How To Cure A Hangover
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A Bloke

How To Cure a Hangover

I’ve had a lot of hangovers in my life and I’ve never found a really effective cure. But I have found a number of things that can definitely help. These mostly aren’t your typical hangover cures of eating a full English breakfast or drinking loads of coffee.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Obviously, the best way to avoid hangovers is not to drink or only drink a small amount, but that isn’t much fun if you’re out the piss with friends. But there are a few other things you can do to lessen the impact of a hangover.

The ‘Second Night’ Effect

I found that if I went out on a bender on Friday night and then went out on Saturday night, I rarely had a hangover on the Sunday morning. Unfortunately, I often ended up paying the price on Saturday morning.

So, now if I know I’ve got a big night out drinking, I will drink the night before. I won’t drink loads, but as much as I safely can without the risk of getting a hangover in the morning. This ‘safe’ amount will vary from person to person, but for me, it’s about the equivalent of one and a quarter bottles of wine.

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One of the other effects of ‘second night’ drinking that I’ve found is that I’m more resistant to getting drunk. So instead of feeling pissed after three pints, it will take me about five pints to get that same level of pissed

I’m not sure of the science as to why ‘second night’ drinking has the effect it does, but I think it is probably down to your body getting used to the booze, and when you go out on the (2nd night) big night out, it’s not such a shock to the system.

‘Rest Rounds’

Try to have a ‘rest round’ where instead of having a pint of beer, have a pint of alcohol-free beer, Coke or water or some other soft drink. This usually doesn’t go down well with the friends you’re out drinking with, who will no doubt give you some abuse. 

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This also gets more difficult to do as the night goes on and you get more and more drunk and forget to have a rest round. But, if you can get a few rest rounds in, it does make a big difference to how much of a hangover you get the next morning.

Banana and Water Before Bed

This one is difficult to do. Firstly, the last thing you want to do when you get home from a night on ‘the source’ is to eat a banana and drink water.

Secondly, if it’s been a heavy night, you probably won’t remember to do it.

Important tip:
Don’t just glug down a pint of water and eat the banana as fast as you can, then go to bed, you’ll feel sick and it won’t be effective in helping lessen your hangover.
You need to spend some time slowly sipping the water and eating the banana. 

When I’ve done this, I’ve always found my hangover isn’t as bad as I would expect the next day, but I do still get a hangover.

How To (sort of) Cure A Hangover

I think time is the only 100% effective cure for a hangover. The tips below won’t completely cure a hangover, but they can help make the experience less painful.

Popping Red Pills

For whatever reason, I never find that painkillers help with a hangover. However, I do find that the red Nurofen Express tablets do sort out a hangover headache. No other type of pill seems to work for me.

The only downside is that popping pills does tend to make me feel a bit nauseous. So, if my stomach is feeling particularly delicate after a night out, I won’t take the Nurofen as it just worsens things.

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Tip: Take the pills after eating some food

Hair Of The Dog

This is a classic cure for hangovers, and I find it works. Unless I’m feeling really rough and just the thought of drinking more booze makes my stomach turn.

Obviously, this isn’t a great way to get through a hangover. You’re just delaying the inevitable, at some point, you are going to have to stop drinking and you will eventually get a hangover.

Diarrhoea Rehydration Sachets

One of the reasons that you get a hangover after drinking too much is due to dehydration. Booze is a diuretic, which basically means you pee more often and become dehydrated. 

To help rehydrate your body faster, try taking some of the diarrhoea rehydration sachets. It hard to measure how effective this is as a cure, but it is another tool in the arsenal that can help cure a hangover quicker.

Get Active

I find that if I sit around doing bugger all, my hangover tends to last for ages. But, when I’m doing something, it generally goes quicker.

I’m not sure if this is simply because when I’m sitting around, I’m much more conscious of my hangover compared to when I’m doing something and I’m distracted. Or if some physiological things are going on, that means the hangover does actually go faster when active.

Cysteine

If you can face it, try eating a couple of eggs. They have a high amount of cysteine, which helps break down acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is one of the main things that causes hangovers, so the sooner it can be broken down, the better.

Cysteine can be purchased in tablet form. 

Hangover Cures That Don’t Work

Below are classic hangover cures, which I don’t find help at all. In fact, some of them make the situation worse.

Greasy Fry Up

I think everyone hungers for a greasy fry up after a night on the booze. However, I find that having something like a full English breakfast will satisfy my hunger, but soon after eating it, I start to take a turn for the worse.

It’s usually my headache that feels worse. I’ve been told this is because blood goes from your head to your stomach to help with the digestion of the food.

Coffee

Drinking coffee can give you a bit of a boost thanks to its caffeine, but for me, it doesn’t cure a hangover.

Painkillers

As mentioned earlier, painkillers never seem to be very effective on a hangover. This is probably because, apart from a headache, a hangover is more of a feeling, not a pain. For example, painkillers are not going to be effective against feeling tired, feeling down, feeling weak, feeling sick, feeling anxious and irritable.

Hangover Preventative Measures That Don’t Work


Don’t Mix Drinks

It is the ethanol, the alcohol found in drinks that is the main factor contributing towards a hangover. I’ve never noticed that mixing drinks gives me a worse hangover. For me the hangover I get all comes down to how much alcohol I drink, not what I drink.

Avoid Dark Coloured Alcoholic Drinks

Dark-coloured drinks often contain higher levels of congeners compared to their lighter-coloured counterparts. Congeners are chemical by-products of alcohol fermentation, which are found in larger amounts in dark liquors such as whisky, rum, and red wine. These substances are thought to contribute to the intensity and frequency of hangovers.

I drink both red and white wine and don’t find that red wine gives me a worse hangover than white wine.

Don’t Drink On An Empty Stomach

Not sure that drinking on an empty stomach equates to a worse hangover the next day. I do know that if I go out on the piss and don’t eat, I will get drunk quicker if I haven’t eaten.

Take Painkillers Before Going To Bed

I’ve never really understood how this could make any difference to the level of hangover you’re going to experience. After all, painkillers are just that ‘painkillers’ they don’t actually cure the problem; they help to alleviate the symptoms.

Conclusion

From personal experience, ‘second night’ drinking, rest rounds, and the consumption of bananas and water pre-slumber can mitigate the dreaded morning-after effects. 

Some popular remedies, like “hair of the dog” or rehydration sachets, can provide temporary relief; others like coffee, greasy foods, or regular painkillers, may not be as effective for all. Some long-held beliefs about avoiding hangovers – such as not mixing drinks or steering clear of dark-coloured alcohols – don’t necessarily hold up in practice.

Cheers……mines a pint

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