Hangover Cures

OK, so you’ve had a wild night out, drank way too much alcohol, and soon you will be suffering from the consequences of your actions. What can you do to cure your hangover ?

There is a great deal of debate about whether a hangover might be prevented or at least reduced by any of the treatment options available. Predictably, the medical establishment is on one side, and those who are trying to sell their products are on the other.

No matter how enthusiastic the claims for hangover cure products are, the fact remains that there are currently no proven treatments for making a person sober apart from waiting for the person’s liver to metabolize the alcohol.

In addition, there are currently no products available that counteract all of the symptoms of a really severe hangover.

In 2005, a review of controlled hangover cure trials by Max H Pittler, Joris C Verster, Edzard Ernst in the British Medical Journal concluded:

    “No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practice moderation.”

In other words, you cannot cure a hangover. There is no magic pill. You can only avoid the symptoms of a severe hangover by drinking in moderation and following the advice in section 3 Hangover Prevention.

However, even though a hangover cannot be cured, a range of treatment options are available to help relieve and reduce the symptoms of a hangover and/or reduce length of time that a hangover lasts.

A basic review of various hangover cures :

        1.

Activated Charcoal Tablets   

      – CAUTION

Activated Charcoal Tablets can soak up some up the alcohol that you consume, as well as some of the hangover causing impurities in the alcohol, thereby preventing it from entering your blood stream or affecting your body enough to cause a severe hangover.

The general idea is to swallow one activated charcoal tablet before every alcoholic drink that you consume.

This treatment is effectively the same as pouring some of your drinks down the drain. It would be much wiser, and much cheaper, to avoid these tablets and instead practice a little moderation when drinking.

The charcoal also absorbs important nutrients. So people should avoid the frequent use of this remedy, otherwise they may develop nutritional deficiencies. Using this remedy once per week may be OK, but it should definitely not be used every day.

2. Coffee and Caffeine Drinks – AVOID

Coffee and caffeine drinks will help you to wake up and become more alert, but it wont deal with dehydration or sober you up. In fact, caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it increases urine production. So, consuming caffeine will actually increase the rate and level of dehydration, and thereby cause a worsening and compounding of the hangover symptoms.

A coffee or two may help you feel a little better, but do not think for one second that it is sobering you up or making you sober enough to drive a car.

3. Food

Eating before and during the consumption of alcohol helps slow down the absorption of alcohol and provides the body with more time to deal with the alcohol. If you can’t or don’t eat before or during the consumption of alcohol, then eating after the consumption of alcohol can still help. These strategies reduces the adverse effects of alcohol while also helping to reduce the severity of the hangover.

Even if you can’t or don’t eat immediately after the consumption of alcohol, then eating before you go to sleep, or eating as soon as you wake up can still help you to recover from the hangover.

Many people swear by the “Hot greasy breakfast” strategy, where they have bacon, eggs, sausages, lots of hot buttered toast, and so on for breakfast.

However, just about any food is good. Even a bowl of soup will help.

Eating fruit, such as apples, oranges, tomatoes, mangoes, peaches, etc or the juice of these fruits can also help your body recover from the effects of a hangover, while also helping to remove the bad taste in your mouth.

4. Hair of the Dog – AVOID

Having another alcoholic drink, or many alcoholic drinks, when you wake up is commonly called Hair of the Dog. Many people have reported that this can help you avoid a hangover.
However, this may work in the short term but consuming more alcohol will only prolong and compound the negative effects of alcohol on your system.

This “treatment” is a dangerous option. Use only with extreme caution, or better yet, avoid it completely.

5. Healthy Diet, Vitamins and Minerals

Research has shown that excessive alcohol consumption can cause a magnesium deficiency while also depleting the body’s reserves of zinc and other minerals. Other research indicates that people with lower mineral levels, especially lower magnesium levels, may experience hangovers with more severe symptoms.

In addition, some hangover symptoms, such as headache and sensitivity to light and sound, are very similar to those of migraine. A common treatment for chronic migraine headaches is the use of magnesium supplements. This has led researchers to believe that at least some of the hangover symptoms may be due to a magnesium deficiency.

Eating a healthy diet will supply all of the magnesium and other vitamins and minerals that a person needs. It will even provide sufficient reserves to allow their bodies to avoid the mineral depleting deficiencies caused by occasional excessive alcohol consumption.

However, if you don’t follow a proper healthy diet, or if your alcohol consumption is excessive too often, then your body may require additional help to avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies. In such situations, various vitamin and mineral supplements (such as multivitamin capsules) are available on the market and these may provide some relief. They can even be taken after alcohol consumption, such as before bed or on the morning after, and still provide health benefits.

