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woman having a bad headache and taking some aspirin to feel better

4 easy hangover remedies

15 Aug 2023 • 8 min read

Hangovers seem to be the body's way of warning us about the risks of overindulging. Whether it comes in the form of nausea, intense hunger, dizziness, or abdominal pain - all you want is a quick fix to make it stop.

Everyone seems to have a different idea of what those ‘quick fixes’ are, from a full, hearty breakfast to a cup of green tea. But the science behind what causes a hangover does give us some clues as to which foods and drinks may genuinely help ease our self-induced suffering.

Here are our top 4 tips to help you recover from a hangover, from ginger to electrolytes for dehydration and nausea remedies. Plus, find out more about alcohol units and how many units are safe to drink.

Skip to: Alcohol units | 4 hangover remedies | The final say

What are alcohol units?

Alcohol units were introduced to help us easily track our drinking, by representing the quantity of pure alcohol in our drinks. One unit is around 10ml of pure alcohol, which takes around an hour to be processed in the body.1

Each drink differs in the amount of alcohol they contain. For instance, a standard 175ml glass of wine contains around 2.1 units of alcohol, whilst a can of beer or cider contains around 2.4.2

The NHS recommends that adults shouldn’t consume over 14 units of alcohol per week regularly and that it is best to spread that consumption out across the week. For reference, 14 units of alcohol are around 6 pints of beer or 10 glasses of wine.2

4 hangover remedies

Whether it’s the morning after your work Christmas party, or after celebrating with one too many drinks at your friend’s wedding, waking up with a hangover is never a pleasant thing.

Here are 4 easy ways to help squash that hangover:

1. Hangover remedies for nausea

Alcohol can cause nausea for two main reasons. The first is that alcohol is a stomach irritant, and the second is that the liver can become overwhelmed when attempting to process more alcohol than it can handle at once. This results in the alcohol being metabolised insufficiently; the by-products of which result in nausea.3

As nausea often causes a lack of appetite, the temptation is to avoid food, but this can just make you feel worse. Sipping a light smoothie containing a small amount of protein is an ideal way to raise sustainable blood sugars, which will help you feel better.

The main point though is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Herbal drinks can hydrate you, help to calm your stomach, and if you are sick, they will help to replace any lost fluids. Chamomile tea, for example, is great for re-balancing your digestive secretions and for soothing the stomach.4

2. Hangover remedies for dizziness

Ginger’s anti-nausea effects make it useful for reducing dizziness - but don’t reach for the ginger beer.

Most brands only have a tiny amount of natural ginger in them and offer little to no benefits. Instead, opt for a cup of ginger tea or, if you are travelling, snack on crystallized ginger to counteract any stomach upsets.5,6

3. Hangover remedies if you’re feeling hangry

The sugars in alcohol can cause the body to produce too much insulin. If you binge drink this can cause blood sugar levels to drop and leave you nursing both a pounding head and feelings of hunger.7

Whilst you might feel like rolling out of bed and into the nearest fast-food chain after a night out, the reality is that greasy, heavy food is the last thing your body needs when trying to recuperate.

Contrary to popular belief, food doesn’t help soak up excess alcohol, it just increases your metabolism. Many credit the bacon sandwich as the perfect hangover meal because bacon contains proteins that can be broken down into amino acids needed by the body. However, bacon can be very fatty, so a healthier option would be to get cracking and opt for eggs. In addition to being full of protein, they contain cysteine, a chemical that helps to clean up toxins in the body.

Another food high in protein and cysteine is sunflower seeds. Try snacking on these for an easy no-prep health boost.

4. Hangover remedies if you’re dehydrated

Ironically, after a night out drinking, you’re likely to wake up feeling parched. Alcohol is a diuretic which means that it removes fluids from the body.8

Drinking water, juice and non-caffeinated drinks can help replace lost fluids and clear your head, but drinking orange juice is the best way to rehydrate. This is because, in addition to giving blood sugar levels a much-needed boost, oranges are a key source of vitamins A, B and C which support your immune system.10

Coconut water is naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes so it’s an ideal way to rehydrate and replenish the body with useful vitamins and minerals.11

Speaking of electrolytes, opting for an electrolyte drink for a hangover is also a good option to kickstart your recovery. Electrolytes are minerals that have been dissolved into your body’s fluids and create electrically charged particles called ions.

The final say

The final say

Nobody likes a hangover, and whilst we probably can’t help you get rid of your hangxiety, our 4 top tips could help you ease your nausea, dizziness, hunger, and dehydration. From chamomile tea and ginger to eggs and electrolytes, there’s more to hangover remedies than scoffing a breakfast sandwich.

Remember though, that drinking in moderation is important and you should always try to stick within the recommended limits of 14 units per week, spreading them out if you can.

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