How to cure a hangover

Those who enjoy a good tipple during the festive season will know that all too often, a night of merriness can be accompanied by some rather nasty side effects the next morning! The dreaded hangover has all too many supposed ‘cures’, from downing a glass of vinegar to even drinking more the next day, the classic “hair of the dog” myth.

But is there really a way you can ease your hangover? Here are some tried and tested hangover cures (backed by science) to help you get through the holiday season without feeling too tender by the end of it!

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Can you actually cure a hangover?

Theoretically, you can’t cure a proper hangover. There are different degrees of symptoms that can accompany a hangover, from nausea, digestion issues and shaking to vertigo and sensitivity to light or sounds.

These symptoms group together after a night of raucous partying because alcohol is metabolized into acetaldehyde, a substance that's toxic at high levels. And it also gives our sleeping brain quite a knock. This is why many people have likened it to jet lag because they have very similar effects on the body.

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Frustratingly, not everyone will experience all of them. Some people are actually lucky enough to benefit from specific genes that mean they never experience the symptoms of a hangover after a night of excessive drinking.

For the rest of us, there seems to be no ultimate hangover cure, but there are a few things we can do to ensure that our hangover doesn’t get too bad…

How to cure a hangover before it begins

Your best bet is to take some steps the night before to ensure that while you’re sleeping, your body can have time to recover.

So, what helps a hangover before it starts?

  1. Drink water in between alcoholic beverages

This may seem like an obvious one but keeping hydrated will help alleviate a lot of the symptoms of your hangover the next day.

  1. Don’t drink on an empty stomach

If you know that you’re going to be partying the night away with your friends and family, make sure to eat a decent meal that has carbohydrates and fats in it. Because these food groups slow down your body’s absorption of alcohol.

  1. Drink a pint of water before you fall asleep.

Once you’ve come home, managed to get your shoes off after five attempts and crawled into bed, you’ll thank yesterday’s-you for placing a pint of water next to the bed. It’s also helpful to sip on throughout the night if you wake up with a dry mouth.

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The best hangover cures

Maybe you’ve forgotten to take any of these steps the night before, and drank pretty heavily? Well then, you’ll be desperate for something to alleviate your discomfort.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of a hangover, as we said earlier, we’re here to help. Simply do the following to take the edge off:

  1. Drink plenty of water

Throughout the day, ensure that you are constantly topping up your pint glass with water to keep yourself hydrated.

  1. Take painkillers

You won’t feel great if you have to traipse to the shops to stock up on paracetamol and ibuprofen with a booming headache, so stock up beforehand.

  1. Stick to water and isotonic drinks

Don’t feel tempted to fall for the old “hair of the dog” trick – you are simply delaying the appearance of symptoms. And drinking in the morning is a risky habit to fall into.

  1. Focus on food

Getting food into your stomach will soak up the rest of the alcohol and help you feel more stable and awake. Wondering what food helps a hangover? Here are our top picks for tasty food to cure a hangover.

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The best food for a hangover

A lot of your symptoms can be explained by a lack of fluids and sugar, hence your blood sugar needs replenishing.

Some people opt for a greasy fry up or take away when they are hungover because the body is craving salt, sugar, and carbohydrates, but we’ve got some much nicer hangover food ideas you can try that will get your vitals back to normal.

Hangover food ideas

  1. Toast

Eating a slice of toast may be all you have the stomach for the next morning. but putting a thin layer of your favourite fruit preserve on top can give you a good kick to get your sugar levels back to normal. Have this alongside a cooling glass of freshly squeezed juice for added vitamins and more hydration!

  1. Vegetable broth

A thin, watery broth packed full of vegetables can help to both rehydrate you and feel less groggy, because of all the vitamins packed into the veggies. Have this alongside some tasty flatbread crackers and sweet chutney to help you feel back to normal. 

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3. A nutritious breakfast

A breakfast containing lots of nutrients like zinc and vitamin B is likely to help your nutrition levels even out. And it will also give you enough energy to go about your day.

A balanced meal of eggs, dairy and some meat should help somewhat, and throwing in a luxury mince pie will help you get back into a jolly festive mood (after the painkillers have kicked in of course)!

4. Coffee or tea

Caffeine definitely doesn’t have any special anti-hangover properties, but it has proven over the years to help drag us out of our beds even on the slowest of days.

It can act as a great stimulant to get us moving, especially when accompanied by one of these other foods. You could even treat yourself to a more decadent hungover cup of coffee from our hot beverages range.

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Treat your discomfort with a hangover hamper

If you know that you’re going to be indulging heavily over the Christmas period, or recognise ahead of time that your friends or colleagues will be taking it too far at the annual Christmas party, purchase a yummy Christmas food hamper. You (or they) can dig into it the next day to feel a little better – what a trusty hangover cure!

Discover more from Cartwright & Butler

You can read our blog for more fun Christmas tips and tricks, like how to decorate a Christmas cake and the best non-alcoholic Christmas drinks to make for your friends who are simply sick of being hungover…