Written by Science

Hangover Tips

How to make a hangover better quickly

The approach of New Year’s Eve means that millions of people will be overindulging in the festivities, and paying the price in the form of a hangover on January 1st. For some reason, most people think the best way to start a new year is to spend all day on the couch with a pounding headache and an upset stomach. If that’s your idea of a good start to the new year, so be it. But, there are some really simple solutions to ease the hangover, such as drinking less alcohol and drinking more water. But, those two simple items always seem to be forgotten in the spirit of the moment. If the party is worth the price the next day, then here are few tips to get your new years rolling with a milder hangover.

Hangover Tip #1 – Drink Choice

After doing a little research on hangover cures, many websites mention that drinking spirits with low congener levels, like vodka, are a good way to stave off a hangover. Well, this may sound good in theory, but the reality is that when you drink a spirit that is flavourless, like vodka, it tends to go down easier. Since it is easy to drink, you also tend to drink more of it, which leads to a bigger hangover!

If you make it too easy to drink, your hangover will be worse. My advice is to drink something that tells your body you are drinking alcohol. It may seem odd, but when you actually taste the alcohol, you will probably slow down. As you slow down, your liver will be able to process the ethyl alcohol and hopefully ease tomorrows hangover.

Hangover Tip #2 – Drink Coffee

When you wake up and realize that you are going to be paying the price for your night out, here’s a little tip; drink some coffee if you are a regular coffee drinker. Yes, I know, everybody says drinking coffee is bad the next day because it has caffeine in it, and caffeine is a supposed diuretic and supposedly dehydrates you more. Well, this bit of research isn’t as clear as it should be. It should be noted that research conducted by Dr. Larry Armstrong, and many others, states that caffeine is a “mild diuretic” and if you drink coffee, the body does retain some of the fluid, so it isn’t as good as water, but it is pretty close.

More importantly, those who regularly drink caffeine based beverages have a higher tolerance to the diuretic effect, meaning that caffeine won’t dehydrate your body as much as someone who doesn’t drink caffeine based beverages.

So why have coffee? Well, if you are a regular drinker of coffee you will have a mild to moderate caffeine dependency. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, but it does have some effects if you decide to stop drinking coffee cold turkey, like the day you have a bad hangover. What happens when you don’t get your daily dose of caffeine, is your body will suffer some moderate caffeine withdrawal symptoms which include; headaches, lethargy, and moodiness. Add those to the effects of a hangover and you will effectively have a more severe hangover.

The diuretic effects of the caffeine will be extremely mild compared to the effects of caffeine withdrawal, so brew a nice fresh pot of coffee and have your normal daily consumption of coffee, plus one cup, your body will thank you.

Hangover Tip #3

Don’t take two aspirin before you go to bed. Your headache hasn’t arrived yet, so there is no point. The most important part is that the combination of alcohol and analgesics (Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin, etc.) is really bad for your liver. In really severe cases, your liver can be damaged, which is not a good thing, plus you need your liver to process the ethanol to avoid the hangover. So be kind to your liver, don’t take any medicine until the next day.

Hangover Tip #4 – Rehydration

To get back in the came you’ll need to rehydrate. Water is awesome, but some of the sports drinks like Powerade and Gator Aid will help bring your hangover to a close.

Don’t’ Drink and Drive!

Now I shouldn’t need to say this, but don’t be stupid, leave your car at home, and don’t drink and drive.

Darcy O'Neil | Art of Drink

Writer, author of Fix the Pumps, chemist, beekeper and general do-er-of-things, Darcy can generally be found looking for new and interesting things to do, usually over a cocktail. Currently working on more soda fountain history.

Last modified: November 12, 2018