The after-effects of drinking too much alcohol, known as a hangover, can be both physiological and psychological and are usually experienced the morning after a night of heavy drinking.
Different people will experience different side effects of overindulging. But common symptoms include accelerated heartbeat, anxiety, body pain, dizziness, bad breath, headache, lethargy, nausea, photophobia, sensitivity to loud sounds, irritability, fatigue, stomach ache, erratic motor functions and vomiting.
In addition to causing a hangover, drinking alcohol causes dehydration and, when consumed in excess, its toxic effects can harm your liver, brain, gastrointestinal system, central nervous system and sensory perception.
The only real cure for a hangover is time. However, there are some simple things that can help relieve some of the symptoms and promote quicker recovery.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of a hangover.
Drinking water is the best way to get rid of hangover symptoms. Alcohol depletes water from the body and you need to rehydrate your body by drinking water at regular intervals. Also, water dilutes the impurities left in your stomach.
Aim to drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water throughout the day. Along with water, you can drink a few glasses of electrolyte-replenishing sports drinks.
Note: Don’t drink caffeinated beverages, as they contribute to dehydration.
Lemon can help get rid of the after-effects of excessive drinking like queasiness, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, and muscle pain. Lemon helps rebalance the body, by controlling the blood sugar level and altering the pH level.
- Add two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey to a glass of warm water.
- Stir well and drink it down slowly.
- Do this as soon as you wake up, as well as two or three times more throughout the day.
Another excellent cure for hangover symptoms is honey. Being rich in potassium, honey helps counteract the effects of drinking too much alcohol.
In addition, honey contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps metabolize the extra alcohol in the body, in turn reducing hangover symptoms.
- Take three to four teaspoons of honey at one-hour intervals until the hangover symptoms are reduced.
- You can also add one to two tablespoons of honey to one cup of water, and drink it slowly several times a day.
- Also, you can spread honey over a piece of dry toast or a cracker and eat it many times during a hangover.
4. Toast and Egg
Eating some slices of plain toast with an egg is a good idea to get over hangover symptoms. The carbohydrates in toast are a good source of recovery nutrients.
Plus, the carbon in the charred part of the toast acts like a filter to help remove the impurities from the body. The egg provides cysteine that breaks down the alcohol in the body and reduces toxicity.
The morning after a night of heavy drinking, have a breakfast of two or three pieces of toast and eggs. Before eating your breakfast, do not forget to drink one to two glasses of water.
5. Tomato Juice
Drinking tomato juice is another simple way to control hangover symptoms. This vegetable juice contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps your body metabolize alcohol more quickly. Plus, it is rich in the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help quickly overcome the after-effects of drinking.
- Pour a glass of fresh tomato juice or soup.
- Mix in one tablespoon each of fresh lemon juice and honey, along with a little cayenne pepper.
- Drink this juice once in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Due to excessive drinking, lots of potassium gets drained from your body. To help replenish potassium as well as lost electrolytes, one simple solution is to eat bananas. They are a very good source of potassium. Also, bananas help calm the stomach and boost your energy level.
- Eat one or two bananas with your breakfast after a night of heavy drinking to alleviate hangover symptoms.
- You can also opt to prepare a banana milkshake sweetened with honey.
Ginger is another time-honored cure for hangover symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Also, ginger helps in the digestion of alcohol, thus it soothes the stomach and provides fast relief.
- Chew small pieces of ginger throughout the day to get relief from a hangover. You can also have ginger tea.
- Alternatively, add 10 to 12 slices of fresh ginger root to about four cups of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain and then add the juice of one orange, half a lemon and one-half cup of honey. Drink this while it is still warm, many times throughout the day.
Peppermint is a very helpful herb to treat hangover symptoms. It aids digestion and helps relieve tension, bloating and nausea, some of the most common symptoms of an acute hangover. Plus, peppermint speeds up the detoxification process.
- Simply chew some fresh peppermint leaves throughout the day. It will relax the intestines and help you recover quickly.
- Make a cup of peppermint tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried peppermint. Cover it, let it steep for 15 minutes and then strain it. Drink one to two cups of this herbal tea after you wake up.
- Another option is to add a few drops of peppermint oil to a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak in this water for 30 minutes. This warm, soothing bath will make you feel better immediately! To soothe the headache caused by a hangover, you can simply use a cold compress.
9. Oil Pulling
If you wake up in the morning with an extremely bad hangover, oil pulling may be the answer to your problem. This is a natural detoxifying technique that helps remove harmful toxins from within the body.
- Swish one tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth and through your teeth.
- Do this for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Spit the oil out, and then rinse your mouth with water.
- Do this first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach before you even brush your teeth.
Note: Do not gargle or swallow the oil.
Proper sleep can also take away much of a hangover. After excessive drinking, the body does not get a chance to sleep properly, which is very essential for the body to recover.
Try to get as much sleep as possible the next day. If you are having difficulty sleeping, put on some soothing music and darken the room as much as possible. After a good sleep, the symptoms of foggy brain and body will be no more.
Tips for preventing a hangover
The only sure way to prevent a hangover is to avoid drinking. However, there are many simple tips that will go a long way toward preventing or lessening most hangover symptoms. Some of these tips are:
- Never consume alcohol on an empty stomach.
- Do not drink alcohol too fast.
- Do not drink or eat anything sweet while drinking.
- Keep your meals small and light for the day.
- A walk outside in fresh air is also beneficial.
- Avoid smoking as it can irritate your stomach.
- Take a warm shower to ease your headache and muscle pain.