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How To Prevent And Cure Hangover - Best Natural Hangover Cures

Updated on June 25, 2012

Headache, thirst, nausea, fatigue, depression, muscle weakness – sounds familiar? Just last night you were happy and full of energy and now….. you have a hangover! The bad news is that scientists still do not have a cure for a hangover. The good news is that in about 24 hours you will feel much better. That’s approximately how long takes for your body to rejuvenate from the damage caused by all toxins you consumed the night before. Meanwhile, you can make yourself feel a little bit better with ageless natural hangover remedies. First, let’s see what you can do to prevent a hangover.

How to prevent a hangover

The simplest way - don’t drink! All right, that maybe a little bit radical. People throughout time have found good reason for recourse to alcohol. Why do we drink? We drink to forget, to relax, to get silly, to escape and etc. My favorite explanation is by English writer William Bolitho, “The shortest way out of Manchester is … a bottle of Gordon's gin”. Or another good one from the Bible, “Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more” Ok, we all drink for different reasons. And, I actually feel sorry for those who don’t. As Frank Sinatra said “I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.”

People have been drinking for ages. Patrick McGovern in his book Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture stated that beer may have preceded bread as a staple, and the discovery of late Stone Age beer jugs has established the fact that purposely fermented beverages existed at least as early as c. 10,000 BC. In Egypt, both beer and wine were deified. God Osiris, who according to their beliefs invented beer, was worshiped throughout the country, and the beverage was brewed in the home on an everyday basis. Egyptian even buried their deceased with wine and beer supply for their use in the after-life. Our ancestors used alcohol as a remedy for many illnesses from sore throat to bladder infections to kidney stones. Because of the water contamination, alcohol used to be safer drink than water for ages. I guess it is safe to assume that we are genetically predisposed to drink. But in order to prevent hangover we have to drink smart. Here, several things you can do to prevent hangover or at least to make it lighter.

  • Drink light-colored drinks such as white wine, vodka, gin. Dark drinks have high level of congeners, impurities produced by the fermentation process. The greater the congener content, the heavier hangover.
  • Avoid cheap alcohol and sugary drinks.  Don’t mix alcohol with other drugs. If you took other drugs at the party your hangover may be worse. Be careful when mixing alcohol with energy drinks such as Red Bull. Red Bull in your alcoholic drink doesn’t prevent a hangover, but does increase your heartbeat, which can lead to fatality. Red Bull’s manufacturers always point out that they never condoned mixing their product with alcohol.
  • Eat a heavy meal, with a lot of protein and fats, before or while drinking. If for some reason you can’t, then substitute meal by a glass of milk or a piece of butter. Sometimes even bar snacks can make a difference.
  • Drink a lot of water. Drink a glass of water with every alcoholic drink you have. Drink more water when you got home before you go to bed, have something else to eat and take some Vitamin C.
  • Drink slowly. Your body burns 30 ml (1oz) of alcohol an hour. Your drinking pattern is also influence the severity of a hangover. Unfairly, habitually heavy drinkers have milder hangovers.  

How to cure a hangover

Now back to the sorrow of the morning. A hangover peaks when alcohol that has been poured into the body is finally eliminated from it – that is, when the blood-alcohol level returns to zero. The toxin is gone, but the damage it has done is not. There are several causes of a hangover. One is withdrawal, which can bring on the tremors and sweating. Another is dehydration. Alcohol interferes with the secretion of the hormone that inhibits urination. As a result of dehydration we have the thirst and lethargy. The body, to break down the alcohol, is releasing chemicals that maybe more toxic than alcohol itself, as a result we have nausea and headache. A hangover also has an emotional component. Have you noticed feeling of loneliness, sadness, anxiety and sense of failure in the morning? Well, you are not that bad as you think you are, you are not that lonely as you think you are, and life is not over! You just have a hangover. Let’s see what you can do to feel better.

If you don’t have to go to work, than ‘the hair of the dog that bit you’ is an answer for you. The old faithful in this category is the Bloody Mary. There are others less traditional hair-of-the-dog recipes, such as the Suffering Bastard and the Hair of the Dog cocktail. Many people simply drink some more of what they had the night before.

The Suffering Bastard recipe

1 oz Brandy

1 oz Gin

1 teaspoon Rose's Lime Cordial

1 dash Angostura Bitters

Ginger Ale

Fill a cocktail shaker two thirds full of ice and add Bourbon, Gin, Lime Juice, and Bitters. Shake for approximately 15 seconds. Strain into an Ice-filled Collins Glass. Top with the Ginger Ale, and add a sprig of mint, orange slice, and cucumber peel as the garnish.

The Hair of the Dog recipe

6 oz Gin

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce

Slice of chili pepper

Pour the Gin and Tabasco into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake generously. Strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a chili pepper.

If you have to go to work, then probably the highest on the list of natural hangover cures for you is the greasy comfort meal. Some people prefer McDonald’s cheeseburgers, claiming that they have a secret cure for hangovers. Eggs and spicy food are also very popular worldwide.

Spicy food diverts the body’s attention away from coping with the alcohol to coping with the spices, which are also a toxin. The high fat food works the same way. The body turns to the food and forgets about alcohol, and hopefully lightening a hangover.

Soup is a common hangover remedy, not only because it is a comfort food, but also because it helps rehydrate the body.

Every culture has its own idea of what kind of food helps to cure hangover. And mostly it based on the environment and traditional food in a particular country. Dutch and Germans prefer pickled herring; Mexican use chilies; Russians favor pickle juice and Sauerkraut juice – both commonly known as ‘rassol’; Japanese turn to pickled plums; Ukrainians fight hangover with ‘borsch’ (beet soup) and Hungarians with ‘hangover soup’ (a concoction of cabbage and smoked meat).

