Last Modified on Jun 19, 2014
Hangover Facts and Remedies
Within moderation, alcohol has little effect on the body; however, when taken in excess, alcohol can have detrimental effects and leave an individual with unpleasant symptoms well into the following day. A hangover is the result of consuming too much alcohol which may include feeling ill, lacking focus and performing poorly at work. Typically, the more alcohol that is consumed, the worse the hangover an individual will experience. Yet, this relationship between drinking and its effects is not necessarily true for everyone.
A hangover typically occurs the day after an individual has consumed a greater than normal amount of alcohol. While different individuals experience different side effects of drinking too much, several common symptoms have been identified. Depending on the type and amount of alcohol that was consumed, individuals may experience excessive fatigue, increased thirst, headache and muscle ache. Additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting, poor sleep, sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness and rapid heartbeat. Some individuals may even experience shakiness, inability to concentrate, bloodshot eyes, and changes in mood.
A hangover is caused by consuming too much alcohol; however, many factors contribute to the issue. Alcohol’s various characteristics are problematic for many individuals, leading to adverse effects. Alcohol increases urine production, triggers inflammatory responses, irritates the lining of the stomach, causes a drop in blood sugar, makes the blood vessels expand and triggers sleepiness. All of these factors combined contribute to the day after feeling.
While avoiding the overconsumption of alcohol is the best way to prevent hangovers, many hangover remedies are available to diminish the symptoms of the condition. Activated charcoal, increased water intake, vitamin b-complex supplements, thiamine and asparagus are all singular treatments that aid in reducing hangover side effects. Blackstrap molasses, honey, milk thistle, sea buckthorn and green tea are also good treatments. Additionally, chlorella mixed into a smoothie serves as an effective hangover cure drink as well as a hangover preventer.
Table of Contents
- Activated Charcoal
- B Complex, Tylenol Pm
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Cold Showers
- Fresh Fruit Juice
- Fruit Salad
- Green Tea
- Hangover Prevention
- Milk Thistle, Sea Buckthorn
- Multiple Remedies
- Oil Pulling
- Vegetable Juice and Sports Drink
- Water and Aspirin
[YEA] 01/02/2006: Shane from Trail, BC, Canada: "I was told that if you want to prevent the unpleasant effects of a hangover you can take an activated charcoal capsule with each alcoholic beverage which will absorb the harmful elements in the alcohol which cause the hangover."Replies
[YEA] 11/03/2011: Misha from Binghajmton, New York replies: "This remedy DOES work! "
01/24/2010: Rob from Manhattan, New York: "Hangover Remedy - this from Dr. Weil....
avoid alcohol in the first place. However, if you do overdo it, drinking plenty of water and taking a B-complex vitamin supplement plus extra thiamine (100 mg) to counter the B-vitamin depletion caused by alcohol can help, as can... asparagus? Researchers at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in South Korea recently conducted a study that linked the amino acids and trace minerals in asparagus extract with reduced hangover symptoms.
While more research needs to be done before asparagus can be touted as a reliable hangover cure, if you drank too much the night before, eating asparagus at breakfast can't hurt - it is a nutrient-dense vegetable, among the richest food sources of folate, and a good source of fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, and potassium."
[YEA] 04/11/2008: Tim from Long Island, New York: "The two main ingredients of a hangover are: 1) depletion of vitamins and 2) lack of restful sleep (even if you sleep 8 hours). This is what I do when I've had plenty, and it works every time to eliminate or at least minimize the effects. I take a B complex vitamin and/or a regular multivitamin and I take ONE Tylenol PM before I go to sleep. You'll wake up feeling good, without that tired, nervous feeling you get when you've really tied one on."Replies
[WARNING!] 07/12/2008: Cheryl from Powell, Wyoming replies: "Please tell all your readers NOT to take any acetominiphine (Tylenol) products when drinking. It really stresses your liver even more than already stressed from the alcohol. Take plain old aspirin or ibuprophen instead!"
[WARNING!] 12/18/2008: Derek from San Francisco, CA replies: "Acetaminophen can cause severe liver damage in combination with alcohol, and should NOT be taken until all of the alcohol is out of your system! This is written on the bottle. The same warning is found on Ibuprofen products."
