This article was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKinght, GP and Clinical Assistant Professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine
When mankind discovered alcohol, it also learned what a hangover is. Since then, people have been trying to find a method that will most effectively reduce the negative effects of overuse of this substance, such as nausea, headache and fatigue.
In most cases, the hangover disappears after 24 hours. As a rule, there is no one effective method of treating this ailment, but certain methods of fighting the symptoms of alcohol abuse make it easier to survive the day after the party. Below are some ways to fight the previous day syndrome:
1. Eating eggs
Amino acids such as cysteine in eggs help remove acetaldehyde from the body, wrote the authors of an article in the Journal of Chemistry in 2018.
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Acetaldehyde is produced by the breakdown of alcohol in the body. Excessive intake of alcoholic beverages makes the human body unable to properly metabolize the aldehyde. And it is this substance that causes symptoms such as headache, sweating, nausea and vomiting.
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, an important electrolyte that is leached out by alcohol. Low levels of electrolytes cause fatigue, headache, nausea, muscle cramps, and a drop in overall energy levels.
One banana contains about 425 milligrams of potassium, or about 12 percent. recommended daily intake of this substance. Other foods that are high in potassium are:
- Avocado (300 mg/100 ml)
- Spinach (420 mg / cup cooked spinach)
- Baked Potatoes (925 mg / potato)
- Salmon (121 mg / 100 g)
3. A salty meal
Eating salty meals has a positive effect on sodium levels, which is also flushed out by alcohol. Foods rich in sodium are:
- Pickled cucumbers (362 mg sodium / cucumber quarter)
- Olives (310 mg / 4 green manzanilla olives)
- Chicken noodle soup (343 mg / cup)
Carbohydrates raise sugar levels, which helps to reduce the consequences of a drop in sugar in the body associated with a hangover, including fatigue and general weakness.
If you feel nauseous the day after the party, consider an easy-to-digest meal (e.g. white bread toasts) to improve your stomach function. You can also adopt somewhat healthier carbohydrate sources, such as:
- Brown rice
While dehydration is not the only cause of the phenomenon known as hangovers, it is by far the most important. Drinking plenty of water and other fluids (non-alcoholic!) Will help combat symptoms such as dry mouth, dizziness and fatigue.
It is not known exactly how many drinks you should take to fight a hangover, says Dr. Mia Mattioli, a doctor working at Huntington Hospital in California. It is also a good strategy to consume water while consuming alcoholic beverages, because it helps you stay hydrated and helps reduce the amount of alcohol you consume, Mattioli explains.
Drinks rich in electrolytes retain water in the body. Salty foods in liquid form (e.g. broth) or isotonic drinks will also replenish salt and potassium, which are elements that are excreted from the body with urine when alcohol is consumed.
7. A little coffee
Coffee and tea can also help improve our well-being the day after a heavily watered night, especially if our hangover is characterized by fatigue and a headache.
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Caffeine will help relieve pain and give you some energy. However, do not overdo these drinks as caffeinated substances are diuretic, which can lead to even more dehydration.
Some dietary supplements can be beneficial for a hangover, although Mattioli cautions that what helped one person might not be beneficial to another.
As a general rule, there’s nothing wrong with trying a variety of supplements, says the doctor, as long as you don’t exceed the recommended daily dose.
Here are some of the best hangover supplements:
- Prickly pear – A double-blind placebo-controlled study, the results of which were reported in 2004 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, assumed the administration of either a placebo or an extract of prickly pear to 55 healthy adults. The preparations were taken five hours before the subjects consumed up to 1.75 g of alcohol per 1 g of body. The researchers found that people who took the prickly pear extract experienced less nausea, less dry mouth, and felt less tired than the placebo group.
- Red ginseng – The results of a 2014 study, published in the journal Food & Function, showed that red ginseng relieved hangover symptoms. In the experiment, 25 healthy adult volunteers drank 100 ml of whiskey followed by 100 ml of water, or a drink containing 0.321 mg of red ginseng. People who took ginseng experienced less severe hangover syndromes.
- Korean pear – A 2016 scientific article describing natural ways to combat hangovers indicates that pyrus pyrifolia, or Korean pear, can help treat hangover symptoms and reduce alcohol levels in the body. It should be noted, however, that the study quoted in the article was conducted on a small group of only 14 participants.
9. Avoid “wedging”
Some people believe that consuming a small amount of alcohol in the morning (commonly referred to as a “wedge”) can help reduce a hangover.
Doctors, however, do not recommend using this method, and the results of several studies indicate that consuming alcohol in the morning to treat a hangover can be a sign of alcohol dependence.
10. Don’t drink certain alcoholic beverages
Some alcoholic drinks cause a greater hangover than others. There is some evidence that alcohol containing more congeners (substances responsible for the flavor and color of a drink) causes a greater hangover. For example, whiskey and bourbon are rich in congeners, while vodka contains hardly any of them.
A study published in 2010 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research investigated the correlation between high and low congeners beverages and the severity of alcohol abuse symptoms. The experiment tested 95 healthy adults, aged 21 to 33, who were not addicted to alcohol (as determined by the Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test) but were considered to be abusing alcohol. This means that in the previous 30 days they had at least 4-5 drinks at least once in one night.
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One evening study participants were served either vodka with cola or whiskey with cola. On the second evening, they received a placebo in the form of cola and decarbonised tonic containing a few drops of vodka or whiskey. The subjects were then asked to rate their hangover symptoms on a scale of 0 to 7. The researchers found that the hangover after a night with bourbon was worse than after drinking vodka.
While many people say they know effective ways to fight hangovers, the truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for the effects of excessive alcohol consumption.
Overall, the most effective way to overcome yesterday’s syndrome is to treat symptoms that may differ from person to person. Of course, the key is to drink in moderation, stay hydrated, and avoid drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.. Applying these tips will help reduce the unpleasant experience of the morning after the party.