to naturopathic doctor and clinical nutritionist David Friedman, ND, DC, it really works. “A nice-sized breakfast helps nourish the body, improves your blood sugar levels and helps reduce nausea, fatigue, and weakness,” he says. “The best choice for breakfast is eggs, because they contain L-cysteine, an amino acid that helps combat this acidosis and will aid in reducing a hangover.”
Focus on nutrient-rich foods with electrolytes
When you drink lots of alcohol, your body is depleted of important electrolytes, including magnesium, sodium, and potassium, explains Josh Axe, DNM., CNS, DC, founder of Ancient Nutrition, DrAxe.com and Ancient Remedies. For this reason, he recommends replenishing these electrolytes with foods like bone broth or soup, fruits or smoothies, an omelet with veggies, avocado on toast, salty whole grain crackers, etc.
“Sprinkle sea salt on food to get more sodium, and try taking a multivitamin or electrolyte supplement too for extra support,” he adds. “Eating some protein and complex carbs can also help bring your blood sugar levels back to normal, so try a meal like oatmeal with milk and berries, a turkey sandwich with salad and a banana, a smoothie with yogurt and fruit, etc.”
Move your body
The last thing you probably feel like doing is doing any kind of physical activity, but it might just be the thing that expedites your hangover. “Going for a walk or doing some stretching can help to balance your blood sugar, enhance circulation, and encourage detoxification in the body — not to mention, moving your body helps to release endorphins,” says Rodgers. “Hangovers are part of the blood sugar crash and when our blood sugar has tanked, that can make us feel depressed, anxious, and sad, but moving the body helps to increase your mood and outlook.”
Take a nap
This probably sounds like something you’re more up for, which is fine because it might also help stave off that hangover. “You’re likely to feel tired when hungover, so give yourself a break and nap if possible,” says Dr. Axe. “Feeling less tired might reduce your discomfort and help you function more easily, so aim for about 30 to 60 minutes of napping if possible.”
Pull out the probiotics
Alcohol contains a high amount of sugar and sugar feeds yeast which, in turn, feeds the bad bacteria in your gut, explains Rodgers. “After overconsumption, your gut bacteria is going to be all out of whack and can cause bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, brain fog, etc.,” she says. “Eating some probiotics like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha is super helpful to rebalance the gut and help with hangover symptoms.” She recommends also eating some the night before to help “prepare” your gut ahead of time.
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