Quick Tips on How to Get Rid of Hangover Quickly!

September 10, 2014 at 11:49 AM

This post provides a detailed overview of hangover and suggests some tips on how to deal with it quickly and efficiently. Read on to find out what to do before and after drinking alcohol and how to decrease the risk of bad hangover headaches and stomach aches.

What is Hangover?

Ever had the feeling of wanting to throw up after drinking alcohol or alcoholic beverages? Other times your head might hurt more than ever and you might feel dizzy. If that’s the case then you might be suffering from episodes of hangover. The medical term used for hangover is veisalgia. Hangover is a feeling of psychological and physiological illness after drinking alcoholic drinks.

But what causes hangovers in the first place? Well, nothing can be said with absolute certainty about these inauspicious episodes. Several reasons have been proposed as the cause of hangovers but researchers believe that acetaldehyde from alcohol is the basic culprit behind these hurtful episodes. When you drink alcohol, it reaches your liver and is broken down into acetaldehyde.

Alcohol is quite toxic on its own but to make the situation worse, the levels of acetaldehyde rise after drinking alcohol, which is 10 to 30 times more toxic as compared to plain ethanol. A liver enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, is responsible for this reaction. But it is interesting to see that everyone doesn’t get episodes of hangover. This is perhaps due to the variation in the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase. In people who are more prone to get sick after drinking alcohol, alcohol dehydrogenase is usually hyperactive, which in turn depends on certain mutation in genes.

But the cascade doesn’t end here. Once acetaldehyde is formed, it opens up the blood vessels in body and this when the alcohol flush appears. Ethanol in alcohol doesn’t stop here and keeps on bringing harms to the body in other ways as well. For instance, ethanol makes your kidneys secrete more water, a process called dieresis. The ultimate effect of dieresis is dehydration. Dehydration, in turn, produces other symptoms of hangover like dry mouth, black outs, dizziness and imbalance of vital electrolytes.

An important side effect of drinking alcohol is its ability to cause hypoglycemia. How it causes hypoglycemia is uncertain but once the concentration of glucose in the blood falls, it causes symptoms like lethargy, fatigue, difficulty in thinking and anxiety. Another important side effect of alcohol is its ability to trigger immune response. Once immune response is triggered, it can increase the quantity of several mediators of inflammation like cytokines and interleukins.

These mediators then can cause symptoms like anxiety, lethargy, headache and nausea. You might raise a very valid question here that why don’t all people who drink alcohol develop such symptoms?

Your question is excellent and here are some reasons why some people are more prone to develop these episodes as compared to others:

  • The most important risk factor for this condition is genetic predisposition. As mentioned before, people with certain mutations in their genes forming alcohol dehydrogenase are more likely to have hangover episodes.
  • Another important factor is the age. As a person ages, his chances to get an episode of hangover increase substantially. This most probably happens because of the decrease in the level of alcohol dehydrogenase with increasing age.
  • Difference of sex also matters. Females are more prone to develop this condition as compared to men.
  • Cigarette smokers are at the highest risk of developing these episodes.

What are the Symptoms of Hangover?

The next logical question would be that how hangover presents?

For those of you who don’t know the classical symptoms of a hangover episode, here are some of the most important symptoms of hangover:

  • The nervous system is perhaps the first body system that gets affected by alcohol hangover. The person feels dizzy and headache sometimes becomes excruciating. In addition, there are episodes of impaired cognition and capacity to make decisions. In other conditions, the person might become overtly anxious and may become hyperactive.
  • Second important system of the body that gets affected by alcohol excess is the gastrointestinal system. Nausea and vomiting is sometimes relentless. Stomach ache and diarrhea may follow.
  • Dehydration is the indirect side effect that follows vomiting and diarrhea. It usually accentuates headache, dizziness and leads to muscle tremors and increased fatigability.
  • Another classical presentation of hangover is alcohol flush, which is due to increased production of mediators of inflammation and increase in the blood level of acetaldehyde.
  • Miscellaneous symptoms of hangover include increased sweating, a generalized feeling of being unwell (malaise), not wanting to eat anything and generalized weakness.
  • The heart rate may also increase and person may complain of palpitations.
  • One complain, which usually doesn’t produce much inconvenience, is blood shot eyes.

How to get rid of Hangover Naturally - a step by step guide!

Now that you know what hangover is and what the symptoms are; we now move on to discuss about several ways to get rid of hangover naturally. These tips will help you get rid of the hangover quickly. Moreover, we’ve also compiled a number of ways through which you can prevent this condition even from developing in the first place.

So, here are the tips and tricks to keep the head straight after you party hard.

Before and During the Party!

Here are some tips for you to avoid hangover before or during drinking alcohol.

Drink lots of water

If you want to get rid of hangover quickly then you need to make friends of water. Drink lots of water before going to a party. This will make sure that the alcohol you drink gets diluted properly. Moreover, this will also keep you hydrated and will fight against the dehydrating action of alcohol. Don’t stop drinking water even while partying. Alternate a glass of alcohol with a glass of water. This will dilute the alcohol enough that it no longer remains harmful.

