8 Natural Remedies to Avoid a Hangover

For as long as alcohol has existed, we've all sought a cure for the fatigue, nausea, and next-day headaches that can come with a hangover. If you're wondering how long it takes for a hangover to go away , most hangovers go away on their own within 24 hours. There is no single cure for a hangover, but treating the symptoms can help you feel better. There are medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen that can help against a hangover . If you don't want to use medication, you can use the following home remedies to help relieve hangover symptoms:

1. Eat eggs

Eggs contain amino acids like cysteine, which can help remove acetaldehyde from your system. Acetaldehyde is produced during the metabolism of alcohol. When you drink a lot, your body can't metabolize acetaldehyde fast enough. Excess acetaldehyde in the blood has been linked to hangover symptoms such as headache, sweating, nausea and vomiting.

2. Have a banana

Bananas are a good source of potassium, an important electrolyte that can be depleted after drinking. Low electrolyte levels can contribute to hangover symptoms such as fatigue, headache, nausea, muscle cramps, and low energy.

One banana contains 425 milligrams of potassium, or about 12% of the recommended daily value. Other foods rich in potassium are

  • Avocados (708 mg/cup)
  • Spinach (420 mg/cup cooked spinach)
  • Baked potatoes (925 mg per potato)
  • Salmon (309 mg/3 oz)

3. Snack on salty foods

Eating salty foods can help replenish the body's sodium levels, which can also become depleted after heavy drinking. Some of the best examples are

  • Pickles (362 mg sodium/pear)
  • Olives (310 mg/4 green manzanilla olives)
  • Chicken noodle soup (343 mg/cup)

4. Load up on carbs

Carbohydrates help raise blood sugar, which will help relieve low blood sugar symptoms commonly associated with hangovers, such as fatigue and weakness.

If a hangover makes you nauseous, you can opt for soft foods like toast, which will also help settle your stomach. Or, you can go straight for healthier, more complex carbohydrates like:

  • Oatmeal
  • Beans
  • Integral rice
  • Vegetables

5. Drink plenty of water

Although dehydration is not the only cause of a hangover, it is one of the main ones. Drinking water or other liquids when you are hungover will help relieve symptoms of dehydration, such as dry mouth, dizziness, and fatigue.

Drinking water along with your alcoholic beverages can also help, because it will keep you hydrated and likely reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.

6. Hydrate with electrolytes

Drinks with electrolytes will help you retain water. Salty liquids, such as broth soup or sports drinks, will also help replace the salt and potassium you lose from frequent urination while drinking.

7. Have some coffee

Coffee or tea can also help you feel better, especially if your hangover is making you feel fatigued and have a headache.

Caffeine can help relieve headaches and give you a boost of energy, but be careful, because caffeinated drinks are also diuretics, and can end up making you more dehydrated.

8. Avoid certain drinks

Some drinks can cause worse hangovers than others. There is some evidence that alcohol with more congeners, the substance that flavors and colors drinks, causes more severe hangover symptoms. Bourbon and whiskey, for example, are high in congeners, while vodka has virtually none.

A 2010 study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research looked at the correlation between high- and low-congener drinks and the severity of hangovers. For the study, researchers examined 95 healthy adults between the ages of 21 and 33 who were not dependent on alcohol, according to the Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test, but who were considered heavy drinkers, meaning they had consumed at least 4 to 5 drinks in a single night in the last 30 days.

Participants received whiskey or vodka mixed with cola one night and a placebo of cola and still tonic with a few drops of whiskey or vodka on top the other night. Participants rated eight hangover symptoms on a scale of 0 to 7 to determine their severity. Researchers found that hangovers were worse after a night of drinking bourbon compared to a night of drinking vodka.

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