The adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure definitely applies to any remedies for hangovers. It is far better to avoid hangovers by not drinking to excess than it is to try the various remedies for curing them. Anyone who has ever suffered from hangovers can tell you of their attendant misery: malaise, nausea, vomiting, splitting headaches, and sleeplessness. These causes are well understood because alcohol is toxic, and taken in large, or sometimes even in small amounts, such toxicity causes illness.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce hangover symptoms. First, if you plan to drink, be sure to drink plenty of water. Alcohol causes dehydration, so it’s necessary to replace what your body will quickly lose by drinking. Plan to drink two glasses of water for every one alcoholic drink. This will also help cut down on the amount of drinks you actually consume. If you’ve not followed this advice, consider drinking two to three glasses of water prior to going to sleep.
Though pain relief medication may seem like the way to go to treat headaches caused by hangovers, they really may not be as effective as people hope. Though many suggest taking two aspirin at night after drinking reduces hangover effects the next day, it’s important to note that aspirin can cause stomach upset, as can ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Any medication that contains acetaminophen should be strictly avoided. Read the labels carefully on generic pain medications since studies have shown acetaminophen can, when combined with alcohol, cause liver damage.
A number of remedies are unproven cures for hangovers. Some people suggest eating fatty foods immediately upon waking to help “soak up” the excess alcohol. Others vouch for chicken soup, sour milk, buttermilk, activated charcoal tables, vitamin C, or orange juice mixed with eggs. The hair of the dog, drinking more alcohol, may temporarily delay the effect of hangovers but this delay tends to be temporary. Eventually you would either have to start drinking full time, or face the hangover that is long overdue.
What is helpful to cure hangovers is primarily helping the toxins get out of your system as quickly as possible. Continue to get plenty of hydration the next day without drinking more alcohol, get a little bit of exercise as in the form of a brief walk or bike ride once you are no longer “under the influence,” take ibuprofen or aspirin based pain relievers if they appear to help, and eat healthily. The next time you plan to drink heavily, try to bear in mind the way you felt with your last hangover, and limit yourself to a reasonable amount of alcohol taken with food and plenty of water so as to avoid another excruciating night of sickness and morning of regret and woe.