5 Effective Remedies to Kick a Hangover

hangover remediesHangovers are pretty awful. Do I get the award for understatement of the century? They’re more than awful-they’re a sure fire way to ruin your day, and you’re forced to function with one. You can justify taking a sick day from work when you’re feeling crummy with a bad cold or the flu, but that’s a little harder to do that with a hangover, no matter how awful you feel. Although, it is estimated that roughly 148 billion dollars is lost annually from people either not going to work because of a hangover, or not functioning well enough to do their job properly.

Here are 5 effective remedies to get rid of a hangover, including- a citrus drink, a popular breakfast staple and more.

I am not much one to drink, personally. Genetically folks in my family just never tolerated it well, so I had a persuasive reason to avoid it. That being said, I have had moments of cavorting about and consuming entirely more than I should have, so I am familiar enough with the price one pays for having a wild night. No good.

There is, sadly, hardly any *solidly* scientifically substantiated evidence of anything that will prevent or cure a hangover. With alcohol being studied so heavily, it is shocking how little we know about what causes a hangover, and what can cure it –so researchers admit that some remedies floating around out there might very well be effective. There is only one sure fire thing that will help a hangover-and that’s not getting one in the first place. But that’s the most annoying bit of advice ever, so let’s move on to what can help after you get one.

So, What Exactly is a Hangover??

For something that is so common, and so often complained about, there is a surprising lack of definitive insight into the exact cause (or causes) or a hangover. What we know right now is that as the liver processes ethanol (alcohol), a by-product known as acetaldehyde is created. Remember that word! Acetaldehyde is between 10 to 30 times more toxic than alcohol itself, and a known carcinogen. Thankfully the body has a way to deal with this. Several enzymes, primarily two called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione, attack the acetaldehyde and metabolize, or break it down, to acetate. Acetate is nontoxic and not unlike vinegar. However, the liver can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol every hour, no matter the how much or little you drink. We have limited reserves of those special enzymes. Thus, when you drink too much, you can’t filter it out fast enough because of your enzyme reserves, and acetaldehyde can build up. Given its toxicity, it’s no wonder that we feel like crap the next day.

But while there may be less solid studies, there is an overwhelming abundance of anecdotal evidence that suggests the best “cure” for a hangover. And remember-while water doesn’t do much to get rid of a hangover, it never hurts to stay extra hydrated. Dehydration can lead to you feeling even worse. So add that in to just about any remedy you use!

1. Eat a ‘Nanner

Alas, eating a banana is not a cure, but it will make you feel better when you wake up hung over. Avoid the big greasy breakfasts-all that’s going to do is give you heartburn. You need to get something in your tummy-no food, no fuel, and your body can’t run on empty-but you also want it to be easy on your system, and not something that’s going to make you feel (more) sick to your stomach. Bananas are rich in nutrients that your body needs, particularly potassium. Alcohol suppresses vasopressin, which is responsible for controlling excessive urination-hence is why you always have to pee so much when you drink. When you pee, you lose, among other things, potassium. Without enough potassium, one tends to feel crabby and exhausted-which is not what you need on top of your hangover.

You will need…
-1 banana
-Some willpower

Directions

Eat the banana. Drink some water to wash it down.

2. The Almighty Egg

Remember when we talked about that wonderful molecule glutathione? Well, the reason it is so great in metabolizing alcohol is that it contains high amounts of cysteine, which is a substance that is attracted to acetaldehyde (the toxic stuff that makes you feel sick.) We have very limited amounts of glutathione. It turns out eggs are also high in cysteine, which, it is theorized, means an extra boost of the stuff to help breakdown and flush out acetaldehyde, which is responsible for your hangover. How you decide to eat your eggs is purely personal preference.

Other foods that have cysteine include oats, broccoli, red peppers, and milk.

egg hangover remedy

You will need…

-Fresh eggs

Directions

Prepare a hearty dose of eggs however you choose. Eat them, and follow up with some water.

3. Lemons and Limes

Lemon and lime juice aren’t just refreshing-they can be healing as well. These are two staples that you can turn to when you wake up with a churning stomach, as they work extremely effectively at quelling nausea and dizziness. Because you want to be replenishing fluids, in the case of a hangover it’s good to go ahead and drink them with some water, rather than just inhaling the scent. How much lemon/lime you add is up to you-I personally like to make it sour, but I know some folks who just need a squeeze or two to reap the benefits. I also highly recommend using bubbly water versus tap water.

lemons and limes for hangover

You will need…

-A full glass of fresh cold water (bubbly or plain)
-At least one lemon or lime (or both!)
-A spoon

Directions

Squeeze and mix the lemon and/or lime juice into the water. Giving it a swirl with a spoon to make sure it’s blended. The water should look “cloudy.” Drink it-all of it!

4. Pour Some Pickle Juice

This is one of my favorite go-to’s for headaches, and we all know that pounding headaches are a classic hangover symptom. Pickle juice is nice and salty, and your body needs salt after all of the fluids you lose when you drink and have to pee every five minutes. But it’s more than the salt…there’s something in it that really does erase that awful throbbing pain. Pickles themselves are also nice and packed with sodium, and can also give you some much needed food in your belly. Some people cringe at it-it’s personally one of my favorites. I swear there’s magic in it!

