ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

10 Tips to Cure a Hangover

Updated on October 24, 2014
JohnMello profile image

JohnMello is a writer, composer, musician and the author of books for children and adults.

A hangover can often lead to a pounding headache
A hangover can often lead to a pounding headache | Source

The Sweetest Hangover?

When Diana Ross sang about the sweetest hangover she didn’t want to get over, it was nothing to do with alcohol. Anyone who has experienced the throbbing pain in their head, the queasy feeling in their stomach, the sensitivity to light and sound and the dizziness that makes everything spin will tell you that ‘getting over it’ is their number one priority.

A hangover can manifest itself in a variety of forms. It is commonly recognized as a collection of signs and symptoms that result from overindulging in alcohol. You can experience a hangover at any time of day, but most people suffer in the morning following a night of heavy and sustained drinking. Here are some of the symptoms that heavy drinking – and the hangover that follows it – might bring up:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Trembling
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Stomach pain
  • Irritability
  • Flatulence
  • Aching muscles
  • Insatiable thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Shame, regret, embarrassment and/or depression

When you're hungover, empty bottles tell their own story
When you're hungover, empty bottles tell their own story | Source

What's a hangover?

According to Wikipedia, a hangover can be described as "unpleasant physiological and psychological effects" followed by the consumption of too much alcohol, accompanied by "a feeling of severe discomfort" that can last for 24 hours or more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangover

Can You Really Cure a Hangover?

Hangover cures are a myth, possibly propagated by companies selling hangover cures. So while you can’t actually cure a hangover, there are lots of things you can do to deal with the symptoms, before or after they appear.

Hangovers are caused by dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it promotes the removal of fluid from the body. Lack of fluid is dehydration, and the more alcohol you put into your system in a given period of time, the more dehydrated you’re likely to become.

That’s why you might wake up ‘the morning after’ feeling like you slept with your tongue buried deep in a sand dune – or played some crazy drinking game where you were forced to lick the back of a carpet. The only real secret to avoid getting a hangover in the first place is not to drink alcohol. If that isn’t possible, though, here are some tips that will help keep a hangover at bay or make coping with one a bit more palatable.

Drinking ordinary water is the best remedy to prevent or deal with a hangover
Drinking ordinary water is the best remedy to prevent or deal with a hangover | Source

Take the Hangover Poll!

What's the worst thing about getting hungover?

See results

5 Tips for Preventing a Hangover

1. Eat something first. Before you head out for a night of drinking, eat something. Fatty foods or a glass of full fat milk will help to absorb the alcohol and coat the stomach, slowing down the effects of alcohol. Heading out for an evening of debauchery on an empty stomach is just asking for trouble.

2. Watch what you drink. Before you throw back those beverages, check out their color. Dark-colored drinks like bourbon or brandy have more chemical compounds called congeners than their light-colored cousins such as gin or vodka. The more congeners, the worse your hangover is going to be.

3. Drink between drinks. Try drinking water or orange juice after each alcoholic beverage, i.e. between alcoholic drinks. Water in particular will keep your body hydrated and make it less likely that you’ll wake up with a hangover.

4. Get out of the bar. Take a break from the stuffy atmosphere. During your drinking session, go outside to let the fresh air fill your body with extra oxygen. Consider walking home at the end of the night to let Mother Nature help sober you up.

5. Hydrate at bedtime. Drink a couple of glasses of water before you go to sleep. Keeping your body hydrated is the simplest and most effective way to ensure you don’t wake up feeling like a zombie, and drinking water just before you drift off to sleep is one of the simplest, oldest and most effective remedies there is.

So far so good: but what happens if you don’t do any of these things and wake up with a hangover? How are you supposed to cope when it feels like your body’s been taken over by an evil twin who’s hell-bent on destroying you from the inside out? That’s when the next 5 tips will come in particularly handy.

The more alcohol you put into your system in a given period of time, the more dehydrated you’re likely to become.

How to Deal with Hangovers

Know Your Alcohol Limits

According to the UK's National Health Service (NHS), men should drink no more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day, and women no more than 2-3 units a day. A unit of alcohol is roughly equivalent to a single measure of whisky, a third of a pint of beer, or half a 175ml glass of red wine. To avoid the risk of long-term health issues after heavy drinking sessions, stay away from alcoholic beverages for at least 48 hours.

5 Tips for Dealing with a Hangover

6. Go back to sleep. Sleep is your body’s natural mechanism for healing itself. Also, when you’re asleep your body doesn’t have to work so hard to cope with the symptoms you’ve inflicted on yourself. But if you can’t get to sleep because your head is pounding…

7. Take some painkillers. Don’t overdo it. Take what you normally take in the usual dosage, keeping in mind that certain tablets like aspirin can irritate the stomach and add to your problems.

8. Eat something. Stay away from fried foods if you can, although whatever you eat will help rid your body of toxins. Eggs and meat are particularly recommended for their detoxifying properties.

9. Drink something healthy. Like alcohol, the caffeine in coffee causes dehydration. Drink some fruit juice to replenish lost vitamins and remove toxins. Tea also contains caffeine, in some cases more than coffee, so stay away from that too.

10. Make water your new best friend. Spend the day drinking a glass or two of water once every hour. It will rehydrate you and quickly restore your body’s systems back to normal. Who knew plain old water could be so powerful?

Calculating Units of Alcohol

Beverage
Size
Units of alcohol
Beer 4%
1 pint
2.3
Beer 5%
1 pint
1.6
Wine 13%
175 ml
2.3
Champagne 12%
125 ml
1.5
Spirits 40%
25 ml
1
Cider 4.5%
1 pint
2.6
Some symptoms of a hangover are more unsettling than others
Some symptoms of a hangover are more unsettling than others | Source
Dark colored drinks are more likely to lead to a hangover
Dark colored drinks are more likely to lead to a hangover | Source

Hangover Myths Debunked

There's an excellent slideshow on the WebMD.com site that shatters all those hangover-related myths to pieces. Here's a summary of some of them:

Hangovers Aren't a Big Deal
Wrong! Heavy drinking affects the central nervous system and can weaken the immune system.

Hangovers Only Affect Men
Nope. Men have more water in their bodies, so women who drink the same amount will suffer.

Only Heavy Drinkers Get Hangovers
Uh-uh. Just a few drinks can bring on a headache.

Drinking Wine Prevents Hangovers
Wrong again. The darker the drink, the harder it is on your head.

You can read all 12 of the myths on the WebMD page at http://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-hangover-myths.

Treat Alcohol with Respect

Everybody’s different, so the severity of your hangover will depend on a number of factors. Some people can drink more than others and it all revolves around your physical and mental state before the drinking session begins. If you’re tired, hungry or thirsty when you go out, chances are you’re going to suffer more than you otherwise would. If you’ve taken the time to eat something, to drink some water, and to drink water or juice between alcoholic drinks, you’ll probably cope a lot better.

As with most things in life, the simplest cures usually work the best. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, and drink lots of water. This is basic down-to-earth advice that’s guaranteed to help make hangovers less of a problem while giving you the resources to deal with any symptoms that might come along. And that’s got to be better than waking up feeling miserable, vulnerable and totally out of control.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)