Eat something with fat

Eating something greasy before taking shots is a good trick to escape this irritating condition. Fat basically lines the lumen of your intestine. This way the alcohol you drink never gets absorbed in enough amount to bring any harmful effect. So, don’t forget to grab some pizza, hamburger or a sausage before going into a party.

Choose alcohol wisely

Choosing the alcohol wisely can cut short half your problems. Drinking alcohol is not a great thing but everyone has to party once in a while, right? So choose the right type of alcohol. Choose the kinds with lesser proportion of ethanol in it. Also choose clearer versions (vodka for instance) instead of colored varieties (rum) as these varieties might contain a lot of additives and might cause headache and dizziness.

Treating the Morning after Effects!

You’ve been partying hard all night and by the time you came back home you were so drunk to think or feel anything. Waking up the next morning is the most difficult thing as hangover mostly develops after you wake up in the morning. By the morning you would have a heavy and dizzy head and your stomach would surely be upset by now.

The relentless nausea and vomiting would just add fuel to the fire. Instead of freaking out, sit down a minute, take a deep breath and follow the tips mentioned below.

Take some aspirin or acetaminophen

The first thing that you should take care of is the headache that you’re having. You want that pain in your head to go away before you can think straight. Just take few tablets of aspirin or acetaminophen. These tablets might not make the pain go away straight away but results will surely come after some hours. This is the simplest way on how to get rid of hangover headache.

Replenish your mineral and water needs

The dehydration is your basic enemy here. Moreover, too much alcohol has made the electrolytes out of proportion. So the best thing you can do is keep drinking water. Also take few sport drinks as they are very rich in electrolytes. Once the electrolyte balance is back in order and water levels are normal, most of the side effects of hangover will go away automatically. Tea or coffee may help you get rid of headache some other time but drinking these beverages in your current state will do more harm than good. It’s because coffee and tea has got potent dehydrating effect. This will exacerbate your headache and nausea. Drink plain water, plant or vegetable juices and sport drinks instead.

Eat a burnt toast

If you’re looking for a simple life hack on how to get rid of hangover quickly then this is the best thing you can do. This may sound a little weird to you but this is based on authentic science. Ever heard of charcoal? If not then it is something that is mostly carbon and has excellent tendency to absorb toxins and gases. Burnt toast is mostly charcoal and once you eat it; it goes inside your intestine and sequesters most of the alcohol and doesn’t let it get absorbed.

Don’t skip your breakfast

Alcohol hampers the process of glucose generation in your body and most of the hangover symptoms are either triggered or at least aggravated by hypoglycemia following alcohol consumption. So eat something even if you’re feeling nauseate or are vomiting. If you don’t eat something, you’re simply accentuating hypoglycemia. This is certainly going to make the symptoms worse. So eat a breakfast especially rich in carbohydrates. Bread, cereal, fruit juices, jam etc. would be a good choice.

Try something from your kitchen

You don’t have to rush to a pharmacy to find things that can help you with your hangover condition. Look around you and you’ll find plenty of things that can help you get rid of hangover side effects. Ginger is one such thing. Just take out ginger from your refrigerator and chop a piece and peel off its skin. All you’ve to do is chew this piece. Alternatively you can make an herbal tea by adding these pieces into plain water and heating it for a few minutes. Strain this liquid and add honey in it to enhance the taste. Ginger ameliorates almost all the side effects of hangover. First, ginger has proven to have excellent pain relieving qualities.

So it will make your headache go away. Second, it is an excellent herbal remedy for nausea and vomiting. Pregnant women are usually suggested to chew ginger or to have a ginger tea to keep pregnancy associated nausea and vomiting in control. Chewing ginger can do the same trick for you too. Third, ginger helps in stabilizing blood sugar level. This can help with hypoglycemia, one of the main culprits of hangover.

Fry some eggs

You can also add some fried eggs and bacons in your breakfast. Bacon protein will help you replenish brain neurotransmitters that have been destroyed by alcohol. Moreover, egg is rich in an amino acid called cysteine. Cysteine has been proven to counter the side effects of acetaldehyde, the basic product of alcohol metabolism.

Sleep Tight

One mistake that most people make after having party all night is that they don’t get enough sleep afterwards. They wake up hurriedly and rush to their workplaces. This soon turns into a disaster and they’re neither able to work nor able to concentrate on anything. If you’re experiencing hangover then its best that you take couple of hours off and get some extra sleep. It’s an excellent method that allows your body battle out all the toxins and chemicals on its own without any external aid. This will restore your hormonal and neurotransmitter balance back to normal and your liver will get rid of all the toxins in your hours of sleep.

How to get rid of Hangover Particulars?

It’s not essential that you would experience all the symptoms of hangover. Some people suffer from only one symptom or a couple of symptoms. The guide mentioned above is for full fledge hangover. But now we’ll discuss each symptom of hangover and how to get rid of it in a little more detail.

