How To Recover From An MDMA Hangover
4 min

How To Recover From An MDMA Hangover

4 min

MDMA is famed for the glowing feelings it produces on a night out, but it can make you pay for them with a nasty hangover. Luckily, if you know how what to do, it’s possible to get right back on your feet.

Music pulses through your whole body, you feel a connection with everyone around you, you get swept up in a wave of euphoria, and you're riding high. Unfortunately, what goes up must come down.

The high associated with rolling on MDMA can create an equally intense crash in the following days, leaving you feeling drained and mentally fatigued. However, by taking the right steps, it is possible to minimise the post-MDMA hangover and speed recovery.

What is an MDMA hangover?

What Is An MDMA Hangover?

The hangover from MDMA is so notorious it's sometimes known as Blue Tuesday or Suicide Tuesday. These monikers refer to the potential intensity of the crash, as well as its delayed nature.

MDMA hangovers often seem to skip a day and kick in on the second day. The day after taking the drug you might feel floaty and peaceful, not quite like yourself, but still in good spirits. You may even think you've avoided a hangover altogether. Then, the next day, you suddenly feel terrible. This is known as a latent crash or delayed hangover.

What are the symptoms of an MDMA hangover?

So, what exactly does an MDMA hangover feel like? Symptoms can vary, but typically involve some combination of the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Related article

Is it MDMA Or Not? Find Out With These Kits

What causes and MDMA hangover?

What Causes And MDMA Hangover?

While the drop in energy and mood associated with an MDMA hangover can be brutal, the drug itself might not be to blame. When taken in a clinical setting, MDMA often does not produce the same undesired effects. This suggests other factors could be at play.

Dosing matters

Taking too much MDMA is a sure-fire way to end up with a hangover. You don't need much MDMA to feel its effects; it's easy to push your body beyond its limits. Thus, it's always prudent to start with a low dose and see how your body reacts. Redosing can also worsen the crash. While it can be tempting to take more later in the night as your first dose starts to wear off, it's best to stick to a one and done policy. Your future self will thank you.

Purity and mixing other substances

How To Recover From An MDMA Hangover: Purity and mixing other substances

The purity of the drug can also be a factor. MDMA is not exactly legal, and it's very common for it to be cut with other substances. While it's difficult to confirm the exact provenance of your MDMA, acquiring it from a trusted source is a reasonable first step.

Another smart move is to test your drugs. In the Netherlands for example, you can have your drugs tested for free at specialised facilities. Large music festivals in many places will also often have a free testing tent. If that's not an option, you can purchase an at-home testing kit. These kits use a harmless reagent to determine if your powder or pill contains MDMA or other drugs. They can help you identify whether your MDMA is tainted with potentially dangerous substances, or whether it's something else altogether.

You should also avoid mixing substances. Many people will drink alcohol or take other drugs in addition to MDMA during their night out. If you're smart, you'll stick to just one to avoid unwanted interactions and unnecessary stress on your system.

Drink water instead of alcohol and make sure you eat beforehand (as you definitely won't feel like eating once you've dosed). Just don't overdo it on the water. MDMA is known to trigger our thirst impulse and drinking too much water can cause a life-threatening condition called hyponatremia, where the kidneys can't eliminate excess water. You would have to drink a massive amount to cause this, but it's been known to happen. The kidneys can eliminate 750ml to 1l of water per hour. Keep your intake well below that threshold to stay both hydrated and safe.

Fluctuation of neurotransmitters

Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine help the brain regulate numerous bodily functions. Sometimes known as "happy chemicals" dopamine and serotonin affect our mood, reward system, memory, attention, sleep and more. Norepinephrine is responsible for activating our "fight or flight" response by increasing heart rate, dilating pupils and expanding airways.

MDMA floods the brain with these feel-good chemicals, causing a burst of euphoria, empathy and energy. This kicks our nervous system into high gear, leaving us tired and depleted the next day. To recover, we need to build back our reserves of neurotransmitters, and address the oxidative stress (toxicity) caused by the previous night's chemical overload.