12/23/2008: Kira from Saratoga, NY replies: "I don't drink a lot but once in awhile I binge drink. I make sure prior to drinking to hydrate with filtered water all day long and maybe a Vitamin C or multi. It also helps to drink top shelf vs/ well (cheaper liquor can have more additives/preservatives). Also when you're drinking, get a glass of water to drink too. I could have three to four Long Island Iced Teas (over 4-6 hours) after not drinking for many months and wake up without a hangover in my 30s.
Honestly, I don't recommend binge drinking but I get shy when I go out and sometimes it happens. I know myself and make sure I drink the water. I think much of a hangover comes from dehydration and not listening to the body. I haven't got sick in half-a-dozen years. My b/f drinks regularly and still get sicks, because he doesn't listen to the body when it says stop or don't eat greasy food on top of all the drinking."
09/15/2010: Kreyelle from Lafayette, Co, U.s,a, replies: "Yes please do not take acetaminophen if you drink alchohol, especially if you are a heavy or binge drinker. Not only does it damage your liver but my daughter's friend's Mother, who was a binge drinker died from her organs shutting down. And it was because she took, that night acetaminophen. Confirmed by the doctors. I am sure this is a severe case but why take the chance."
09/15/2010: Tom from Regina, Sk replies: "There are actually pre-mixed supplement capsules on the market that have proved for thirty years to prevent hangovers by supplying various antioxidants and liver-protective ingredients. They are even named as some kind of hangover preventative or anti-alcohol antioxidant blend. The main key ingredients are always Vitamins C, E, and the amino acid "NAC", or n-acetyl cysteine. Then there are up to a dozen others in the mix. NAC is readily recognizable as the one key nutrient used by hospitals to save people admitted from kidney and liver failure from overdose of acetaminophen! Some of those others are chlorophyllin, selenium, zinc, copper, barley grass, thiamin, etc. Here is a quote from one page of a long article explaining why booze can hurt so badly after over-consumption! :
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been associated with acute ethanol-induced liver damage. A study published in the journal Artery confirmed a specific toxic metabolite of alcohol (acetaldehyde) and identified an antidote (N-acetyl-cysteine): "All known pathways of ethanol metabolism result in the production of acetaldehyde, a highly reactive compound. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), an analogue of the dietary amino acid cysteine, binds acetaldehyde, thus preventing its damaging effect on physiological proteins. "45 NAC is a glutathione precursor and direct antioxidant. Pretreatment with or co-administration of NAC helps to inhibit acute ethanol-induced liver damage via counteracting ethanol-induced oxidative stress"
[YEA] 01/03/2007: JB from Minneapolis, MN: "If you take a tablespoon of Black Strap Molasses after a night of drinks and then one in the morning, the effects don't seem as bad. I'm thinking it's the potassiuim that is the helper. This molasses has a lot of potassiuim. My husband tried it and he agreed that he felt much better in the morning. I at first recommended the molasses to my mother who was iron low and had a hard time with iron pills. Her iron was normal a few weeks later at her scheduled doctor apptmt. I read the bottle and noticed the potassium percentage and decided to try it after a cocktail party and was amazed!"Replies
[YEA] 10/23/2011: Ellie from Bournemouth, Uk replies: "Worked like a dream! But it was very difficult to get anything down let alone water, try it!"
[YEA] 05/12/2012: Shannon from Ottawa, On: "Chlorella works wonders for hangovers. What I do is take 3 grams (1 tsp powdered chlorella, can be found at any natural food store) in a smoothie before a night out drinking, then 3 grams before bed. Make sure to get "broken cell wall" chlorella. This ensures easier digestability and absorbtion. If you forget to take it the night before, you can also try 3-6 grams the next morning. It won't work as well but will definitely improve your hangover. I get the WORST hangovers ever, and this is the ONLY remedy that has ever worked for me!"Replies
[YEA] 12/15/2013: Nog from Australia replies: "Never posted here before but took 6 grams before drinking and again before bed, had a 15 hour drinking session, 6 hours sleep then went for a run and got back on it again. A Night out usually wrecks the next few days for me but not anymore this stuff is gold"
[YEA] 08/24/2006: Phil from Calgary, Alberta: "I was reading all the wonderful things about cold showers so I had to try it. It isn't the greatest feeling in the world at all, especially living in not-so-hot climate. Once you get out of the shower, you feel like you have unlimited energy and feel absolutely great. I actually had a hangover today, took a cold shower and felt a lot better after and my head ache was gone also and I'm at work feeling great."Replies
[YEA] 11/04/2009: Amy from Bend, Or, usa replies: "Yea on this. I just took a cold shower for my hangover headache and it worked immediately. Thank you."
