Mardi Gras has a reputation for revelry and debauchery, for good reason. And no matter how good our intentions are going into the festivities, there may be “that night” where we overdo it, ending up “over served” along the way.
And we pay for it the next day with a splitting head, dry mouth, and a queasy stomach.
The only proven way to avoid a hangover is to avoid over-drinking in the first place, but if you did push things too far, here’s our go-to guide to the best and worst of hangover remedies.
Best Bet: Pace yourself, eat before drinking, and stay hydrated.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- Natural diuretic effect that can help combat morning-after fluid retention
- Helps stabilize blood sugar levels that can be shaky after a night of drinking
- 1 or 2 ounces ACV diluted with 6 to 8 ounces water
- A bit of caffeine may help improve headache symptoms
- Try mixing green tea with apple cider vinegar to get the benefits of both.
- Can use flavored green tea – e.g. berry blend or ginger mint green tea
Beet juice + green juice.
- Beet juice helps to increase and improve blood flow and oxygenation throughout our muscle and tissues, which can help us feel better all-around.
- Green juice is rich in compounds that support our body’s natural detoxification processes.
- Beet juice and green juice are alkalizing, helping to neutralize our body’s acidity after drinking.
Add electrolyte-rich fluids
- Hydration is a must. But sugary sports drinks are not.
- Top picks: nuun tablets, mineral water, coconut water, unsweetened vanilla or chocolate almond milk
- Good source of cysteine, an amino acid that helps to break down toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism that contribute to hangovers.
- Great source of protein and fats that can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Alcohol depletes B vitamins; adding a B Complex supplement can help to replenish lost nutrients.
- Supplements with names like PartySmart and HangoverStopper often contain carbon and/or herbs, implying that when taken before, during and/or after drinking, these products will reduce severity of hangover.
- Most of these ingredients have little scientific basis at best.
Prickly pear extract
- One study showed that it may help alleviate hangover symptoms like nausea and dry mouth, but it didn’t seem to prevent other hangover symptoms like headache or dizziness.
- Difficult to find in most stores
HATE IT: Three hangover cures to steer clear of
Acetaminophen – e.g. Excedrin and Tylenol
- Can be toxic to the liver when combined with alcohol.
- Caffeine may help alleviate a headache, but too much can dehydrate us even further, increasing the severity of a hangover.
The hair of the dog.
- Your liver is still processing the toxins left over from last night, so while a day-after cocktail may seem to improve hangover symptoms at first, it forces your liver to deal with even more alcohol.
- Routinely turning to more alcohol to alleviate a hangover is a strong sign of alcohol abuse.
Bottom Line: As much as we may want to believe in a hangover cure-all, there are only two proven remedies: give it time to wear off, and don’t drink so much in the first place.
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