Drinking alcohol for some is all part of living a balanced and social lifestyle. However, sometimes you just can’t hang. The best way to avoid a hangover is to drink responsibly. This means sipping alcohol slowly as well as drinking one glass of water between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated. When this doesn’t happen, you can end up waking up with fatigue, dry-mouth, an aching head, nausea, and dizziness which are all symptoms of the classic hangover. If this is where you are at, use this guide below to get back on track to feeling your best. Along with getting adequate rest and sleep, these are some classic hangover remedies from around the world you can use feel well.
Of course, drinking water will be helpful in re-hydrating your body since alcohol has a de-hydrating effect. But the use of electrolytes such as potassium will be extremely helpful as well for re-hydration. Try making a smoothie to sip on before going out that has spinach, banana, orange, chia seeds, and coconut water which are all foods high in potassium and electrolytes! If accessible, you could also add some prickly pear juice to this smoothie which has been shown to reduce the risk of having a severe hangover1. The prickly pear cactus is primarily in the cuisine of Mexico, and the plant is effective in protecting the liver from the toxicity of alcohol. It is recommended to have the prickly pear juice at least 5 hours before you begin drinking for best results.
Your liver will be working hard during a hangover to detox the alcohol that is in your system. Help this detoxification process by getting your vitamins and minerals through eating fruits and vegetables! Broccoli in particular contains glucoraphanin, which helps support detoxification for up to 72 hours2. Try making an egg and vegetable omelette with a side of whole fruit for the ultimate hangover breakfast. This can also be easily ordered at any brunch spot if you are out eating with friends. Eggs contain taurine, which boost liver function, and adding some sautéed broccoli and other vegetables into that omelette will help with the ultimate detoxification. While it may be tempting to eat greasy food for breakfast or even more alcohol the morning of your hangover, this actually just make your hangover worse!
3. Restore Your Gut
A night of drinking can reek havoc on your digestion system. This means you need to focus on your gut health by eating nutrient-dense foods and getting your probiotics. In Brazil, a popular hangover remedy is the herb jurubeba which comes from a small native tree. This herb is used after excessive food and alcohol consumption because it reduces indigestion and bloating in the stomach3. This herb can be found in the capsule form in any health store, vitamin section at Walmart, or even on Amazon. Another popular hangover remedy for the gut actually comes from Egypt, where they use cabbage with vinegar as an effective hangover remedy3. This could be from the probiotics that are occurring in this food. You could do the same as Egypt by eating sauerkraut, yogurt, or kefir which all contain probiotics!
- Verster, J.C. & Penning, R. (2012). Treatment and prevention of alcohol hangover. Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 3, 103-109.
- Xu, b.J., Zheng, Y.N., & Sung, C.K. (2005). Natural medicine for alcoholism treatment: A review. Drug and Alcohol Review, 24, 525-536. doi: 10.1080/09595230500293795