Room spinning? Stomach churning? Head feel like it’s being split in half? Here are our top eight natural remedies for a hangover to help turn your rough morning into a productive day.
It’s one of life’s cruelest ironies: the best of nights can lead to the worst of mornings. Everything was fun and exciting last night, but now you’re at the start of a long day with a crushing headache and your entire body feels like it’s powering down. While you may need some time to recover to peak performance, there are some things you can do to turn your day around. Here are eight natural remedies for a hangover to help you feel better faster.
What Causes a Hangover?
First, it’s helpful to understand what a hangover actually is to know how to treat it. Hangovers are typically caused by a drop in things your body needs and an increase in those it doesn’t. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more frequently and depletes your body of hydration. Lack of hydration can also lead to a decrease in electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium, which are all needed to keep your body balanced. If you happen to vomit, that will further empty you of these vital minerals. Alcohol also lowers blood sugar by inhibiting glucose production, which can leave you feeling weak, shaky, cloudy, tired, and moody.
What alcohol adds to the equation are gastrointestinal irritation and inflammation, leading to nausea, vomiting, digestive issues, abdominal pain, and generally not feeling well. While a night out is fun in the moment, your body won’t be too thrilled about it.
How to Get Rid of a Hangover
Luckily, there are several things you can do to help restore the good stuff your body depends on and get back on track. Here are our top eight favorite natural hangover cures.
1, Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Of all the natural remedies for a hangover, this should be the first on your list. As soon as you can, get some water in your body. Hydrate those cells and bring your systems back online. While it will likely take more than a few glasses of water to feel back to normal, hydration is one of the best and quickest-acting remedies for a hangover. Opt for room-temperature water. Your gastrointestinal lining will likely be a bit irritated from the alcohol, and cold water can shock an already upset stomach.
2. Try to Eat Something
Next, get some food in your body. That will go a long way in reducing any weakness you’re feeling and can be a major help to ease a headache. The biggest benefit is that it will get your blood sugar back in check, which will reduce a multitude of hangover symptoms.
It’s best to eat nutrient-rich foods. Those rumors about greasy burgers or breakfast sandwiches being the best cure for a hangover are a myth. (Craving greasy, sugary foods are actually a sign of low blood sugar and dehydration.) Instead, choose to refuel with complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables and some protein. Bananas are an ideal choice. They contain many of the minerals your body needs to feel balanced again. Combine a banana with some peanut butter (an easy source of protein) for a snack that will get you feeling better without having to deal with cooking.
3. Get Support From Supplements
Some water and food will get you vertical again, but if you really want to kick a hangover, supporting your body with the right supplements can really decrease healing time since they make their way through your system quickly. Some of the best supplements for a hangover include:
- Ginger: Ginger is a great natural hangover cure. It’s great for reducing nausea and gastro discomfort.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is anti-inflammatory. Stir a teaspoon into a cup of tea for all-over relief.
- B Vitamins: B vitamins help break down alcohol in your body. It also replenishes energy and restores optimal brain and nervous system function.
- Vitamin C: Alcohol weakens your immune system, making you more prone to catching colds and viruses. Support your body with a Vitamin C supplement or by eating foods rich in Vitamin C, like oranges, strawberries, kiwis, and red bell peppers.
- Salt: Though we’re often told to reduce sodium, our bodies actually need sodium to remain regulated. When we drink, sodium is one of those necessary minerals that gets wiped out. Sprinkle some high-quality sea salt or pink Himalayan salt on your food or in your water for a mineral boost.
4. Replenish Your Electrolytes
In addition to sodium, replenishing electrolytes is huge in helping you feel human again. Electrolyte-rich beverages are a quick way to do this. Resist the urge to reach for a sugary sports drink and opt instead for something like coconut water or kombucha. Both are good sources of electrolytes, minerals, and antioxidants.
5. Relax as Much as Possible
If you’re able to stay home, do it. Don’t push yourself any more than you have to. Overdoing it or rushing around will only increase your stress hormones and make you feel even more tired and unwell. If you can, stick to your bed or couch. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a relaxing spot outside, go get some fresh air and take it easy.
6. Cut Out Unnecessary Stimulation
When your head is pounding and your stomach is doing cartwheels, make your environment as relaxing as possible. Turn down the noise. Dim the lights. Avoid fragrances. If you find that a Netflix binge helps you, go for it, but if screens are making you feel worse, turn off the TV and put your phone away for the day.
7. Try to…Eliminate
When you go to the bathroom, you eliminate toxins, giving your system a good flush. Hydrating and eating as many nutrient-rich foods as you comfortably can will help you go to the bathroom quicker and more completely. After a couple of trips to the loo, most of the alcohol should be out of your system.
8. Get Some Sleep
The easiest natural hangover cure is simply to get some sleep. It will help your body repair itself quicker. Getting realigned with your circadian rhythm will help de-stress your mind and body and bring you back to one.
How Long Does a Hangover Last?
Thankfully, you should be out of your misery within 24 hours after your last drink. Hangovers tend to begin a few hours after your last sip of alcohol. That’s when your blood alcohol content (BAC) starts to drop. How long your particular hangover will take depends on a few factors, including your body, current state of health, and relationship to alcohol. For some people, a hangover could come and go in just a few hours. For others, it could take a full 24.
How to Prevent a Hangover to Begin With
When you consume alcohol, you can’t fully prevent experiencing some side effects. But, there are a few tricks to keep in mind to help reduce hangover severity.
- Hydrate your body before you even start drinking so you don’t get depleted so quickly. Bring water with you as well and hydrate on the go while you’re out.
- Have some carbs before and during your night out. They’ll help counteract the effects of the alcohol.
- Just say no to shots. They might be small, but their effects are mighty.
- Watch how much you’re drinking. When you reach for that double, ask yourself if it’s worth how you’re going to feel the next day.
And if you know a hangover is in your near future, go ahead and stock up on supplements and other support. No one wants to make a trip to the store when they feel unwell.
Don’t worry—you’ll feel better soon. Follow the tips above, take it easy, and you’ll be back in action tomorrow. Whether you need hangover support or just want to improve your overall health, Public Goods has a variety of vitamins and supplements to help you feel your best. As always, you can expect the best ingredients and high-quality performance from our shop. No synthetics. No sneaky ingredients. Just clean, effective products made to simplify your health and life.
Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.
From reducing waste to recycling and upcycling, our e-book shows simple ways to make choices you can feel good about.