Hungarian Hangover Soup recipe

400 g sauerkraut, Sauer cabbage

200 g smoked trotters

200 g smoked sausage

Oil

50 g flour

1 red onion

1.5 soured cream

1-2 bay leaves

Paprika

1-2 clove of garlic

Salt

Lemon

Take the Sauer cabbage, the bay leaf, the trotter, the sausage into a big pot and pour two litre water on it, cook it until it is soft. Put 2 tablespoon of oil into a saucepan, put the finely chopped onions and the garlic into it and fry it till it is glassy. Take off from the cooker the saucepan and wait till it is colder. Put 2 teaspoonful paprika and the flour in the saucepan. Put it back and stir it for 60 seconds. Take out the bay leaf, the trotter and the sausage from the soup. Put the sauce from the saucepan to the soup, while stirring it continuously. It’s important to stir, so the soup will be smooth. When it is done slice the trotter and the sausage and put it back to the soup. If you do not find sour enough add some lemon to the soup. When it’s served add some soured cream on the top of it.

Ukrainian Borscht recipe

1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef, cut into small pieces

8 to 10 cups water

Beets, a bunch (usually 5 to 6), pared and cut into thin slices, quartered..,

Don't forget the chopped green leaves, too!

2 medium onions, chopped

3 large carrots, pared and chopped

16 oz. sour cream

Vinegar

Salt

Black ground coarse pepper

In a 6 to 8 quart stock pot, place the beef and add enough oil to coat the pan. Begin to brown the meat and continue to add a little water at a time so the meat doesn't burn or stick. Do this for about 30 minutes and keep a close eye on it. Now add the water to this along with the about 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat to medium and cover and let simmer for another 30 minutes. Add all the vegetables, stir and cover again and let cook for AT LEAST an hour. Serve cold or hot with sour cream or vinegar.

Hot sauna or steam room sessions can help steam the hangover away. Saunas and steam rooms help sweat out the toxins. Just don’t forget to drink a lot of water before and after your sauna session in order to avoid further dehydration. Sauna and steam rooms are popular hangover remedies in Russia and Finland. If available, swimming in a pool or open water is a great way to cure hangover, and from my point of view, is the best natural hangover cure.

Drinking PowerAde, Gatorade or Vitamin Water helps to replenish fluids and rehydrate your body fast. All these drinks contain vitamins and electrolytes which is very helpful in a fight with a hangover. Irn-Bru is commonly regarded as a hangover remedy in Scotland. Irn-Bru's advertising slogan used to be ‘Scotland's other National Drink’, referring to whisky. Supposedly, Irn-Bru’s high amount of sugar and caffeine content helps to cure hangover, as all caffeinated drinks soothe headaches to an extent, and sugary drinks replace lost fluids and sugars.

Having sex may increase the release of endorphins, which in turn may help reduce the effect of a hangover. If you wake up alone, a walk on a chilly day can work to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover.

There are plenty of other different natural hangover cures. What is your favorite hangover cure? Please, share with us how do YOU usually fight a hangover.

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    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      When I was in the Navy, which I think is an excellent proving ground for drunks and hangovers, to fight hangovers we used to drink this substance called Lipovitan that they sold chilled in little bottles in the supermarket. It was basically a Vitamin B supplement, I think, and it tasted good. I can't recall if I've seen the Lipovitan displays lately because it has been years since I've had a good rip-roaring. My own reviews on it were mixed, but perhaps you've heard of it. Anyway, this was a very captivating, well-written hub that I found myself reading all the way through in spite of myself.

    • profile image

      sladana 

      6 years ago

      sauna is best, lots of water, and sleep

    • profile image

      Brenda B 

      6 years ago

      cheese and oil is the best cure

    • profile image

      onlooker 

      6 years ago

      Thanks a bundle, i think i should get some of the recipes ready before hand the next time because the "don't drink" policy doesn't really work most the time =)

    • profile image

      GINA M 

      7 years ago

      pickle juice

    • profile image

      Megan 

      8 years ago

      The sauna idea really works - only problem is trying to find one when you're hungover!

    • profile image

      gmac 

      8 years ago

      eat lots of ice cream and drink lots of orange juice or water. this usually works for me, or get brainfreeze by eating ice cream really fast which just cools your head down completely its brilliant. hope this helps!

    • profile image

      rini 

      8 years ago

      banana shake with honey is a great cure for hangovers.

      Bananas have potassium and vit. b which the alcohol depletes and the milk sooths your tummy and the honey puts back the sugar.

    • profile image

      valeo sauna suit  

      8 years ago

      Thanks for doing the research , great working in bring us this info, there are many things that this post can be used for, keep it coming.

    • profile image

      mike 

      9 years ago

      Onion soup is quite a good remedy for a hangover

    • profile image

      hangover cure 

      9 years ago

      Good article, thanks guy!

    • profile image

      Jonny 

      9 years ago

      www.the-hangover-cure.com is a great way to prevent a hangover. All of my friends in school take it, it is a life saver. Seriously, it really works!

    • Wanderlust profile imageAUTHOR

      Wanderlust 

      9 years ago from New York City

      Thank you Jerry, nice recipe, will try next time :)

    • Jerry G2 profile image

      Jerry G2 

      9 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Hey, great hub! I'm particularly big on half a mug of "Irish Coffee," (coffee and Bailey's) then immediately take a twenty minute hot (as in tons of sauna level steam), especially over the back of the neck and head, and then at least one full mug of Irish coffee. Add in a glass of water and two aspirin, and the day is yours to enjoy!

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