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Going out always seems like a good idea until the next day comes and you instantly regret drinking that last glass (or bottle) of wine. Most of us just take the hangover as a necessary evil to drinking after having tried hangover cure after hangover cure out of desperation, only to feel worse off than when we started. While stopping after the first glass of wine would’ve been your best hangover cure, it’s not realistic for most of us (if not all of us).
And sleeping all day is by far the worst hangover cure since it makes it last twice as long, but it doesn’t stop us from doing it anyway as it’s a safe bet and won’t make us feel any worse at the very least. But wouldn’t it be good to discover a hangover cure that made us actually feel like ourselves again so we can truly enjoy a night out without the fear of a horrible hangover? We speak to the experts about the best hangover cures that seriously work to get you back on your feet.
Warning: you’ll be tempted to stay for another drink (or two) once you know how to cure a hangover.
Get Up and Moving
We did tell you that sleeping all day wasn’t going to cut it. Exercise, of any kind, is one of the best ways to cure a hangover. “Yes, it’s not as easy as it sounds and yes, it takes discipline and willpower to make the move, but it can help restore your body and mind, increase your metabolism, and help rid your body of toxins faster than just sitting on the couch,” says Emma Caird, Certified Fitness and Wellness Coach, CEO, and Founder of emmajwellness.
We don’t expect you to run an entire marathon, even if you can normally, since most of us don’t even do that when we’re not feeling hungover. Listen to your body. “The key with working out when you have a hangover is not to overdo it. If you’re already dehydrated, you don’t want to exacerbate that condition further, so intense exercise or exercise outside in the heat are not recommended. However, light exercise can make you feel better,” says Serena Poon, Celebrity Chef, Nutritionist, Founder of Just Add Water®️, and Culinary Alchemy®️.
Push yourself (otherwise you’ll never get out of bed) but not more than your body can handle. Caird’s top tip is to get it over and done with early in the morning, this way you’ll be able to recover an entire day as you start feeling better first thing. Think of all the things you could do…
Take a Cold Shower
“A cold shower a day, keeps the hangovers away!” says Caird. “Studies have shown that taking a cold shower every day in fact helps increase the white blood cells within the body, which helps boost your immune system.” You’ll experience instant increased focus and performance as cold showers wake up your body, which helps awaken a higher state of alertness.
She also explains that cold showers keep you energized throughout the day because the shock of the cold water stimulates you to take deeper breaths. When we begin to deepen our natural breathing, CO2 decreases throughout the body, which in turn helps us concentrate more – similar to meditation.
Who knew that taking a cold shower could help us find our inner peace? If you’re new to the idea of a cold shower (which most of us are), Caird recommends gradually building up your tolerance.
To reap the benefits of cold therapy, you can finish your showers with a blast of cold water. “Once your body becomes adjusted to the change, you can incrementally increase the cold exposure – try with 10-20 seconds and increase up to two minutes,” she says. If you choose or dare to, you can keep your shower cold for the entire time – the most effective way to cure a hangover.
Ditch the Coffee
Calm it down on the no-good drinks with temporary highs (you had enough of those last night already). Caird explains that while coffee always seems like the perfect quick fix, just like alcohol, it can further dehydrate the body, prolonging the hangover or worsening current symptoms.
This goes for other caffeinated drinks as well, even iced coffees, so your bit of exercise for the day can’t be walking to Starbucks. The ultimate goal is to hydrate after drinking, so try to limit or remove caffeine altogether when feeling hungover.
“Drinking leads to dehydration and fortunately, dehydration is easy to avoid – just make sure to drink enough water,” simple, right? Caird recommends being proactive about hydration and drinking an electrolyte drink before and after a night out. “Electrolytes are a big part of hydration that is often overlooked,” adds Poon. “After a big night of drinking, you might have lost essential minerals along with your water.” When you’re looking for an electrolyte drink, choose one with low or no sugar added.
If you’re known for passing out as soon as you get home or can’t even remember which apartment is yours, let alone remember to have an electrolyte drink when you get in, another way to stay hydrated whilst drinking is to balance the number of alcoholic drinks you have with glasses of water. For every alcoholic drink, you have, have a glass of water.
