If you’re suffering from a headache, nausea and lethargy — the unpleasant telltale symptoms of drinking too much — you’re not alone. New Year’s Day is notorious for hangovers.
So, what’s one to do about this common post-bender condition? Of course, limiting your alcohol intake is the best prophylactic in avoiding a hangover. Yet, some of us can’t help it, especially on New Year’s Eve.
The research shows there isn’t much you can do to “cure” a hangover except wait it out. But feel free to try one (or some!) of these five remedies.
- Pain relievers — Aleve, Advil and the like — will ease a pounding headache. Stick with the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS. Acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol, gets processed in the liver. It’s a good idea to avoid this pain reliever because of this reason. A night of heavy drinking disrupts liver function and taking acetaminophen might add to the problem, some experts say. In fact, acetaminophen overdose is the number 1 cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. and U.K. and thus should be used with caution.
- Pound water like it’s nobody’s business. When people booze it up they are likely not drinking as much water as they should. Alcohol dehydrates cells so it’s important to replenish the water you’re losing with water throughout the night. Part of the nauseous, icky feeling accompanying a hangover is caused by dehydration.
- Greasy Food. There isn’t much science to back up this claim, but plenty of people (including Anthony Bourdain) swear by it. A hearty chicken stock soup with good fats or a cheeseburger with mayo seems to cure the temporary, alcohol-induced illness for some people. Eating may also help get your blood sugar levels up, and while low blood sugar isn’t a causation of hangover symptoms, the two are often associated, according to research at the National Institutes of Health.
- A tried and true hangover cure is sleep. If you can nap, we suggest you do it. Alcohol prevents the body from reaching the deepest stages of sleep, leaving one to feel groggy and lethargic after rousing. You can make up for the lack of nighttime sleep with a nap and, chances are, you’ll feel significantly better. Sleep will give your body a chance to restore itself after a night of debauchery.
- Hair of the dog: While this isn’t one Healthy State recommends, it’s a last resort for many. Hair of the dog, if you haven’t heard of it, is consuming an alcoholic beverage to rid yourself of a hangover. A hangover results after the elevated concentration of alcohol in the blood falls sharply after drinking stops. By putting more alcohol into your blood, your hangover may be postponed, if not cured.
If you are experiencing a hangover, we hope these tips help today and throughout 2019. Happy New Year!