The Truth About Hangover Cures

Hangover cures range from the sensible (sleep) to the obscure (prickly pear). Dr. Melissa Lem delivers the sober truth about six so-called remedies for the morning after.

truth_about_hangover_cures1.jpg1. Coffee

Coffee will indeed aid with your hangover symptoms but only in the short term. As a stimulant, it will help fight fatigue the morning after and can also reduce the size of blood vessels, which may take the edge off your headache. However, its diuretic effect will eventually leave you more dehydrated than before.

2. Hair of the Dog

Having a drink in the morning might make you think you feel better, but you're simply postponing the inevitable and adding to your liver's toxic workload. So skip the breakfast cocktail if you don't want to feel even worse later.

3. Greasy Breakfast

Contrary to popular belief, there's no research to suggest that a greasy breakfast will do anything to improve your hangover. That said, eggs, specifically, contain large amounts of cysteine, which can help deactivate the bad-news toxin acetaldehyde, a byproduct of alcohol metabolism and one of the primary causes of hangover symptoms.

4. Over-the-Counter Painkillers

Both aspirin and ibuprofen can help alleviate hangover symptoms, but you should avoid acetaminophen post-bender. While your liver is busy handling the alcohol it has trouble processing acetaminophen, which can lead to liver inflammation and potentially permanent damage.

5. Bananas

Bananas contain lots of potassium, which is in short supply the morning after thanks to the diuretic effect of alcohol. Sports drinks also boast plenty of potassium and are worth having on hand.

6. Water

Drinking water both before and after bedtime will definitely help your headache, which is a result of dehydration. Having a glass of water between drinks the night before is also a great way to prevent dehydration in the first place.


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