8 Hangover Cures Backed by Science

If you’ve overindulged before (and who hasn’t?), you’re all too familiar with the misery the next morning brings: headache, nausea, and exhaustion, not to mention feelings of regret for making yourself feel this way. Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill to make your hangover vanish, but there are some science-backed ways to treat your symptoms and feel better until you can get what you need the most – more sleep.

1. Drink Water Before You Go To Bed

It turns out that one of the best ways to cure a hangover is to prevent it in the first place. Drinking a large glass of water before you go to sleep can help you prevent dehydration, one of the culprits of your hangover symptoms. Drink more water if you wake up during the night, and still more when you get up in the morning. In fact, water is your best friend all day long when you have a hangover – keep it coming. 

2. Take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen In The Morning

Hangovers have many ways of making you feel like you’re dying, and one of them is an immune response sparked by something called cytokines. You need to counteract this reaction by reducing inflammation, and ibuprofen and paracetamol are two good choices. Stay away from aspirin, though, as it can irritate your stomach and make you feel worse. 

3. If At All Possible, Sleep

Sleep gives your body the rest it sorely needs to recover. If you feel like staying in bed and you’re able to, then, by all means, do it. But do go ahead and take some ibuprofen before you go back to sleep, and don’t forget to drink lots of water first, too. 

4. Do Something to Distract Yourself

Anecdotal evidence says that going for a run is a great hangover cure, but there’s no actual proof that running helps. What probably does help, though, is doing something that gets your mind off of your misery. If running is your thing, go for it, but anything you like to do that will distract you is likely to provide some relief. Watch a movie, play a video game, or whatever will get you thinking about something besides your achy head. 

5. Drink a Sports Drink or Soda

Besides dehydration and inflammation, a hangover has a third weapon: glucose depletion. Anything you can do to increase your available glucose will help you feel better, so have a sports drink or soda, or eat something that’s rich in carbohydrates. 

6. Eat Some Asparagus 

It sounds random, but asparagus is your friend when you have a hangover. Why? Its amino acids make cells that break down alcohol work faster, helping prevent damage from alcohol’s toxic byproducts. This means that it could help you feel better, faster. 

7. Have Another Drink

This is a risky habit for sure, and nobody in their right mind would recommend it. However, there are scientific reasons that it works. Alcoholic drinks contain small amounts of methanol, and when your body breaks down methanol, it produces formaldehyde and formic acid, which more or less poison you. Start drinking again, and your body will break down the ethanol first, before moving on to the methanol. You’ll improve your symptoms, but you’re only delaying the inevitable. 

8. Maybe Don't Drink So Much Next Time? 

Again, prevention is the best hangover cure in the world. Try alternating alcoholic drinks with glasses of water, and eat a carb- and fat-rich meal before you start drinking to keep your blood sugar from dropping too low. 

Armed with a little prevention and a handful of morning-after tips, you may not be able to avoid hangover symptoms entirely, but you can certainly keep them to a minimum and still enjoy yourself.