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How To Recover From A Hangover

6 min
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The feeling you get upon waking up after a night of heavy drinking is something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Still, most of us will suffer from a hangover at some point. But how to deal with it? Check out this list of preventative measures and recovery strategies you can take to knock out that hangover.

Most of us have been in that dreaded situation: waking up the morning (or afternoon) after a night of heavy drinking to an upset stomach, fatigue, and mental fog. Okay, so you may have overindulged last night. Well, what can you do about it? We’re so glad you asked! In this article, we will go through some tips on how to prevent and recover from a hangover. We’ll also list a few things you should definitely avoid if you want to wake up feeling as fresh as possible after a heavy night. It is worth noting that while there is no definitive remedy for a hangover—other than time—you may find varied success with the tips mentioned below.

How To Prevent A Hangover (As Much As Possible)


Here are a few suggestions on steps you can take to prevent that nasty hangover. Some of these suggestions may seem like common sense, but sometimes we need a little more of that when under the influence of alcohol!

Eat Well Before Drinking

Eating a substantial meal before drinking can help you so much. It can be quite easy to forget to eat when the drinks start flowing. This could be your downfall if you don’t prepare beforehand with a hearty dish. Eating before drinking slows the initial effects of alcohol, so it takes a little longer for your body to absorb it. When choosing your food, pick food groups that are rich in protein and fibre such as eggs, oats, or even Greek yoghurt. Couple this with some antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries and your body will thank you.

Make Sure You’Re Well Rested


This is as important to everyday life as it is when preparing for a night of drinking. Usually, these nights last well into the early hours of the morning, so you’ll want to prepare as best as possible by getting a good night’s rest the night before. Not only will you feel and look fresher for your night out, but your body will also be prepared for a few drinks, too. Lack of sleep will cause fatigue, and this, in turn, can make your hangover symptoms so much worse. Feeling irritable is not sought-after at the best of times. So rest up!

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

This is such a simple idea, but one that we often forget when we get caught up in the moment. There is certainly nothing wrong with having a good time, but do you really need that next drink? Simply limiting your alcohol intake can make the difference between dealing with a slight fuzziness and waking up feeling like death. Moderation is key here, and knowing your limits is an important step in preventing a hangover. Too much of a good thing can certainly be bad for you.

Alternate Between Alcoholic Drinks And Water


Following on from limiting your alcohol intake, you can always look to alternate your drinks. Moving between an alcoholic drink and a glass of water will reduce the overall amount of alcohol you consume. You will also be countering the dehydrating effects of alcohol by drinking water. This could make a crucial difference when you wake up. If you are not overly keen on drinking just water, you can opt for soft drinks or sports drinks, but be careful with caffeine intake so late in the evening.

Avoid Dark-Coloured Liquor

Have you ever wondered why you’ll sometimes get a worse hangover when drinking whiskey, dark rum, or cognac? Although this may not apply to all drinkers, there is a very good reason behind this: a high content of congeners. Congeners are toxic substances containing chemicals like acetone. Unfortunately, these chemicals are not healthy for the body. Congeners are present in all forms of alcohol as they’re produced during the fermentation stage; however, levels are higher in darker alcohol, resulting in a harsher hangover for many.

Drink Water Before Going To Sleep


Much like alternating your alcohol with water, you should always try and drink one big glass of water before bed after a night on the town. As we know, hangovers are generally caused by dehydration, so having a drink of water can only do you good in terms of minimising hangover symptoms. Do yourself a favour before you get into bed and pour yourself some H₂O.

The Best Hangover Recovery Methods


Okay, so you followed our advice on how to prevent a hangover, but despite your best efforts, you’ve still woken up feeling a bit ropey. Not to worry! As mentioned, this section will take you through some methods that can wash away those post-drink ailments.

Drink Water

We’ve covered off the fact that water is so important in preventing a hangover; but, it is also crucial to your recovery if you do happen to get one. As mentioned, the main cause of the worst hangover symptoms is dehydration. Water can help alleviate these symptoms. Now, we are not suggesting you should start chugging water as soon as you wake up, but a big glass every few hours will do wonders for your body and your overall mood as you slowly return to normal.