B-Vitamins in particular are important because they help the body to metabolize alcohol and also to dilate blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure.

6. Humor and Positive Thinking

Humor and maintaining a positive mental attitude are crucial to getting through life’s challenges.
And, if you are facing a hangover after a wild night out, then maintaining a good sense of humor and a positive mental attitude will help you, and those around you, come to terms with last night’s excesses and also lighten the mood. For example, you could start by discussing some of the funny predicaments you or your friends got themselves into while intoxicated the night before.

7. Hydration (Water, Fruit Juice, etc)

Drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice reduces the dehydration that is caused when your body has to deal with the alcohol that you have consumed.

So, drink a large amount of water as soon as possible after consuming alcohol and again before going to sleep to reduce the adverse effects of alcohol and reduce the severity of the subsequent hangover.
Drinking a large amount of water and/or fruit juice before and during the consumption of alcohol, as well as after, is an even better strategy.

8. Medications and Headache Tablets – CAUTION

Consumption of any form of drugs, medications, and/or narcotics in conjunction with alcohol or following the consumption of alcohol is potentially dangerous. Part of the reason for this is the additional depressing that the combination may cause on the central nervous system.

Various medications, such as Codeine, Dihydrocodeine, and Tilidine, can help relieve many of the symptoms of a hangover, such as headache, nausea, and muscle ache. These medications are relatively safe to use in conjunction with alcohol or following the consumption of alcohol.

However, some medications should be avoided when alcohol has been consumed. For example, when you have consumed alcohol do NOT use or take the following medications:

  • Acetaminophen (such as paracetamol/ Tylenol) because (when alcohol is in the system) they can increase the risk of potentially fatal liver damage. ***WARNING: DO NOT TAKE WHEN ALCOHOL HAS BEEN CONSUMED.
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen, because they may irritate your stomach when combined with alcohol. ***WARNING: DO NOT TAKE WHEN ALCOHOL HAS BEEN CONSUMED.

Always read the label on all medications and consult your doctor to make sure they are suitable and safe to use with alcohol before using them to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover or taking them when you have alcohol in your system.

Some medications, such as Acetaminophen (such as paracetamol / Tylenol) and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen, are NOT safe to use in conjunction with alcohol or following the consumption of alcohol – see above.

Consumption of any form of drugs, medications, and/or narcotics in conjunction with alcohol or following the consumption of alcohol is potentially dangerous.

9. Sleep, Rest, and Recuperation

Your body needs time to recuperate, especially if excessive alcohol was consumed.

Sleep and rest are very important to provide your body time to deal with the alcohol you have consumed, and to heal the damage that alcohol has done to your body.

If you can “sleep in” after a big night out, then this will allow your body time to heal and recover, while also allowing you to sleep through the worst effects of a hangover.

10. Commercial Product #1 – Hangover Stopper

Hangover Stopper is touted as a hangover cure pill, which is apparently made from all natural ingredients and high quality vegetable carbon.

Lots of sensational claims are made on the product’s web site, including: The only hangover pill guaranteed to combat the adverse effects of alcohol.

This all-natural patented hangover prevention pill eliminates hangovers safely and effectively, allowing you to enjoy any and all alcoholic beverages, without the after-effect of a hangover.

So basically you can drink whatever you like and as much as you like, without suffering any hangover. Sounds too good to be true ? Well, at least they offer a “no questions asked money back guarantee”.

11. Commercial Product #2 – Chaser Hangover

Chaser Freedom from Hangovers claims to absorb hangover-causing toxins and allows you to wake up alert, refreshed and ready to start your day. The claims made on this product’s web site are nowhere near as sensational as some of the other products, and include:

Helps prevent hangovers by absorbing elements in beer, wine and liquor that cause hangovers.

Two caplets work for up to 6 drinks or two to three hours of drinking. If you drink more, simply take two more caplets.

At least this product’s claims are nowhere near as sensational as those of some of the other “hangover cure” products.

12. Commercial Product #3 – Hangover Helper

Hangover Helper contains Siberian Ginseng, Vitamin C, and the following ingredients:

Taurine : a natural amino acid found in the body, which works in synergy with the B Vitamins and Vitamin C to help increase the metabolism of the liver and speed-up the detoxification process.

Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen: which are known as adaptogens because they can work as anti-diarrhea ingredients.

At least this product’s claims are nowhere near as sensational as those of some of the other “hangover cure” products.

Warning:

There is no such thing as a real hangover cure. All of the “cures” discussed on this page are treatment options that should help to relieve and reduce the symptoms of a hangover and/or reduce length of time that a hangover lasts.