How to get rid of hangover headache?

Headache is the paramount complaint of most of the hangover sufferers. So knowing how to get rid of hangover headache is certainly very important. Very discussed some points before but here is a complete list of things you can try to get rid of your hangover headache.

  • Hydration is the key here. Go for plant and fruit juices, plain water and sports drinks instead of coffee, tea and colas.
  • A lot of natural remedies can come in handy in such situations. Chewing on ginger is very good. Similarly, chewing licorice can have effects similar to chewing ginger.
  • Another drink that you can make is made from a mixture of apple juice, lemon juice and club soda. For this drink add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice into a glass of apple juice. Now add 12 ounces club soda in this solution and drink this mixture.
  • Eat over the counter medications like aspirin or acetaminophen. But avoid aspirin if your experiencing stomach upset too as it will aggravate stomach upset. Try acetaminophen in such situations.

Girl with hangover headache

How to get rid of hangover stomach ache, nausea and vomiting?

It’s another important complaint of people that party too hard sometimes. Sometimes these symptoms are mild but other times these symptoms are relentless and are source of constant inconveniences. So here are some tips on how to get rid of hangover nausea, vomiting and stomach ache:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Drink fruit and vegetable juices.
  • Drink mint tea. It’s a caffeine free tea that will soothe your stomach and will reduce nausea and vomiting as well. Alternatively you can chew few leaves of mint as such.
  • Ginger tea can also do the same trick for you. It will aid with nausea and will reduce pain as well.
  • Fennel tea can also be very helpful in this regard.
  • Cinnamon tea can also be used. Note that all these teas are herbal and are free of caffeine. So these teas will make your symptoms go away instead of aggravating them.
  • Eating greasy and protein filled food can help. Eat something that has abundant fats, carbs and proteins in them. For instance, bread with fried eggs and fried bacons.
  • Eating a bowel of yogurt can also help with these symptoms.
  • Eat a banana. This will ease your stomach pain and will also help restore your electrolyte balance.
  • A chicken soup can be a blessing in such occasions.

Man vomiting after drinking too much alcohol

How to get rid of hangover alcohol smell?

This is not something that will have bad effects on your health but it is certainly something that is enough to make you embarrassed in front of people- especially if you don’t want to tell others what you’ve been up to last night. So here is a list of natural ways on how to get rid of hangover alcohol smell:

  • Eating charcoal pills may not be the tastiest ways to get rid of hangover alcohol smell but it is certainly the best.
  • Chew on things like ginger, mint or fennels seeds to mask the smell of alcohol. You can also used garlic but it has got a strong smell on its own. But still, its smell is forgivable as compared to alcohol breath.
  • Take a mint flavored gum and keep on chewing it till the smell goes away.
  • Eating greasy foods can also help. These foods work by combining with alcohol and not letting it escape. Eat potato chips, pop corns and other junk food.
  • Take some mint of lemon flavored cough drops and suck on them. This is a way for you to make the smell go away if you don’t like to chew gum.
  • Brush your teeth thoroughly and don’t forget to scrape your tongue.
  • Tooth brushing must be followed by gargling with mouth wash. This method is very effective.
  • Keep mouth sprays with yourself and keep spraying them inside your mouth for immediate effects.
  • Having a good night sleep also helps to make the smell go away.
  • Choose lighter colored versions of alcohol and avoid mixing drinks.

How to get rid of hangover bloodshot eyes?

Like bad smell bloodshot eyes are also an evidence of you partying too hard and needs to be concealed to avoid any embarrassment. It is just a direct side effect of alcohol as alcohol causes the opening up of blood vessels. So here are some quick tips on how to get rid of hangover bloodshot eyes:

  • First thing you need to do is wash your eyes with plain water.
  • Place ice packs on your eyes. The local effect of ice will cause constriction of blood vessels.
  • Don’t throw away the tea bags that you might have used. Place them on your eyes. This remedy is said to help with bloodshot eyes.
  • Cut cucumber into thin slices and place those slices on your eyes.
  • Pour some drops of pure rose water in your eyes. This remedy is very popular for a bunch of eye diseases including red eye.
  • If nothing works, use vascocontrictive eye drops as a last resort. Phenylepherine drops are usually available in the market. These drops cause the constriction of blood vessels in the eyes. This can have immediate effects and tend to last longer.

How to get rid of hangover anxiety?

Feeling bad after drinking too much alcohol is quite natural. You might be very anxious and depressed too. Following is what you can do to get rid of hangover anxiety:

  • Don’t forget to smile. Accepting your actions and trying not to confront your thoughts can help channels the negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Just lie down in a tub of hot water and let your anxiety wash away in the water.
  • Drink refreshing natural drinks and herbal teas. These preparations can help decrease depression and anxiety.
  • Listen to the music you like and do the things you want.
  • Plenty of exercise can also help.
  • Getting good night sleep is a perfect antidote.
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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Physician
Published: September 10, 2014 at 11:49 AM
Next scheduled update: September 10, 2016 at 11:49 AM
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