Sure, you're technically supposed to limit your drinking to 1 to 2 drinks daily. . . but we all know that isn't always realistic. And while the occasional indulgence is fine, an extra drink (or three) can cause some serious head-pounding, nausea-inducing consequences. That doesn't mean you're doomed to a whole day of misery, though. Try these hangover-busting tips to feel better soon!
Got a food hangover, too? Try these tweaks to look and feel better ASAP.
1. Rehydrate (Then Hydrate Some More)
A serious hangover usually means you’re seriously dehydrated. Alcohol naturally boosts fluid loss, so even if you drank a lot of actual liquid the night before, you’ll still wake up dehydrated. That’s part of the reason a hangover feels like hell. Dehydration makes you feel tired and weak. It also prevents your liver from functioning like it should (definitely not great when it’s trying to process lots of liquor!).
Ideally, you’d down a few glasses of water before bed to get a jump-start on rehydration. But if it’s too late for that, you’ll just need to sip as much H2O as you can. If you’re not a fan of plain water, try unsweetened coconut water, which will also help rebalance your electrolytes.
2. Drink a Liquid Meal
Not exactly up for a 3-course meal? No problem. Instead, opt for a mild, easy-on-the-stomach smoothie. It’ll help provide detoxifying B-complex vitamins that help you liver function and -- not to sound like a broken record -- it’ll boost hydration too. Liquid meals also digest more easily, so you'll be able to get those nutrients quickly for a speedy recovery.
Now’s not the time for a rich smoothie, so hold the almond butter. Instead, blend a cup of unsweetened almond milk or plain iced green tea with a cup of frozen fruit and a spoonful of rolled oats. You’ll get (healthy) sugars to perk you up, detoxifying vitamins and a tiny dose of healthy complex carbs for longer-lasting energy.
3. Pop a Multi
While you’re downing that water (or your smoothie) take a multivitamin, too. Alcohol flushes certain nutrients, like vitamin B-12 and folate, out of your system. Those vitamins not only support blood flow (essential for flushing toxins from your liver) but also boost your metabolism and your energy, something that’s definitely lacking when you’re nursing a hangover. In addition to vitamins, a multivitamin supplies other essential nutrients you need to get back to normal.
4. Nix Nausea with Ginger
There’s a reason your mom used to recommend ginger ale for a stomach ache — it’s great for relieving nausea, alcohol-related or not. Ginger helps settle your stomach, fights nausea and vomiting (always a good thing!). It also helps reduce motion sickness, whether that’s caused by a subway or bus trip home, or just a too-long trek to the kitchen for some water.
Get your ginger without triggering new nausea by adding a few slices to water, or sipping sugar-free ginger ale. You’ll get all the anti-nausea benefits without eating or drinking anything rich — perfect for when you’re nursing a hangover.
5. Try DIY Sensory Deprivation
Let’s face it -- it’s not fun doing anything when you’re nursing a hangover. But practicing some super-simple self-care can help you recover (and, bonus, the relaxation can help with a headache).
Take a few minutes to lie in savasana on a yoga mat or blanket on the floor, with a sleeping mask over your eyes (if it feels comfortable). Gently relax your muscles, allowing your body to feel supported by the floor, and take deep, full breaths for greater relaxation.
6. Head Back to Bed
Sure, it’s not always an option, but sleep is the best hangover cure. Crawling back to bed (after you have a few glasses of water, naturally!) lets your body get back into recovery mode. Your liver will be able to work harder to eliminate toxins, and you’ll get to sleep through the worst of a hangover headache. Even if you don't have a time, try to fit in a power nap. Just set a few alarms to prevent accidental oversleeping.
If you’re still feeling tipsy, or you feel like you might vomit, make sure you sleep on your side. Place pillows at your back or sleep against the wall to avoid rolling on your back, which could pose a serious (even deadly) health risk.