Got A Hangover? Try These Natural Cures Next time you party a little too hard, reach for these foods and beverages instead of the aspirin bottle.
Get-togethers bring people together, and sometimes, those people come a-knockin' with bottles of wine, cases of beer, cocktail mixers, or champagne, creating perfect conditions for alcohol overload, and that dreaded next-morning bedmate, the hangover.
But there are ways to enjoy drinks without waking up to the feeling that there's a woodpecker trying to crack its way out of your head. With some careful planning and, of course, sensible drinking, you can enjoy your night out without wrecking your entire next day. Here are effective tactics to prevent a hangover:
Eat The Anti-Hangover Veggie
Eating asparagus before you go out, or while you're drinking, can help prevent or ease a next-day hangover, according to 2009 research out of Korea. Researchers found that extracts taken from the leaves and shoots of asparagus boosted levels of important enzymes that break down alcohol after heavy drinking. A researcher involved in the study said that eating asparagus after drinking could serve as a hangover remedy, too.
Don't Skip Meals
It you're planning on going out, it may seem tempting to skip a meal and allot those calories for cocktails. But drinking on an empty stomach will deplete your blood sugar, leaving you shaky and weak. And starving yourself during the day sets you up to binge on unhealthy foods just as alcohol is weakening your eat-healthy willpower.
Beware Of Bubbles
Anything bubbly, from champagne to rum and coke, will carry alcohol into your bloodstream faster, and your liver won't be able to keep up with it, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies: Quick Fixes, Clever Techniques, and Uncommon Cures to Get You Feeling Better Fast. That's not to say you shouldn't enjoy a glass of champagne, but draining most of the bottle is asking for trouble. Also go easy on cognacs, brandies, and whiskeys—they all contain high levels of congeners (as does that champagne), byproducts of fermentation that tend to make you feel worse the next morning. Red wine contains tyramine, a histamine-like substance that tends to produce tenacious headaches. (Many red wines are also rich in the heart-healthy flavonoid resveratrol, though.)
Of course, drinking less alcohol is the best way to prevent a hangover. And one way to do that, and ensure you stay hydrated, is to order a water in between alcoholic drinks. Then, before you go to sleep that night, drink as much water as you comfortably can. Sipping Gatorade or a similar sports drink before you go to bed and when you wake up can also help your body recover.
Try A Prickly Pear Cactus Preventative
Tulane University researchers discovered that drinkers who took two capsules of prickly pear cactus extract five hours before drinking enjoyed 50 percent fewer hangover symptoms, likely attributable to the extract's compounds that limit inflammation.
If You're Still Hungover...
If you find yourself in bed with a pounding head, try sipping clear broth to replace lost salt, along with Gatorade to replenish potassium. When you can eat, try crackers and honey or bananas, but avoid citrus until you're feeling better.