You’ve woken up. Your mouth is dry. You’re head is throbbing. Your stomach doesn’t feel great. Maybe you’re still a little tipsy. Sadly you’re hungover. Now is not the time to evaluate last night’s life choices. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to cure your hangover.
1. NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)
Available on Amazon and at your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe, NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) is a supplement that helps your body reduce “acetaldehyde toxicity” – one of the main contributors to hangover symptoms. It’s best to take this supplement before going to bed, or in some cases before drinking, but taking it now, the morning after, could be the edge you need to get through this hangover.
Careful, these bad boys in pill form can cause nausea on an empty stomach, so be sure to take this with some food. Alcohol reduces your body’s b-vitamins so taking this supplement can help jump start your system, and give you a little boost of energy. B-vitamins are in Emergen-C so if you have one of those on hand, mix it with water then chug it down.
I despise having this on the list, but I’ve heard way to many people swear by it to discount it entirely. Pedialyte is a beverage literally made for babies to help them rehydrate when they’re sick. If it’s good enough for a baby, maybe it’s good enough for your hangover. Pedialyte has apparently caught onto this hack and they now have a section on their site devoted to adult hangovers. You can also buy a portable powdered form of Pedialyte on Amazon.
So sorry to do this to you, but vigerous exercise is one of the best all time hangover cures. You really need to work it though. I find breaking a sweat, as well as really using my muscles such as by lifting weights or doing sprints can help reset my system.
5. Wim Hof Breathing
Much easier than exercise, Wim Hof breathing is a breathing technique created by cold water record holder Wim Hof. His technique is profoundly simple – 30-50 very deep breaths, the trick however is to not exhale fully. Breath in as intensely as possible, but only exhale as you would normally.
Definitely do this one sitting down, as this technique does make some folks light headed. In clinical trials in Rotterdam this breathing technique was shown to reduce infection. It’s also touted by followers of the technique as a panacea for many of life’s ailments, including the hangover. Watch this video for guided breathing exercise with Wim:
7. Replenish Stuff Alcohol Jacked Up
- Electrolytes – drink some coconut water, Pedialyte is great option too.
- Vitamin C – this bad boi helps reduce oxidative stress on your system. Rather than taking it in a supplement form, I recommend having a grapefruit or a couple oranges. The night before try exclusively drinking greyhounds (vodka and grapefruit juice) – I’ve found the hangover the next day is lessened, perhaps due to the vitamin c.
- Sugar – Alcohol messes up your blood sugar levels. Maybe your hangover is one big sugar crash. Though I like to avoid it as part of my normal diet, I’ll have sugar to help cure a hangover. Maybe it’s maple syrup on a pancake. Maybe it’s a can of Coke, but sugar can help with some hangover symptoms. In olden times, sugar was actually used as a form of medicine.
- Magnesium – this is a tough one. It’s hard to get from food, but as a supplement it’s hard on the digestive track. I’ve found that ZMA (zinc monomethionine/asparate and magnesium aspartate plus vitamin B6) – is easy on the stomach.
8. Have an Orgasm
Hope I’m not crossing a taboo threshold here, but orgasms are scientifically proven to reduce pain. “The pain-reducing effect (analgesic) starts immediately upon pressure stimulation,” Said Dr. Barry Komisaruk in an article on Women’s Health. For men especially however an Orgasm is only a temporary reprieve from a hangover, but at least it’s something.
9. Hair of the Dog (Drink more Alcohol)
Alcohol is converted to a lot of nasty stuff in your body. For some reason, drinking alcohol the next day is hypothesized to counteract that. Google it. There’s some science on this but it’s incomplete.
10. Ibuprofen, NOT Acetaminophen
What hangover list would be complete without Ibuprofen, e.g., Advil. This stuff can reduce headaches and other hangover unpleasantness. There are no free lunches in medicine, so even if taking something common like Ibuprofen, be careful, and consult your Doctor.
DO NOT TAKE Acetaminophen, e.g., Tylenol. This stuff is tough on the liver, so after what you did you to yourself with alcohol last night, it’s not good to layer this on too.
Get Some Sleep, Drink Tons of Water, Think About What you Did
If you are truly hungover right now, follow the tips above and drink lots of water. You’re probably also sleep deprived, so have that on your radar. Take a nap at some point if you can afford the time.
Lastly however, and maybe most importantly, think about what you did. For me, I’ve identified social anxiety as a big reason for over the top libation. What reasons are driving you to drink? This could be a cool opportunity to course correct some of your decisions.
If you are feeling truly good about yourself and your experience the night prior, despite the hangover, then follow the above tips to beat that hangover into oblivion.
I don’t know everything. What did I miss? Please hit me up in the comments or on Twitter with your favorite hangover remedies.