[YEA] 05/23/2012: Deborah from Mataro, Barcelona, Spain replies: "Thanks for this, it works! I felt so bad this morning and I even vomited. I dragged myself in the shower and stood under the cold water for as long as I could stand. I was shivering when I got out, but feel fine now, just 20 minutes later."
[YEA] 02/09/2010: Manasa from Suva, Fiji: "For immediate relief of hangovers, I found the following juice will relieve all my hangovers in fifteen minutes. Make a natural juice out of carrot, pawpaw, apple, pineapple, tomato, orange plus any other fruit to taste.(Each to be the size of say 1/2 an apple), and drink all at once. (should be enough to fill say an 8oz glass). Wait for 15 minutes or so. Your hangover will be completely gone and you should be ready for another day."Replies
05/04/2012: Hippy_chick from West Side, Australia replies: "YES agreed. My best hangover cure is a green smoothie - filtered water, lots of leafy greens and fresh fruit. I add chia seeds too. It doesn't do miracles after a huge night but it definitely helps. Goes great with a home-made BLT! X"
06/25/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa: "The two things that are missing that cause hangovers are sugar and water. Biological fact: Alcohol lowers your blood sugar and dehydrates you. Your headache is because it can't get enough glucose, and your low energy/drag is because you are dehydrated. When sugar cant get to your brain, it can't function properly = bad judgement and headache. Fruit salad, fresh or canned, fresh is preferable but canned also works, will make your headache go away without medicine. You can also substitute a diabetic glucose beverage or any liquid with real sugar (not corn syrup which is much less bioavailable and taxes your liver) if fruit salad isnt' available. Glucose works unbelievably fast and will also increase your alertness. A glass of water and some glucose (chewed tablets or beverage) will get you the fastest results, fructose and water as with fruit salad the next fastest. Water in any instance. Prevention: You can reduce the severity of one significantly by having a tall glass of water before bed and upon waking. No fancy weird concoctions needed."
[YEA] 11/15/2008: Amanda from Columbus, Ohio: "If you drink one cup of green tea in the morning it will cure a hangover due to the concentrated amount of antioxidants that it contains. It also will not hurt to up your water consumption, as you are bound to be dehydrated. It works!"
[YEA] 10/29/2008: DK from St. Paul, MN: "Hangover Prevention
Depending on how much and how long you will be drinking in a night depends on this method, but it works for me. All you have to do is eat.
On a light drinking night, Eat at least a little bit 4 hours before or up to the point you start drinking.
Eat a moderate sized meal after drinking. I suggest having a balanced meal of maybe some breads, milk, meat, fruits and veges, but also with some junk food too. Keep away from a lot of sugary foods. I myself, might eat a sandwich, and some chips with a glass of milk, or 2 eggs on toast with milk.
On a moderate drinking night, Eat a moderate meal 4 hours before or up to the point you start drinking.
Eat a moderate /heavy meal after drinking. I suggest having a balanced meal of maybe some breads, milk, meat, fruits and veges, but also with some junk food too. Keep away from a lot of sugary foods. I myself, might eat a sandwich, a bowl of cereal, and 2 ice cream sandwiches.
On a heavy drinking night, Eat a moderate meal 4 hours before or up to the point you start drinking. Eat a heavy meal after drinking. I suggest having a balanced meal of maybe some breads, milk, meat, fruits and veges, but also with some junk food too. Keep away from a lot of sugary foods. I myself, might eat a burger and fries, a sandwich, 2 glasses of milk, and some strawberries.
If you going to be drinking over a period of time such as 6 hours or more, I suggest having a snack in the middle of drinking or a light meal. Pasta or noodles of some sort seems to be the best for these types of meals.
This has worked for me for a couple years, and I haven't woke up with a hang over yet from doing this, good luck to everyone!"
10/30/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "The foods you list to prevent a hangover seems to contain a lot of junk foods and sugary foods. My question is: Why do you need to prevent hangovers? If you can't take a drink or two and stop before getting drunk (which causes hangovers), it is time to quit drinking at all. Why let alcohol rule your life?"
