How to Get Rid of a Hangover

Four Methods:Re-hydrating YourselfEating to Combat your HangoverResting and RecoveringMedicating your Hangover

"I will never drink again!" is a common phrase heard after someone wakes up after a night of drinking with a hammering headache and a stomach rolling around like a sneaker in a washing machine. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it removes liquids from the body. It is the resulting dehydration that causes most your horrible hangover symptoms. Unfortunately there are no cast iron hangover cures, but there are various ways that you can treat the symptoms to keep you going until you have recovered.[1]

Method 1
Re-hydrating Yourself

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    Drink plenty of water. The dehydration caused by alcohol consumption needs to be tackled if you are to get rid of your hangover. The most straightforward way to re-hydrate yourself is simply by drinking lots of water when you wake up. Drinking bland fluids that are easy on your digestive system will help you replace lost liquid without irritating your stomach.[2]
    • Drinking a pint of water before you go to bed will help to lower your dehydration levels before you wake up. Keep a glass of water next to your bed to drink from in the night.
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    Drink an isotonic sports drink. As well as water, an isotonic sports drink can be a very effective way to replace fluids and give you some much needed energy. These drinks contain carbohydrates that release energy slowly, helping you pick up as the day goes on.[3]
    • Look for drinks that contain electrolytes, which you need to replace when you have become dehydrated.[4]
    • Be wary of sports drinks containing caffeine as these will likely make you more dehydrated.
    • If you feel severely dehydrated, look for an oral rehydration solution. These are specially formulated to treat dehydration, whereas most sports drinks are not.
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    Drink fruit juice. Another good thing to drink is fresh fruit juice. The vitamins and minerals will give you a boost.[5] Fruit juices are generally high in fructose, which is sugar that affects your energy as well as the functioning of your liver.
    • Fruit juices are also often high in vitamin C, something which is often lost in your urine when you are drinking.[6]
    • Tomato juice, orange juice, and coconut water are all good choices.[7]
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    Drink ginger tea. Drinking ginger tea can help to suppress nausea and vomiting. It is often drank by pregnant women to help with morning sickness and the same principle applies for a hangover.[8] One option is to boil 10-12 pieces of fresh ginger root in about four cups of water and add the juice of one orange, half a lemon and half cup of honey.
    • This concoction will provide quick relief from hangover by stabilizing blood glucose levels.
    • A calm tea is probably better than a carbonated ginger ale. Fizzy drinks increase the pressure on your stomach, and could cause you to feel nauseated.[9]
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    Sip drinks throughout the day. With all of these drinks there is no fixed amount that you need to drink, it is more a question of drinking throughout the day. Taking regular sips of water, fruit juice and/or an isotonic sports drink will help you replenish your lost fluids, vitamins and nutrients as the day goes on.[10]
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    Avoid caffeinated drinks. Just as you are drinking water and juice to help rehydrate yourself, drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, can make you more dehydrated rather than less. Caffeine also narrows your blood vessels and raises your blood pressure, which can also exaggerate your hangover symptoms.[11]

Method 2
Eating to Combat your Hangover

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    Eat some eggs. Eggs are an excellent thing to eat to combat a hangover. They contain an amino acid called cysteine, which your body will be very happy to receive after a bout of drinking. Cysteine works to break down the toxins that make you feel unwell after drinking. By helping cleanse your body of these leftover toxins, eggs can help you to feel better, rejuvenated, and more energized.[12]
    • Avoid preparing your eggs with too much fat or grease, as this could make you feel nauseated.
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    Have a bowl of cereal. If the thought of eggs makes your stomach turn, try a bowl of fortified breakfast cereal. Wholegrain cereal is preferable, as it will have more vitamins and nutrients.[13]
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    Have bouillon soup to restore vitamins and minerals. A bouillon soup is a thin broth that is based on vegetables. It’s a good source of the vitamins and minerals you need to replenish when you’re hungover. It’s also perfect if you are feeling very fragile and might struggle to keep down solid foods.[14] Bouillon soup can particularly help you to replace salt and potassium.[15]
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    Eat food rich in potassium. When you are drinking you will find yourself making regular trips to the bathroom, due to the fact that alcohol’s a diuretic. When you are urinating a lot you will lose more potassium than normal. Lower potassium levels contribute to tiredness, nausea and weak limbs, all symptoms of a hangover. To tackle this eat foods that are good sources of potassium.
    • Two cheap, easy to find examples you might already have in your kitchen are bananas and kiwi fruits.[16]
    • Baked potatoes, leafy greens, mushrooms, and dried apricots are also good sources of potassium.[17]
    • Sports drinks are often good sources of potassium.[18]
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    Eat bland foods like toast and crackers. Eating bland foods may be the best option if your stomach is feeling sensitive. The point of eating to tackle a hangover is not to "absorb" the alcohol, but to boost your blood sugar and replenish nutrients.[19]
    • Alcohol prevents your body from maintaining normal blood sugar concentration, and low blood sugar leads to fatigue and weakness, making your body tired.[20].
    • Complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, whole-grain bread) are good choices.

