Find out what helps you feel better when you've had too many drinks
What hangover cures pop into your throbbing head after a night on the
Some say burnt toast does the trick. However, just in case the quick fixes
you tried last time didn't fix anything, and you still plan to do more
celebrating in the future, we've assembled some home remedies that helped some
of us get through university.
First, here is the official word on what that alcohol does to your system.
Getting rid of the hangover really comes down to understanding how the body
reacts to alcohol in the first place. Alcohol is a diuretic -- that is, it
tends to increase urination, and therefore, dries you out, explains alcohol
metabolism researcher Dr James Schaefer of Union College, New York. Drinking
plenty of water the morning after helps to compensate for the dehydration.
However, there’s more happening. Impurities are added to alcoholic beverages
during the distillation process, and these contribute to the nasty symptoms you
get with your hangover. These impurities are especially high in sweeter drinks
and malt spirits. Drinking lots of water, then, does two things: It rehydrates
your body and dilutes the impurities left in your body.
A date for carbon
Some people rely on eating burnt toast the morning after a night of
Schaefer has this explanation for why that helps: Carbon in the charred part
of the toast filters the impurities. In fact, people who come into hospital
emergency rooms with alcohol poisoning get a potent carbon slurry pumped into
their stomachs for the same reason. The burnt toast is a much more moderate
version of the same remedy.
How about chorizo, a Mexican sausage? It's not a morning-after remedy --
more like a late-afternoon-before preventive tactic.
Schaefer explains: fatty foods, if eaten before drinking alcohol, "grease"
the lining of the intestines. The alcohol then takes longer to be absorbed by
"Personally, I recommend eating pizza, but chorizo would work too", Schaefer
says. "In the Mediterranean, one folk remedy involves swallowing a spoonful of
olive oil to do the same trick".
Besides filling your stomach before you drink, eating almost any kind of
food the morning after can help alleviate a hangover, says Stephanie Brooks, a
Nutrition Consultant. Food provides electrolytes that replenish the body after
dehydration. This is especially important for someone who's vomited within the
last 24 hours. Brooks particularly recommends a fruit smoothie or a sports
Blood and alcohol
Of course, a hangover's not a hangover without a pounding headache. Schaefer
explains that the pain comes from a mix of dehydration and your body's
adjustment to the rapidly dropping blood-alcohol level. He recommends taking
two painkillers before going to sleep and another pair when you wake up if the
headache's still there, always following the dosing instructions.