Time is the only sure cure for a hangover. In the meantime, here are a few things you can do to help yourself feel better:
- Fill your water bottle. Sip water or fruit juice to prevent dehydration. Resist any temptation to treat your hangover with more alcohol. It'll only make you feel worse.
- Have a snack. Bland foods, such as toast and crackers, may boost your blood sugar and settle your stomach. Bouillon soup can help replace lost salt and potassium.
- Take a pain reliever. A standard dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever may ease your headache. But aspirin can irritate your stomach. And if you regularly drink alcohol to excess, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can cause severe liver damage even in doses previously thought to be safe.
- Go back to bed. If you sleep long enough, your hangover may be gone when you awaken.
Proposed alternative remedies for hangovers abound, but studies haven't found any natural remedies that consistently improve hangover symptoms.
Talk with your doctor before trying any alternative medicine. Keep in mind that natural doesn't always mean safe. Your doctor can help you understand possible risks and benefits before you try a treatment.
Dec. 16, 2017
- Beyond hangovers: Understanding alcohol's impact on your health. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Hangovers/beyondHangovers.htm. Accessed Oct. 31, 2017.
- Hangover cures. NHS Choices. https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol/Pages/Hangovers.aspx. Accessed Oct. 31, 2017.
- Alcohol use and health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm. Accessed Oct. 31, 2017.
- Alcohol overdose: The dangers of drinking too much. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/alcoholoverdosefactsheet/overdosefact.htm. Accessed Oct. 31, 2017.
- van Schrojenstein Lantman M, et al. The impact of alcohol hangover symptoms on cognitive and physical functioning, and mood. Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental. 2017;32:e2623.
- Jayawardena R, et al. Interventions for treatment and/or prevention of alcohol hangover: Systematic review. Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental. 2017;32:e2600.
- Tipple CT, et al. A review of the physiological factors associated with alcohol hangover. Current Drug Abuse Reviews. 2016;9:93.
- Wang F, et al. Natural products for the prevention and treatment of hangover and alcohol use disorder. Molecules. 2016;21:64.
- Rodda LN, et al. Alcohol congener analysis and the source of alcohol: A review. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology. 2013;9:194.
- Rohsenow DJ, et al. The role of beverage congeners in hangover and other residual effects of alcohol intoxication: A review. Current Drug Abuse Reviews. 2010;3:76.
- Mackus M, et al. Urine methanol concentration and alcohol hangover severity. Alcohol. 2017;59:37.
- Verster JC, et al. The Alcohol Hangover Research Group consensus statement on best practice in alcohol hangover research. Current Drug Abuse Reviews. 2010;3:116.
- Drinking too much too fast can kill you. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. https://www.ncadd.org/images/stories/PDF/DrinkingTooMuchTooFastCanKillYou-NCADD.pdf. Accessed Nov. 5, 2017.
- A word about alcohol poisoning. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-poisoning. Accessed Nov. 5, 2017.
- Acetaminophen: Avoiding liver damage. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm168830.htm. Accessed Nov. 9, 2017.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 9, 2017.
- 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines. Accessed Nov. 15, 2017.
- How to help patients who drink too much: A clinical approach. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Practitioner/CliniciansGuide2005/clinicians_guide5_help_p.htm. Accessed Nov. 15, 2017.