So you didn't read my last post on how to prevent a hangover and now you have a pounding headache, you're irritable, and you feel sick to your stomach. Here are some tips that will get you back to homeostasis, or at least closer to a normal state, quickly.
I swear by exercise as being the best cure for a hangover. This does not mean going out for a marathon run, this means easy exercise, think 30 minutes (or whatever you can tolerate) of getting your heart rate up. Alcohol is a depressant, combine that with inadequate sleep and you can be in a pretty low state of mind after a night of drinking. Exercise releases endorphins (the feel good hormones) to boost your mood. It also releases other hormones that make you feel more awake and alert, and it serves as a distraction from thinking about how hungover you are.
Of course, always be sure to stay extra hydrated when working out after a night of drinking because you are already depleted of electrolytes and fluids.
2. Re-hydrate with electrolytes, not with just plain water.
When you drink alcohol you don’t just lose water but you also lose essential electrolytes that help your body hold onto water. I recommend Pedialyte because it contains an effective amount of salt and electrolytes to replenish your body back to a normal state without too much added sugar. If you can’t stomach pedialyte, alternatives can be Gatorade (as long as you cut it in half with water due to the high sugar content or try G2 which contains less sugar), brothy soups, and/or coconut water.
3. Eat eggs.
Eggs contain large amounts of cysteine which is an amino acid that breaks down acetylaldeyde, a toxic byproduct of alcohol metabolism. Eating some eggs the next day may help to speed up your recovery process.
4. Eat ginger or drink ginger tea.
Ginger helps to relieve many side effects of alcohol such as nausea, constipation, gas, bloating, and indigestion.
5. Eat some carbs.
Alcohol decreases your blood sugar which contributes to many symptoms associated with a hangover such as shakiness, nausea, lightheadedness, vertigo, and sweating. Choose healthy carbs such as fruits or high fiber toast.
6. Eat foods high in potassium.
Alcohol depletes your body of many electrolytes, especially potassium. Potassium plays a key role in both body fluid balance as well as muscle contraction. Low potassium levels causes sore crampy muscles, and can also raise your blood pressure. Foods high in potassium include sweet potatoes, avocado, bananas, swiss chard, beet greens.
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner in California. Blogging about health, fitness and mindfulness.