3 Tips for recovering from an MDMA hangover

3 Tips For Recovering From An MDMA Hangover

While it's difficult to completely avoid an MDMA hangover, there are steps you can take to speed your recovery. Rest, hydration and certain supplements may help protect against the worst effects of the crash.

Replenish serotonin & dopamine levels

Replenishing your brain's stock of neurotransmitters will help normalise your mood and energy levels. While the body should eventually do this on its own, taking certain supplements can help speed up the process.

To help your serotonin system recover, try a tryptophan or 5-HTP supplement. These are chemical precursors — like raw materials — that your body needs to produce serotonin. Similarly, supplementing with velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) can aid in dopamine production. This bean contains levodopa, a dopamine precursor that will help your body replenish its dopamine levels.

A couple of additional tips:

Be sure to remain within the recommended dosage of any supplements, and avoid taking these supplements the same day that you take MDMA. There is a risk of interaction that could boost the effects of the MDMA in dangerous ways. Instead, use them as a recovery tool in the days following your dose.

Generally speaking, tryptophan is preferable to 5-HTP. It comes with less risk and is comparatively more efficient when taken by itself. See our article on tryptophan vs 5-HTP for a more detailed explanation.

Top up on antioxidants

How To Recover From An MDMA Hangover: Top up on antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that can prevent certain types of cell damage. They are found in fruits and vegetables as well as supplements. When your body is undergoing a state of oxidative stress, such as with an MDMA hangover, it does not have enough antioxidants to effectively keep up with the toxins in your body.

One answer to the problem of oxidative stress is N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). NAC is the precursor to glutathione, the body’s natural defence against free-radicals and oxidising toxins. It gives the liver extra ammunition to boost detoxification. Adding Vitamin C supplements can help NAC work more efficiently.

So, to support your body's recovery from an MDMA hangover, top up on antioxidants by eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, and try supplements like NAC and Vitamin C.

Rest & stay hydrated

The morning after you take MDMA should be the start of a period of rest. Make sure you have some time off work, stay in bed, relax and watch a movie. Don't over-exert yourself, as this will put unnecessary stress on your body and hinder recovery.

Hydration is key. Drink plenty of fresh juice to help replenish your electrolytes. Consider adding some magnesium powder to aid in relaxation, and supplement food with either flaxseed oil or hemp seed oil. These oils are rich in fatty acids that can help your body bounce back. If you are interested in herbs, then the well-rounded nature of tonics like ginseng, reishi, Catuaba and ginkgo can help build back your strength.

How to minimise an MDMA hangover in the future

How to minimise an MDMA hangover in the future

MDMA is famed for its euphoric and ecstatic effects, yet is equally notorious for the dreaded hangover that follows. To minimise the MDMA hangover, follow these key tips:

  • Get your MDMA from a trusted source only
  • Test your MDMA for purity
  • Stick to smaller doses (125mg or less)
  • Don't redose
  • Avoid mixing with alcohol or other substances
  • Get plenty of rest in the days following
  • Use supplements to speed your recovery, such as: tryptophan, velvet bean, vitamin C and/or NAC

Use responsibly

We are all adults here, so you have to make your own decisions. MDMA is fun, but it can be damaging when overused. To protect your brain and body, avoid taking MDMA more than once per month. In fact, it is best to space out MDMA use as much as possible. Committing to responsible use will not only help you protect your brain against negative effects, but will make your nights out feel more special and enjoyable.

Zamnesia is an otherworldly expert in all things cannabis and psychedelic. Combining that specialist knowledge with hours of scrupulous research, Zamnesia creates outstanding content around the clock. Thanks to their divine personality, we're proud to say Zamnesia has become our ear-to-the-ground for everything to do with mind-altering substances.
Effects News
Search in categories