You will need…

-Pickle juice-just the stuff left over in the jar is fine!

Directions

Make sure the juice has been refrigerated. Then pour yourself a little glass and drink up! Or, my preferred method is to have polished off the pickles and will drink it cold straight out of the jar. Sometimes only a few sips will make a difference.

5. Reach for Something Red

Lycopene is a red pigment that is responsible for giving certain fruits and vegetables their characteristic red to pink coloring. It is also one of the reasons tomatoes, or tomato juice, may help ease a hangover. Lycopene has been shown to have many positive effects on the liver in particular, and may help it process alcohol at a faster rate. While it is present in other red/pink fruits and vegetables, such as grapefruit or papaya, pretty much all studies done on it deal with lycopene from tomatoes. So, when you wake up with all the nastiness, toss back a nice glass of tomato juice to help get your body back in balance.

tomato jucie for nausea

You will need…

-a glass of fresh tomato juice

Directions

Even if you aren’t a fan of tomato juice, when you’re hungover…well, beggars can’t be choosers eh? Toss that sucker back and hopefully you’ll shorten the duration of your suffering.

Don’t Forget…

How people are affected by alcohol varies hugely-genetics, body mass, and liver size all play a role. This is why using “how you can hold your liquor” as a measure of social status or being “cool” is ridiculously ignorant. Some folks have teeny tiny little livers. Some folks have different genes that break down alcohol more or less effectively. Gender makes a difference as well. Drink-for-drink women have less acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione than men-even if the man and woman were of equal mass/size. Thus, womens hangovers tend to be worse, even if we drink less, because it takes that much longer to breakdown and process the alcohol. Everyone is going to be a little different, and that’s that.

P.S. Click here to download my free Coconut Oil eBook. It has over 107 everyday coconut oil uses, including uses for- weight loss, pet health, hair, skin, house cleaning, pests, DIY beauty products and so much more.

By Claire Goodall

Claire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything 🙂 Meet Claire



We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:

44 Comments

  1. Ros Stiles says:

    Just on time for a whammy of a “hang over” but I think mine is just as much to do with dehydration. Munching on a nana anyway. Ta

  2. Phillip says:

    I don’t have hangovers anymore (quit drinking) but I always used to scarf Mexican food. Especially something smothered with red chile.

  3. Kim Oldfield says:

    I use to drink chocolate milk very slow over a period of an hour with ice cubes. Worked for me as I was really thirsty but just took small sips. Strange but worked for my sister in law also.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Interesting! Thanks for sharing Kim, I love hearing about all the strange/obscure remedies people have found useful, and the hangover ones can get pretty creative 😉

  4. Linda DiGusta says:

    Great timing! Just shared in time for the weekend during a VERY social season here in NYC. You will remedy significant suffering here, thank you!

  5. Jill Lucas says:

    Drinking pickle juice helps with a hangover…also, if you eat a protein meal before drinking or even after partying it helps to reduce/ elemenate a hangover

  6. Maria says:

    The best cure for a hangover is to not drink.

  7. Pam says:

    Daddy always swore to drink as much water as possible and if you really over did it take vitamin B complex with vitamin C sounds like he knew what you know, just not as filling. 😉

  8. Margaret says:

    Drinking Pedialyte works as well

  9. Jim Day says:

    Take two & call me tomorrow. Bed rest. Try a Bloody Mary.

  10. Dennis Higgs says:

    Thanks Claire. At the wonderful and healthy age of 74, “Thanks Be To God”, these remedies aren’t as useful to me as they would have been at a younger, dumber age. heh,heh.

    However, I shall pass them on to my two beautiful children, as I do many of your articles.

    Please keep them coming because I do so appreciate your articles.
    Hugs from Friends, Lucy (The Wonder Dog) and Dennis .

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Aw thank you Dennis for the kind comment! Should your children ever need them, I hope these remedies are helpful 😉
      Hugs to you and Lucy!

  11. Beverly says:

    Thanks for the remedies. I drink a club soda at room temperature when I have one to many. It works every time.

  12. Christine says:

    “It never helps to hydrate”
    While I know what you meant, it may need a quick edit because someone might think water is bad. Lol

  13. teresa says:

    Our friend has this crack-pot ( I mean that in a good way, as I consider myself one) “cure anything” book, in which the author swears by Bifido Factor. He recommends the powder, but we take the capsules, with usually great results. He says to take it after a night of drinking. We’re heavier drinkers, though, so sometimes we’ll still have mild hangovers… If I’m remembering correctly, he said it helped to get rid of (process?) the acetaldehyde, so… I may experiment with taking one midway through a party-down night and see if it’s more effective. For regular a-little-more-than-moderate times when I’d normally get a more than mild hangover, though, it works a treat!

    Plus, we make vegan tacos for breakfast. The spice and salt help.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Huh! I haven’t tried it myself, but I have heard that the probiotics can possibly aid in breaking down the acetaldehyde. Not to mention easing stomach woes since it’s helping restore your gut flora back to normal levels after getting wiped out by the alcohol. I’d think taking it as a preventative could be potentially more beneficial than afterwards even? Good suggestion!

