A hangover is a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms that can develop after drinking too much alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to have a hangover the next day. But there’s no magic formula to tell you how much you can safely drink yet still avoid a hangover.
However unpleasant, most hangovers go away on their own within 24 hours. If you choose to drink alcohol, doing so responsibly can help you avoid future hangovers.
Alcoholic beverages contain ingredients called congeners — which give many types of alcoholic beverages their flavor and which can contribute to hangovers. Congeners are found in larger amounts in dark liquors, such as brandy and whiskey, than in clear liquors, such as vodka and gin
From pulling your hair to drinking sauerkraut juice, home remedies for hangovers abound. Pharmacy shelves are often stocked with hangover remedies as well. But in the end, time is the only sure cure. Here are a few things you can do to help yourself feel better in the meantime:
Fill your water bottle. Sip water or fruit juice to prevent dehydration. Resist any temptation to treat your hangover with more alcohol. It’ll only make you feel worse. Be careful with caffeinated beverages, too. Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which may increase dehydration. Additionally, caffeinated beverages may make you think you’re alert when you’re really not.
Have a snack. Bland foods, such as toast and crackers, may boost your blood sugar and settle your stomach. Foods and drinks that contain fructose, such as honey or fruit juice, may help your body burn the alcohol faster.
Take a pain reliever. An over-the-counter pain reliever may ease your headache. But there are a few caveats. Aspirin can irritate your stomach. And if you sometimes drink alcohol too excess, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can cause severe liver damage.
Go back to bed. If you sleep long enough, your hangover may be gone when you awake