Method 3
Resting and Recovering

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    Go back to bed. Simply put, sleep is the best way to deal with a hangover.[21] The kind of sleep you get after drinking may involve less of the R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) state of sleep which provides proper restoration for your brain, so it’s important to get some more sleep if you can.[22]
    • Sleep deprivation can certainly make the symptoms of a hangover worse.[23]
    • The only real cure for a hangover is time.
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    Take a gentle walk. Without exerting yourself too much or risking further dehydration, getting out of the house and taking a walk can help you to feel better when hungover. The rate that alcohol toxins are broken down is increased by your oxygen levels.
    • A brisk walk will help speed the metabolism and clearance of alcohol in your system.[24]
    • If you are really struggling, don’t push yourself, but rest and recover.
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    Try not to dwell on it. If you are hungover, it can be tempting to wallow in your state of disrepair and refuse to get out of bed or off the couch all day. If you counter this and try to carry on regardless you might find that your symptoms feel diminished. Denial can be a powerful way to try to convince your brain that everything is okay.[25]

Method 4
Medicating your Hangover

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    Take an over-the-counter painkiller. Your throbbing headache and aching muscles can be tackled with a simple and easily available over the counter painkiller. Check the recommended dosage on the packages, usually two tablets, and take them with a glass of water when you wake up.
    • You can take aspirin-based painkillers or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen), but they may irritate your stomach further and cause nausea.[26]
    • If you have a sensitive stomach or are in any doubt about what painkillers to take, contact your doctor.
    • Do not take acetaminophen! Acetaminophen is processed in your liver, just like alcohol. Tylenol instructions, for instance, specifically say not to mix with alcohol. Doing this can lead to liver failure. (Brands include Tylenol, Paramol, and Anacin).[27] In some countries, acetaminophen is called paracetamol: it is the same medication.[28]
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    Take an antacid pill for your stomach. A common symptom of a hangover is a very delicate stomach caused by high stomach acidity levels. If you feel nauseous, consider taking an over-the-counter product that can neutralize stomach acid and tackle feelings of indigestion.[29] As with the painkillers, there is a risk that these tablets could irritate your stomach, so be sure the read the package and take as advised.
    • There are a number of branded antacid pills available to buy.
    • Common antacid ingredients include aluminum hydroxide, magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate, and magnesium trisilicate.[30] These ingredients are found in brands such as Tums, Mylanta, and Maalox.
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    Take a multivitamin pill. When you drink alcohol your body will lose a lot of nutrients, including vitamin B12 and folate, that will need to be replenished.[31]If you're feeling really nauseous, you might not be able to keep a multivitamin pill down.
    • As with the other pills, taking a soluble or effervescent pill will mean that it gets into your system faster.[32]
    • Soluble pills are simply those which you dissolve in glass of water and drink.
    • Effervescent tablets will dissolve in water, but have added carbon dioxide so will fizz up. These effervescent pills can cause nausea.[33]
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    Be wary of “miracle cures”. There are some so-called ‘hangover pills’ that claim to include elements that tackle all your hangover symptoms at once. Perhaps try one of these, but be aware that scientific studies have concluded that their effectiveness is at best limited.[34] Nothing truly cures a hangover except time and hydration.[35]


  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. And have a good nap.
  • Eat well when you have hangover because empty stomach will make you feel more nauseated.
  • Remember to never drive after you've been drinking.
  • To avoid a hangover try to drink a pint of water before bed, and drink water between each alcoholic drink.
  • Drink lucozade sport orange. It's an isotonic sports drink which will replenish your body.
  • Try a cold shower. It should cool you off, and help with your head and stomach.
  • Chicken noodle soup will help you to feel better.
  • Stick with non-carbonated mixers. Carbonated drink mixers accelerate alcohol absorption.
  • The best way to get rid of a hangover is not to get one in the first place.
  • Drink responsibly and know your limits. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that women have no more than 3 drinks on a single day and no more than 7 drinks per week. Men should have no more than 4 drinks on a single day and no more than 14 drinks per week.[36] "One drink" means one of the following: 12-ounce beer, 8-9 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.[37]
  • Choose light liquors (vodka, gin) over dark liquors (brandy, whiskey). They have fewer congeners, which contribute to hangovers. Overall, drinks with more chemicals produce worse hangovers. Red wine is one of the worst culprits, but everyone is different.[38]
  • A study found that hangover symptoms varied by the type of alcohol consumed: (in order of decreasing severity) brandy, red wine, rum, whiskey, white wine, gin, vodka, and pure ethanol.[39]


  • The "hair of the dog" approach, or drinking more alcohol in the morning, only delays your hangover and ultimately will make it worse when it does arrive.
  • Even without treatment, a hangover should last no more than 24 hours. If you're still feeling bad after that, call a doctor.
  • If you can't remember what happened while you were drinking, if you get hangovers on a regular basis, or if drinking is affecting your work or your relationships, you may have a drinking problem. Talk to someone about getting help.
  • Exercise does not make a hangover go away. In fact, it might make the hangover worse by further dehydrating you. If you choose to exercise, drink extra water.

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