How can I Cure a Hangover?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2019
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In order to successfully cure a hangover, you must first understand the effects of alcohol on the body. When people drink, they become dehydrated, and their blood sugar drops dramatically after an initial sugar “high.” Dehydration and low blood sugar tend to be the biggest causes of a hangover, and they can cause symptoms like vomiting or nausea, headaches, fatigue, and in cases of severe drinking, disorientation. To cure a hangover, it's important to hydrate the body and restore the blood sugar to a healthy range.

You don’t have to drink to excess to have hangover symptoms the next day. Some people will experience at least minor hangovers with just one or two drinks the night before. Several different factors can cause hangovers to be big or small, including genetics, age, body height and weight, an allergy to tannins like those present in red wine, types of medications you are taking, and gender.

Many argue that the “hair of the dog,” or drinking more alcohol will cure a hangover. Actually this can be the worst possible “cure.” More alcohol will correct blood sugar imbalance, but the effect is only temporary. Further, drinking too much could lead to alcohol poisoning. “Hair of the dog” methods don't cure the hangover, they merely delay it.


It's best to re-hydrate the body with water, sports drinks, or fruit juice. Caffeine might make you feel more alert, but it does have diuretic characteristics and will further deplete water in the body. Some people like caffeine-free carbonated beverages, which can sometimes soothe stomach upset.

If at all possible, eat some protein. Bacon and eggs, a hamburger, yogurt, or cottage cheese can all help cure a hangover. Avoid sugary alternatives like donuts or sweet rolls as these again merely delay the “sugar crash.” Protein, on the other hand, helps restore a healthy blood sugar level. Low blood sugar, in addition to the poisoning effects of alcohol, is one of the main causes of nausea due to a hangover.

For headache, consider taking ibuprofen or aspirin rather than acetaminophen, and avoid medications containing caffeine. Acetaminophen has been shown to cause liver damage, particularly when taken in excess during or after alcohol use, so it could be dangerous after a hangover. Caffeine, present in some painkillers, will again create issues with dehydration.

Pay attention to allergy-like symptoms when trying to cure a hangover. These are particularly common with drinking red wine, since some people are allergic to tannins in this wine and may experience stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or other hayfever-like symptoms. If you notice such symptoms after drinking certain alcohols, consider abstaining from these types of drinks in the future.

You'll need to address the physiological results of alcohol consumption. If eating seems too challenging, consider a yogurt and protein powder smoothie to address fluid depletion and low blood sugar. Next time you are drinking, pace yourself. Consider drinking two or three glasses of water to every drink of alcohol. Further, eat protein when you drink to cut down on blood sugar woes.


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Discuss this Article

Post 5

It's not just about a cure; it's about prevention!

This is not a secret. Your body needs vitamins during alcohol consumption.

Post 4

@valleyfiah- Cool information! I will remember that next time I go out so I can avoid a hangover.

Post 3

@PelesTears- Your intuition is right. There is a difference in the hangover producing effects of certain types of alcohol. I was reading in the times that the congeners in different types of alcohol are the most important factor in whether or not you get a hangover. Congeners are the organic molecules in alcohol, and certain alcohols have more than others do. Brandy, red wine, rum, whiskey, white wine, and vodka, in that order, produce less congener. In turn, the preceding alcohols produce progressively less hangover symptoms.

According to a study published in a British medical journal, some grapes can produce more hangover symptoms than other grapes. This is based more on the characteristics of individual growing seasons rather than the

geographical location of the grapes.

The next most important factor in the hangover potential of an alcohol is the amount of impurities in an alcohol. Alcohol produced from premium ingredients and filtered numerous times is less likely to produce hangover symptoms.

Post 2

What a great article on cures for hangovers. It is funny, sometimes I can drink vodka and tonics all night and be fine. On the other hand, the nights where I drink beer or wine I feel horrible the next morning, even if it is only three or four glasses. Is there any truth to the sayings about mixing beer and hard liquor and their effects on the body? Is there a difference in the type of alcohol and the hangover? I am just curious to know why certain drinks are more likely to give me a hangover than others.

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