  14. Krispy says:

    High dose of vit C . A little old lady passed this bit of wisdom on to me & it has never failed yet

  15. noele wimmer says:

    here is y sure cure for a hang over……b12 at least 2000 mg. it comes in great tasting little tablets that dissolve in your mouth. 2 aspirin. like bayer not acetiminofin or any other “new non aspirin” they are not good with alcohol and will harm your liver. anyway you can tale 1000 mg b12 when you go to bed that evening and it will help but in the morning when you wake up and want to die just take the b12 and the aspirin and i swear you will feel 90% better in just about an hour. i have passed this on to countless people and i have never found anyone that it didnt work for. even my children tell any that will listen about this cure

  16. Dennis Ripley says:

    Your 5 Natural Remedies for a “Hang Over” are Safe and Effective: Also, you gave explanation of Why they work {using basic Science}. The other day, Friday I was ready a BLOG on remove Hang Over; there was no basic Science referring and some of them would have cause a severe other problems. e.g. Using a Cayenne Pepper solution on Q-tip and inserting it up your Noise. Yes, cayenne pepper can regulate your blood pressure, but the end results? Thanks for be to the point and HONEST.

  17. Heidi Villegas says:

    Hi, Claire— Here’s another remedy: Beet Kvass. It’s a fermented probiotic, contains nutrients and electrolytes. It’s pretty famed in Russia. Beet kvass is easy to make too—I have the recipe on my website. LOL! And I love Maria’s comment above—SO true!

  18. Mitch says:

    I have always ate Honey toast with Peanut Butter after drinking. Alcohol of course makes us tired, so sleeping is no problem, but the body needs to stay awake to burn the extra sugar.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Oh I can see how that would help with a nice boost of energy! Add banana in there and you have one of my favorite sandwiches 😉

  19. Carianne says:

    For me, at least 8oz of water followed by sweating for at least an hour; repeat. Food wise, a protein meal bar for fueling the sweat and after, I’m always partial to Mexican, spicier the better. And knowing me, probably A beer or margarita! And another water 😀

  20. Lisa Lents says:

    Thank you for the advice as I have a very bad hangover all day today and it continues into the evening. I am barely getting anything to stay in my stomach So I will try some of the things you mentioned , especially the pickle juice. Thanks 🙂

  21. MERRY PERSON says:

    I FIND THAT THE BEST REMEDY I HAVE FOUND IS COCONUT WATER. WORKS EVERY TIME!

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Coconut water is a good one!! I’ve never had much stomach for it myself but have drunk it in times of dire need 😉

  22. Melissa says:

    I got absolutely smashed last night, and have a queasy hangover. I haven’t got even a hint of a headache, do you have any recommendations? Also, it seems I fell over a lot, so any suggestions for healing bruises and scrapes?

    • Claire Goodall says:

      Uh oh…at least you don’t have a headache?! For feeling queasy i’d recommend the lime juice/water sipping slowly, and possibly a banana if you can stomach it! Using getting something in your tummy tends to help even though it seems like the most unappealing thing to do :/
      As to the bruises that’s mostly time to fade, and the scraps if they’re shallow just keep clean and if necessary covered. Hopefully I’ll get around to doing a post on a recipe for “wound cream” one of these days. Hope you’re feeling better!

  23. Just joan says:

    Thanks for the info 😊

  24. Faniso says:

    I make sure that I eat at least a light meal after the drinking, before I to bed. Although I try to avoid greeasy foods, even a small portion of fries or burger ( because I’m not cooking at odd hours of the night and cooking drunk) will do. I find that when the hangover is bad, I loose my appetite. So taking vitamin C boosts my desire to eat then I can at least have a decent breakfast. On one occasion while I was in college, I had the worst hangover of my life (thank you vodka, that will be all). My friend dragged my out to get food from the nearby Indonesian restaurant. I got the rice, chicken with sambal (the hottest chilli I’ve ever had). I had a few bites and waited about 30 minutes to avoid giving into the nausea. After that, I was a new person… I finished the huge portion of food and got energy to shower ( which by the way helps a great deal). That’s when I realized that chilli’s are awesome for hangovers, and it was confirmed on one of Dr Oz’s shows – they are packed with a crapload of vitamin C.

  25. Cindy Allen says:

    Tomato and V-8 juice, with some salt added, always worked for me. And the lemon/lime water, I eat my lemons whole. Just cut it in half, sprinkle on a little salt and suck the juice right out. Sometimes I eat the inside, too. I always need salt for some reason. I don’t drink anymore, but if I did, I would definitely try the pickle juice! Thanks for the advice, I will be sure to pass it on.

    • Claire Goodall says:

      You’re welcome Cindy! I love your method of just sucking the juice right out of the fruit-especially with a bit of salt!

  26. Jennifer Agello says:

    If you can remember to do this before going to sleep, swallow a big spoonful of honey followed by water and you will wake up crisp, chirpy, cheerful and thankful you don’t have a hangover!

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