Anti-Hangover Tips

Ouch! Why is it that having so much fun last night makes this morning so miserable? If walking, even just a few steps, makes your hair hurt or you’d rather face the gates of hell than your two toddlers the morning after a night of overindulgence, try these anti-hangover tips for some relief

Start the hangover remedies the night before. Never drink on an empty stomach. Have something substantial to eat before or while drinking to slow alcohol absorption and minimize distress in the morning.

Mind your congeners while drinking. Congeners are flavoring agents and impurities from fermentation that account for many wine, liquor, and liqueur flavors, aromas, and colors. Delicious the night before, they can leave you feeling devastated the morning after. Drink something neutral in flavors, with as few congeners as possible, such as vodka, to feel better the next day.

Drink plenty of water, milk, or fruit juice before going to bed to curb dehydration, a condition that causes many hangover symptoms.

Snack on something mild but nutritious before going to bed, too. The vitamins and minerals will help offset the electrolyte imbalance that causes a lot of pain and discomfort. Eggs are great medicine in this case so scramble up a couple or have an omelet before calling it a night.

Take a couple of aspirin along with that midnight snack, too, as long as you have no history of ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding. Avoid acetaminophen-based pain relievers until the hangover goes away entirely. Acetaminophen is metabolized in the liver, which is already working overtime to clear out the alcohol, so give it a break to keep it healthy.

Stir a heaping teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water to relieve nausea and stop the shakes that often come with a hangover.

Eat some fruit before going to bed or for breakfast the next morning. Fructose, the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit, speeds up alcohol metabolism. Four ounces of fructose has been known to speed alcohol metabolism by as much as 80%.

Many people swear by the hair of the dog that bit ‘em. On the theory that imbibing a little more alcohol will soothe withdrawal symptoms, several cocktails have become especially popular ‘breakfast’ beverages:

  • Mimosa: Equal parts champagne and orange juice, served over ice.
  • Screwdriver: One shot vodka, three parts orange juice over ice.
  • Bloody Mary: One shot vodka, three parts tomato juice, again over ice. Spice this one up with celery salt, a squeeze of lemon or lime, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of Tabasco sauce or pinch of black pepper if you like things spicy. Many people also add a pinch of horseradish or a spoonful of tomato salsa for added zing.

As impossible as this may seem, try to get a little exercise as soon as possible. By revving up the circulation, the alcohol metabolism gets revved up, too.

Another benefit of exercise is increased oxygen intake from deeper breathing and more vigorous circulation. Your aching head will quickly reward you for this one.

Be patient and sleep through a hangover, if possible. The body requires time to clear itself of excess alcohol and you’ll feel bad until that magic moment occurs.