Have A Proper Breakfast


Some drinkers swear by a cooked breakfast as their go-to hangover recovery method. Greasy fried eggs, bacon, and sausages may be enough to turn your stomach at the best of times, but there is something to be said about having a proper breakfast after a night of drinking. That said, we’re not suggesting you stuff yourself with stodgy and greasy foods; quite the opposite, in fact. Foods rich in cysteine and vitamin B6, such as salmon, chicken, and brown rice, will work best for your body and will aid liver and kidney function just when you need it most.

Drink Coffee Or Tea

It’s a common scene in movies. A character wakes up with a hangover and immediately goes to brew a pot of black coffee. Is this a good idea? Like most things, moderation is key once again. Having tea or coffee can be a great idea when you have a fuzzy head. With caffeine being a stimulant, it can be enough to give you a little boost. However, drinking a lot of caffeine in a hungover state can exacerbate dehydration symptoms. So it’s best to steer clear after that first cup. However, you can always invest in some low-caffeine antioxidant teas to aid in your recovery.

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This can be a tough one. It can be hard to find the motivation to exercise when you wake up on a normal day, but couple that with a hangover and you’re going to need some serious determination to get out the door. But getting active might be one of the best things you can do. Light exercise, such as jogging, can do wonders for your booze-riddled body. Exercise can stimulate the lymph system, which will work to expel toxins from the night before. Always remember to stay hydrated during exercise, so that a bottle of water is a must!

Sleep More

Okay, we don’t want to sound like hypocrites after mentioning how good exercise can be for you, but sleeping in a little more after drinking can give your body that extra rest it no doubt deserves. Resting those eyes and not having to half-heartedly concentrate on that movie you are watching might be a good idea. Sleeping in or treating yourself to an afternoon nap can help alleviate mental fog and other hangover symptoms. Waking up refreshed will do you a world of good. Just be careful not to sleep for too long or you may struggle to get that good night’s rest!

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Supplement Vitamins


Some drinkers swear their hangover recovery is down to taking supplements. This could be from the additional vitamins found in fruit juices or actual supplements in pill or powder form. Some you can look at trying include: Oblivinov Detox and After D. Both are known to potentially soothe upset stomach and other symptoms. However, research into supplements and hangover relief is fairly limited. But, combined with a few of our aforementioned suggestions, you will do more good than bad to your body by taking appropriate supplements.


After resting, it’s important to feel refreshed. If the sleep hasn’t done it for you, it’s time to step it up, and what could be more refreshing than a cold shower? You might shiver just at the thought of it, but you’ll be surprised by just how good and fresh you feel afterwards. As soon as that cold water hits you, your senses will awaken and the night before will feel like a distant memory. Some will alternate between cold and hot temperatures as this will aid blood circulation—something to try when you’re feeling under the weather next time.

Using Pain Relievers

Upon waking up, you may be met with an upset stomach and fuzziness to go with it. You might be tempted to reach for the nearest pain relief medicine. However, the use of some painkillers can potentially have a detrimental effect as they are not recommended to be taken with alcohol, and you are more than likely to have some left in your system at the time of needing relief.

Raise Your Blood Sugar

A night of heavy drinking can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, also known as hypoglycaemia, so it’s important to raise it back to a normal level. The easiest way to do this is by eating complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, muesli, and rye bread, which will restore the lost sugars and will last you a long time compared to quick-fix solutions like doughnuts, soft drinks, and chocolate. Although these sweets will provide a rise in your glucose levels, it is only temporary, and you will crash shortly after, often making you feel worse than you did before.

Avoid Hair Of The Dog


This is a controversial one: Is “hair of the dog” a real solution to the night before? Is it just an old wives’ tale? Or, is it simply just an excuse to keep on partying? However you want to justify it, some people are still convinced by this method, believing that simply drinking more will solve the problem. There is something to be said about drinking enough to not notice the hangover, but you are just delaying the inevitable. Probably best to avoid.

How To Prevent And Recover From Hangover Symptoms: Bottom Line

So, there you have it, a few suggestions to potentially prevent or recover from a hangover. Feel free to leave comments below if you have your own hangover remedies. Hopefully, you’ll remember our tips next time you wake up feeling under the weather with only yourself to blame!


Written by: Adam
Adam is a full-time writer based in the countryside of the East of England. He has a keen passion for psychedelics, but is also interested in topics such as health and fitness, as well as more creative areas like live music.

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