Q. Are there any hangover cures that actually work?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Monday, 10 March 2014.
Tagged: alcohol, dehydration, drinks, vomiting

Q. Are there any hangover cures that actually work?

A. Everyone has their own hangover remedy - from effervescent B vitamins to greasy food the morning after - but there is little research to show that any actually work. Truely. However any thing that helps to minimise the pounding head, nausea or vomiting the next day is always welcome!

We know 4 things set the scene for a hangover the morning after:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Loss of electrolytes (body salts)
  3. Low blood sugar
  4. Damage to the inner lining of your digestive tract.

so it makes sense to drink plenty of water and to replenish sugar and mineral levels.

Before you go to bed

Drink a large glass of water.

The morning after

Sip a diluted fruit juice or lemonade OR rehydration solution (Hydralite, Gastrolyte) OR a weak black tea with a spoon of sugar and a squeeze of lemon OR clear soup or broth.

If you can manage to eat, have a small serve of light bland fare - dry toast, plain boiled rice, a few crackers, canned pears or other canned fruit, plain yoghurt, stewed apple. Just eat a little and wait to see if you keep it down.

If you have a pounding headache and vertigo, take with some paracetamol as long as you know you can keep the food down first.

B vitamins may help. The theory is that alcohol depletes the body of B vitamins (which are all water soluble) so adding them back helps top up the body's supply. You don't need those effervescent hangover vitamin products which load you up with lots of salt from the bicarb of soda that creates that fizz. Just a multi-B vitamin will do the trick!

The bottom line

Ultimately it's better to be moderate in your drinking in the first place - boring as that sounds!

One tried-and-true tip I can suggest is to alternate your drinks with a glass of iced water. If that sounds too boring, try a sparkling mineral water with a twist of lime or lemon or a dash of bitters. Or a juice or soft drink. This keeps you hydrated (further reducing that throbbing head the morning after) and keeps your overall alcohol intake down.

Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby has the answers! She is an accredited nutritionist, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Nutrition for Life  is a new update on all the things you've read or heard about. Think insects, collagen, vegan eating, Keto dieting, vitamin B12, fast food and cafe culture.  It has plenty of colour pictures and is easy to dip in and out of. Grab your copy NOW!