Prevention & Recovery

6 hangover cures explained

By: Joanne Lam

Author: Canadian Living

Prevention & Recovery

6 hangover cures explained

By: Joanne Lam
6 ways to ease your hangover
Despite the numerous hangover cures known to most drinkers, there aren't actually any remedies that have been proven to completely remove all symptoms. There are ways to minimize the symptoms, however. Dr. Ian Mak of The Health Centre of Maple explains how, while disproving a few hangover cure myths.

1. Drink more in the morning ("Hair of the dog")
The concept behind this theory is that consuming more of the alcohol that gave you the hangover in the first place will minimize your hangover symptoms. "There's no real science behind this theory," says Mak. "The consumption of more alcohol will only lead to more toxin build-up." The drinker may feel numbed from hangover symptoms due to the initial effects of the new alcohol, but once that subsides the drinker may actually feel worse.

2. Drink a Bloody Mary/Caesar
"Similar to the hair of the dog concept, this idea relies on drinking more alcohol to alleviate your hangover symptoms," says Mak. However, as stated above, drinking more alcohol after a night of drinking is damaging to the body and does not have positive effects on hangover symptoms.

3. Drink a sports drink or water
"A substantial amount of water, vitamins and minerals are lost in a night of drinking due to frequent urination and, in some cases, vomiting," says Mak. "Gatorade and water both help to rehydrate the body. The sports drink also contains the salts and electrolytes that your body is depleted of." Though this won't immediately rid you of your hangover, consuming water and Gatorade should help restore your body to its natural state, shortening the length of your hangover and lessening the symptoms.

Page 1 of 2 -- We look at the effectiveness of three more hangover remedies including greasy breakfasts, coffee and over-the-counter medications on page 2.

4. Eat a greasy breakfast
"It is often difficult for someone who is already hungover to consume fatty foods (or any food) due to potential nausea and stomach pains," Mak explains. "But if possible, eating food rich in carbohydrates has been speculated to help rid your hangover symptoms more quickly."

5. Drink coffee

"Coffee contains caffeine, which is, like alcohol, a substance that inhibits the antidiuretic hormone," says Mak. "Though its effect on alertness still stands, coffee increases the amount of water your body expels, dehydrating you even further." Drinking coffee may minimize fatigue, but it will only worsen the dehydration your body experiences during a hangover.

6. Take over-the-counter medication

"The feeling of being nauseated can be overcome with medications like Gravol, while Tylenol can help with your headache," Mak says. These over-the-counter treatments are easily accessible and minimize symptoms as they would even if you didn't have a hangover. If you're looking for a natural anti-nauseant, Mak suggests taking ginger pills or drinking ginger ale gently boiled with fresh ginger slices.

Try: Green Ginger Mint Tea recipe

Though hangovers affect everyone differently, keep in mind that rehydration and replenishing yourself with lost vitamins and minerals is key to helping your body balance itself out. Ultimately, a hangover is something that takes time to get rid of completely.

"Think of it as how you would treat a cold," says Mak. "No matter how you decide to treat your symptoms, your cold will still go away on its own, eventually. It's just a matter of not adding fuel to the fire and taking in more harmful substances in the meantime."

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Prevention & Recovery

6 hangover cures explained