Hangover hurt. Are there any true hangover remedies that can get us back on our feet? We have the complete rundown of hangover remedies from milk thistle to prickly pear cactus.
The only surefire way to avoid a hangover is to abstain from alcohol. But if you choose to drink, here are some strategies that can help ease your morning-after pain.
- Drink slowly. Have only one alcoholic drink per hour, and make every other drink one of the non-alcoholic variety.
- Eat before you drink. Alcohol consumed on an empty stomach is absorbed faster. A glass of milk may also help slow down alcohol absorption by coating the stomach.
- Choose lighter alcohols, such as gin or vodka, over darker spirits like whiskey or bourbon.
- Liquor before beer, all in the clear? Not so much. Your safest bet is to pick a drink and stick with it throughout the night.
- Milk thistle. There’s no scientific research to support it, but anecdotal evidence suggests taking milk thistle before you drink can help prevent a hangover. If you want to give it a try, doses less than 1,500 mg per day are generally safe.
- Tumeric. A spice featured in the Okinawa diet, turmeric is proposed to prevent hangovers.
- Prickly Pear Cactus. A small double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that when taken before drinking, 1600 IUs of this plant extract reduced the nausea, dry mouth and loss of appetite associated with a hangover. Further, the risk of a “severe” hangover was cut in half.
- Ginger. The anti-nausea properties of this spice may help ease the queasy feeling that can accompany a hangover. Try some ginger tea with honey to replenish your blood sugar.
- Asparagus extract. A Korean study showed that asparagus extract, taken from the leaves of the asparagus plant, had antioxidant properties that protected the liver from alcohol toxicity. It also enhanced alcohol metabolism, potentially allowing the body to rid itself of alcohol more quickly.
- Drink two large glasses of water before bed, and keep a glass by the bedside to sip from during the night. Continue to rehydrate in the morning. You can also try sports drink or fruit juice, which will help replenish electrolytes.
- Have a bland snack – something like a banana helps settle your stomach, boost your blood sugar, and replace electrolytes.
- Take an over-the-counter pain killer in the dosage prescribed on the box. You may want to avoid aspirin, though, as it can irritate your stomach. And for you true heavy drinkers out there, acetaminophen can harm your liver in combination with alcohol.
- Get plenty of rest – the more you sleep, the less time you have to spend actively suffering your hangover symptoms.
Really, the only tried and true hangover cure is time.