Looking for hangover cures? You’ve clicked on the right page.
Before I begin, I should start by telling you to drink responsibly, be careful, try to prevent a hangover by having one glass of water per alcoholic drink, stop drinking when you start feeling drunk, moderation is key, abstinence is the only real way of preventing a hangover etc.
Now, chances are you’re reading this with a banging headache and you want some hangover cures. Prevention can wait until next time you go out drinking.
I’m not going to recommend Advil or any over the counter pain relief medication. Your liver already has enough to do; let’s not give it any more stress.
So here’s what this I’m going to do in this blog post: first I’m going to help make your head feel less like it’s about to explode; then I’ll explain how to reduce nausea, and then I’ll recommend some food.
Hangover Cures: 10 Scientific Remedies
The first of the hangover cures is simple: drink water. Alcohol is a diuretic. This means it makes your body release water.
But you know this already: you’ve noticed you need to urinate more when you’re drinking a lot.
You’re probably very dehydrated as you’re reading this, which is one reason your head is pounding right now. You have to replace that water. Drink a couple of glasses over the next hour or so.
2. Sea Salt
Diuretics also flush out salt. That’s another reason you have a banging headache and you’re feeling light headed.
You have to replace that salt. Despite what mainstream media says, you actually need salt.
Add a pinch of good quality sea salt or Himalayan pink salt to your water before you drink it. If it tastes salty, you’ve added too much salt. It should taste “fresh”.
3. Ginger Tea
Now I’m going to try and reduce the nausea you’re feeling right now.
Ginger tea is going to help. You could just buy some ginger tea bags and let one brew in your mug for a couple of minutes, but I prefer the homemade stuff.
You’ll need ginger root, which you can buy at any supermarket. Wash it, chop off the skin, and grate it. Add to a pan of water, bring it to the boil, turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
I made some ginger tea after a particularly heavy night of drinking at a friend’s Bachelor party a few years ago. There were eight of us staying at an Airbnb in Prague. The tea saved the day: we were able to go out and enjoy the city without feeling like death.
4. Bone Broth
What is bone broth? It’s basically animal bones and connective tissue that’s been boiled for several hours with veggies and/or herbs. All the nutrients in the bones are eventually released into the water.
Drinking bone broth is going to start replenishing those nutrients, and you’ll feel much better for having done so.
For my Toronto clients: you can buy bone broth at Loblaws. It’s usually near the kombucha in the refrigerated organic section. I’ve tried the bone broth there and enjoyed it.
To anyone from outside Toronto reading this: I recommend the bone broth from Kettle & Fire. It tastes great.
ZMA is a supplement used by bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts all over the world. But we’re going to use it as one of our hangover remedies.
It contains these three ingredients:
– Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate
– Magnesium Aspartate
– Vitamin B6
Let’s go through the ingredients one by one to see how a dose of ZMA can help your hangover symptoms.
Zinc: there’s evidence that zinc can prevent alcohol-induced liver damage (in mice, anyway).
Vitamin B6: you need B6 to produce cysteine, a substance found in glutathione. You need glutathione to break down the toxic by-products of alcohol metabolism, which are causing your hangover symptoms. It’s interesting that a lot of alcoholics seem to be deficient in B6.
In summary: ZMA might protect your liver from further damage, makes you feel less fatigued, and helps you break down the toxic by-products of alcohol.
Firstly, we know that caffeine itself has some good pain-relieving effects.
Also, if you’re a daily coffee drinker, not consuming caffeine will probably make your headache worse due to caffeine withdrawal.
Finally, caffeine is going to help give you the energy to get out of bed and get on with your day.
Hopefully, you’re about ready to start eating now. We’re going to start very simply, no cooking required.
So let’s begin by eating some avocado.
I want you to eat avocado because, as I already mentioned, alcohol can deplete potassium levels.
And before you start going on about eating a banana for potassium, there are two reasons I want you to avoid banana:
2. Fructose content. How is this relevant? Fructose, unlike glucose, is broken down and dealt with by the liver. Your liver is currently under a loss of stress dealing with all that alcohol, so we don’t want to put any more pressure on it. Although bananas are low in fructose (5.72 g per banana), avocados are extremely low in fructose (0.11 g per avocado).
Eat one avocado, and feel free to sprinkle some sea salt on it.
I briefly mentioned cysteine and glutathione earlier, but let’s dig deeper into what actually causes a hangover.
Your liver breaks down alcohol into a toxin called acetaldehyde, which is what causes your hangover in the first place.
Acetaldehyde is broken down by an enzyme called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione.
Glutathione contains a substance called cysteine.
The vitamin B6 found in ZMA helps you produce more cysteine. But if you had a lot to drink last night, you’re probably pretty bloody low in glutathione (and therefore cysteine) right now, even if you’ve taken some ZMA. And maybe you don’t even have any ZMA at home.
So how else can you get more of that sweet, sweet cysteine?
Eggs. Eggs contain cysteine. Eat eggs, break down the toxic by-products of alcohol metabolism, and cure your hangover symptoms faster.
The easiest way to prepare eggs is just scrambling them in olive oil or (grass-fed) butter. Throw in some sea salt too.
See? Hangover cures can be delicious.
RELATED – 6 Fat Burning Breakfast Ideas
This hangover cure is totally anecdotal and has no scientific evidence to support it. But, if I’ve managed to get rid of my headache and I no longer feel I’m going to throw up, getting outside and going for a walk always makes me feel a little less fatigued.
Bonus points if you can walk near the waterfront or in a nice park.
10. Go back to sleep
None of the above hangover cures worked? Then you definitely had way too much to drink and now you just gotta wait it out.
Go back to sleep for a few hours. After all, you most likely had a terrible night’s sleep due to the alcohol: although you didn’t necessarily sleep fewer hours than usual, the sleep you got probably wasn’t the best quality.
Those were my 10 favourite scientific hangover cures. Please leave a comment if you have any hangover cures that work for you.