“Although dehydration is not considered a main cause of hangovers, it may contribute to symptoms like thirst, headache, fatigue, and dry mouth,” Caird says. If you’d struggle to drink so much water in one night, Caird’s favorite hydrating drinks are coconut water and carrot ginger fresh juice (known to pump the body with good micronutrients).
Fuel Your Body With Nourishing Foods
“Drinking lowers blood sugar levels, so the next morning chose a breakfast that is high in carbohydrates to help hydrate you and stabilize your blood sugars,” says Caird. She recommends adding avocado, sweet potato, or bananas into your breakfast to help balance your body’s electrolytes with salts and minerals the body needs to recover.
The aim is to nourish your body with fresh, whole, non-processed foods so that you can feel your best quicker and the hangover doesn’t last longer than it needs to.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
One of the best hangover cures does involve a little sleep (but not all day). Caird explains that drinking reduces the amount of time we’re in our REM sleep, which is considered the most mentally restorative phase of sleep. “Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that causes brain activity to slow down and negatively impacts the quality of sleep,” she says.
For every serving of alcohol – a glass of wine, pint of beer, or a shot of tequila – the quality of your sleep is affected by two hours, which might make you rethink that last drink if you’re big on sleep. This means that if you’re looking for a restful night’s sleep, choose to stop drinking at least four hours before you’re planning on going to bed. Like Caird says, be proactive. Set a last drink order alarm on your phone if you have committed plans the next day.
Otherwise, Poon recommends sneaking in a nap and making sure you go to bed early the next night to allow your body to get a proper recovery. At least seven to eight hours of sleep per night are recommended for ample rest.
Restock Your Body’s Vitamins With Supplements
Supplements are a man’s best friend when you’re hungover (and even when you’re not). When we drink, alcohol depletes essential vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and proteins from the body, which means all your hard work the day before to get in your five-a-day could go to waste after binge drinking if you don’t work to replace them.
“It all starts with just knowing what vitamins best support our bodies and choosing to replenish after a night of drinking,” says Caird. “The big three you should consider the next time you’re drinking are magnesium, vitamin C, and milk thistle which all help with proper liver function.”
Take a Shot of Turmeric and Ginger
A little different from the type of shots you were drinking last night and a lot easier to stomach. Caird explains that turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory, is great to take after a day or night of drinking to reduce the effects of the hangover, while ginger can ease symptoms like nausea by aiding digestion. Both turmeric and ginger are found more easily these days, so if you really can’t hack another shot after last night, look for them in vitamins, essential oils, or a refreshing non-alcoholic drink – she assures us your body will thank you for it.
Visit an IV Hydration Bar
If you’re looking for a hangover cure and fast, Caird recommends visiting an IV hydration bar (where sober people stock up on vitamins). They’re “a quick way to get the right blend of nutrients and minerals to provide you with immediate hydration and relieve any symptoms you’re experiencing,” she says.
IV therapy isn’t just beneficial for curing the gnarly hangover but also for boosting your immune health, altitude sickness, and overall wellness, so get in line for one of the healthiest bars in town. You’ll feel a hell of a lot better after leaving this one, trust us.
Reduce Blue Light Exposure
When we’re hungover, we are typically sleep-deprived, dehydrated, and feeling all the symptoms. It can be tempting to dose in and out of consciousness while watching Netflix or scrolling through social media, but Caird advises against this as the blue light that these devices emit can affect your circadian rhythm – our natural body clock that determines what essential functions and bodily processes need to happen and when.
For example, when we sleep our body is busy carrying out different duties than when we’re awake. Both night and day activities are essential for optimal health and need to be performed during certain times. By overexposing yourself to blue light, you can seriously knock your circadian rhythm off track.
“Ditch the devices and try to get outside and embrace the healing properties of the outdoors. Biohack your way out of the hangover by grounding your feet in the grass or swimming in the ocean,” she says. Let your body know it’s daytime and time to kick this hangover to the curb.