How to Cure a Hangover: 7 Tips to Try at Home

Medical review: Dr. Clarisse Bezerra
Family Doctor
January 2022

To cure a hangover, it's important to eat light meals during the day, to increase your fluid intake, and to use medication that can help relieve symptoms, like an analgesic for headaches. By using these tips, you may be able to feel better, so that your symptoms do not interfere with the rest of your day. 

Even if you know some ways to cure a hangover, it is always ideal to prevent the hangover from happening in the first place. You can prevent one by moderating your alcohol intake, and by alternating your alcoholic drinks with a drink of water or a snack. 

Ways to relieve your hangover symptoms are:

  1. Drink two cups of black coffee with no sugar, because coffee reduces swollen blood vessels that cause headaches, which also helps the liver metabolize toxins more efficiently
  2. Take a medication that is aimed at decreasing symptoms, like analgesics for a headache, or diphenhydramine for nausea
  3. Drink plenty of water, because alcohol causes dehydration and therefore you should drink several cups of water throughout the day
  4. Drink a fruit smoothie, because smoothies contain a sugar called fructose which help the body to burn off alcohol much faster. A large orange or tomato smooth can help to accelerate the removal of alcohol from the body
  5. Eat honey biscuits, because honey also contains a concentrated form of fructose, which help to eliminate alcohol from the body
  6. Eat vegetable soup, which helps to replace and salts or potassium that the body lost when drinking alcohol, which will help with the hangover
  7. Alternate your alcohol drinks with water, and drink water before going to bed. Then drink a cup of strong coffee without sugar when you wake up

Food that can help with the general malaise are apples, melon, peaches, grapes, tangerines, lemon, cucumber, tomato, garlic, onion and ginger.

Another important tip is to rest as much as possible and eat light meals, so that your body can recuperate much quicker. This also allows the body to eliminate toxins produced in the liver from drinking alcohol. 

Why hangovers happen

A hangover occurs due to the excessive intake of alcohol. For alcohol to be eliminated from the body, it needs to be transformed into acetic acid in the liver, which is first transformed into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is actually more toxic than alcohol itself. Because the liver takes a while to complete these conversions, alcohol and acetaldehyde will continuously circulate in the body until they reach the liver to be transformed.

Acetaldehyde is a toxic substance that deposits itself in various organs of the body. It reaches toxic levels and results in hangover symptoms. In addition, during the metabolism of excess alcohol, the body is unable to get rid of sugar in the blood as efficiently when fasting, which can cause hypoglycemia, Alcohol also causes the elimination of much more water, which can lead to dehydration.

How to drink without a hangover

To prevent a hangover, it is best to avoid drink in excess. You can try consuming 1 spoon of extra virgin olive oil before drinking, and opt to alternate one cup of alcohol with one cup of water. Other tips include:

  1. Do not drink on an empty stomach, and keep drinking 1 cup of water or a fruit smoothie between each serving of alcohol
  2. Take 1 g of activated charcoal before consuming alcohol
  3. Eat something high in fat, like a piece of yellow cheese, between each alcoholic drink.

This way, you can prevent dehydration and hypoglycemia, and the body will have more time to metabolize ethanol, which will reduce the risk for a hangover.

Was this information helpful?

Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em January de 2022. Medical review por Dr. Clarisse Bezerra - Family Doctor, em January de 2022.
Medical review:
Dr. Clarisse Bezerra
Family Doctor
Dr. Bezerra possesses a medical degree and specializes in family medicine. She is licensed to practice under CRM-CE licence #16976.