Down "just one more cocktail" when you're already feeling a buzz, and bam—you're saddled with a monstrous headache the next morning (AKA the dreaded hangover). As B. Lee Peterlin, the Director of Headache Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine says, there is no real one-and-done cure for a hangover, though there *are* ways you can help your cause. Below, some expert tips for kicking your hangover as quickly as possible.
You've heard it many times over, but it's so important that we're going to tell you again. Nothing cures a monster of a hangover better than water. Your head-busting headache can be directly linked to the fact that alcohol dehydrates you. So start drinking H20 stat!
Drink some electrolytes.
Yes, you should be gulping down water like your life depends on it (and at that moment, it sure may feel like it). But water isn't the only thing your overindulged body needs. What really helps you to get over a hangover is building up your electrolytes. A great way to do so is by sipping on sports drinks, like Gatorade, which are packed with them. If you're not a fan of sports drinks, try coconut water, which contains similar levels of electrolytes.
Give yourself a caffeine kick.
No matter how much of a challenge leaving your warm and toasty bed may seem, rising to your normal morning routine will help kick that hangover early on. And of course, what morning routine is complete without a cup of joe? Turns out, your early a.m. crutch will play a big part in curing your hangover. Ruggiero says that the caffeine in coffee works to narrow the swollen blood vessels in your head, elevating your pain. In fact, if you're a regular coffee drinker, skipping your morning dosage could actually be detrimental to your hangover-curing cause.
Rehydrate with bouillon broth.
Restore all the salt and potassium you lost while kicking back all those G&Ts with a steaming bowl of bouillon broth, which the National Headache Foundation says is an excellent source of minerals and salts that counter dehydration.
Eat some natural sugars.
Or rather, drink your fruits. Tina Ruggiero, nutritionist and licensed bartender, says that downing a glass of fruit juice when you're nursing a nasty hangover can help speed up the healing process. Ruggiero particularly recommends orange and grapefruit juice, which will get natural sugars back in your body, helping you to feel like yourself again. The National Headache Foundation also recommends tomato juice to help the body process alcohol faster.
Don't believe everything you see.
There's lots of supposed hangover remedies on the market, all promising the same thing: a quick cure for your head. To spot the most effective pill to pop, look out for the ones that promise to do the things you know aid in helping your hangover, Peterlin says. One to try is Blowfish, which is recognized by the FDA and packs aspiring and caffeine (a known hangover helper, as seen above) into one punch.
Go back to bed.
As brutal as it is to hear (especially when your head is pounding with the force of a dozen hammers), the most fool-proof hangover cure is simple: time. And perhaps the best way to dwindle these hours is to spend them unconscious.
Whatever you do, *don't* drink more.
Both Ruggiero and Peterlin agree—a little 'hair of the dog' to help a hangover is a total wives' tale. It may offset the hangover for now, but in the end, it will come roaring back, this time with more dehydration to deal with.
Pump up the potassium.
Everyone knows that bananas are a great source of potassium, and there's a wealth of body benefits that come along with consuming this element. One you might not know, is that potassium is great in aiding a hangover. "Water is good, but something with potassium is better," Ruggiero says. Try a banana or avocado to help.
Prepare in advance.
It's not much help now that you're already crippled with hangover symptoms, but the next time you're ready to throw yourself back in the ring, consider washing your drink of choice down with a greasy meal (yes, you heard right) or a spoonful of honey to prepare your stomach for the hell you're about it to put it through. According to the National Headache Foundation, the greasy food lines the intestines and slows down the alcohol absorption process while the fructose and vitamin b6 in the honey reduce hangover symptoms. Your body thanks you.