02/18/2012: Katrina from Oakland, Ca, Usa replies: "A while back I had the worst hangover of my life. Pretty much very thing I smelled, looked at or thought about was making me want to vomit. It lasted a good 5 hours, until I was so hungry that I just had to eat even though I was positive I would not be able to keep it down. All I had was some 3 day old greasy Chinese leftovers, but I heated them up and ate it. I felt better within minutes! The nausea was relieved and then totally gone within an hour."
[YEA] 02/05/2007: Brandon from Keighley, Yorkshire, England: "Honey is a good one but take it before you drink or whilst boozing. Honey on toast is a great way to prepare the body for a drinking session. Eat several slices (more if you're really going to town) and the honey helps break down the consumed alcohol and hey presto a good night with no hangover."
[YEA] 12/16/2006: Eric from Anchorage, Alaska: "i am a severe drinker, but had been on wagon for 1 month then went on a major drinking episode. i took 2 tablespoons of honey every hour when shaking and sick and felt calm and good did this for 5 hours and was like new next day."
[YEA] 11/14/2006: Chris from Knoxville, TN: "I tried the honey for a hangover after discovering your website by chance last week. I am not a heavy drinker but last night had a little too much red-wine. I woke up this morning with a slight hangover so I took two tbsp. of local raw honey I keep in my pantry; at first I had heartburn and a burning sensation in my throat but then after about an hour I felt much better. I hope to use this site for more often for insight on natural cures than taking the usual Tylenol or asprins I usually take for just too much of a good thing. Thanks for our Global friends who want to share natures remedies."
[YEA] 11/20/2009: Rob from Manhattan, New York: "Thumbs up for Milk Thistle
testing out a combination Milk Thistle and Sea Buckthorn combo (from Germany). I was surprised that I didn't suffer the usual ill effects this morning from a few beers the evening before. (shakiness, headache...I rarely drink)
I attribute it to the Milk Thistle...decided it will be a regular on my supplement shelf."
[YEA] 08/20/2008: Curtis from Phoenix, AZ: "Much to my pleasant surprise I stumbled on a hang over remedy. I started taking a daily multivitamin sometime around June 20th just because I thought I would be good for me. I attended a good friend's wedding on June 28th, and had plenty of wine. There's no question that I should have NOT been well the next morning. I woke up the next day and had ZERO hang over. No head ache, no nausea, no laying in bed all day, nothing. I was floored. I couldn't imagine why. After discovering this website, I realized that it is the MultiVitamin (which I have continued to take) that is preventing me from having hang overs. I haven't had a hang over since early June and I do 'my share' of drinking. The Vitamins that I'm replacing are doing their job. I usually take the vitamin at lunch time, so they have enough time to circulate and build up the supply before an evening of happy hour festivities. Thank you Costco for your Kirkland Brand, Once a day, Multivitamin, and thank you Earth Clinic for the many remedies I've been reading about. (Banana Peels for warts really works)"Replies
[YEA] 08/21/2008: Bret from Phoenix, Arizona replies: "You wont believe this. I thought I discovered a cure for hangovers A FEW YEARS AGO.and I don't know of many people who have used this recipe and didn't swear by its benefits.
Liquid Chlorophyll, water- soluable vitamins, potassium, calcium carbonate.
These, taken with 1,000 militers of H20 will prevent 90% of hangovers.
Water Soluable Vitamins: Small dose b complex.(large doses make you puke.)
Vitamin C- Detoxifies the aldahyde biproducts. Used buffered form or use regular VIT. c with extra tums.
Tums- take three or four.
Protects stomach. Adds calcium ions to blood stream. Protects kidneys from phosphates.
Potassium- Depleated by diuretics.
black strap molasses, potassium supplements, three bananas, gatorade/powerade.
by binding to and/or absorbtion.
Well documented properties!
Absorbs alcohol that's remaining in your stomach.Blocks it from your blood stream and liver. Excreted through feces.
Very important. Alcohol is diuretic. You become dehydrated and your electrolytes are off. So, replenish water and lytes is good strategy.
Nobody, goes out and buys all this different stuff just to treat hangovers. But when they do they are glad they did. If after all this, you wake up to urinate in the middle of the morning, if you still have a headach,...take benadryl 25 mg.
Do not take aspirin, tylenol for hangovers. Tylenol can cause liver damage. Aspirin can cause G.I. bleeding."