The morning after a big holiday or birthday is guaranteed to be a rough one if you had a big night and indulged in a shot or three or one of those cute seasonal cocktails that has way more sugar than you’d realized. Hangovers do tend to get worse as you get older because your body simply doesn’t metabolize your alcohol of choice as quickly. The longer the alcohol stays in your body, the more you’ll wish you weren’t in your body the next morning.
That being said, there are many ways to quell the hangover demons, namely the nausea, tiredness and pounding headache. While the most common (and some might argue effective) hangover cure-all is aspirin and coffee, there are plenty of natural, non-stimulant hangover cures that are thought to work.
Please be forewarned, they’re not all scientifically proven. So, if you try one and it doesn’t work, don’t hate the messenger, just reach for your nearest aspirin bottle.
A dirty lemon drink
This is a drink you can make yourself that consists of one part lemon juice, two parts water, a dash of dandelion extract, a dash of ginger and one dose of activated charcoal.
“After a night of drinking, your liver is working overtime to filter the alcohol out of your system,” Dr. Laurie Brodsky, naturopathic doctor (N.D.) and expert for Dirty Lemon, said. “Lemon-infused water and beverages support detoxification by boosting liver function, stimulating digestive juices, alleviating liver inflammation, and promoting tissue regeneration.”
Meanwhile, the activated charcoal absorbs chemicals from the alcohol, which the body recognizes as “poisons.” Be careful of ingesting activated charcoal if you’re on any prescription medications.
According to Brodsky, “Honey possesses anti-intoxication activity, due to its high fructose content, yielding potentially similar results with higher fructose fruits and juices.” Try drizzling some over fruit or yogurt to help lessen the leftover alcohol grossness.
Bananas, dates and leafy greens
While we’re on fruits, you might want to grab some that are packed with potassium to replenish your electrolytes, which are often lost to alcohol’s diuretic effect. Brodsky suggests throwing all three of the above in a yogurt smoothie to start feeling like yourself again.
Listen to music
Recent studies suggest listening to music can soothe a furious headache, like the one you might get post-night-of-drinking. They believe the reason it works so well as a natural remedy is because it distracts the brain from the pain, especially if it’s a type of music the individual really enjoys. So, depending on who you are, it could be Beethoven or Eagles or death metal.
The Japanese have a ton of unconventional hangover cures, but miso soup is probably the easiest one to get in the states. It’s chock-full of good bacteria and enzymes that help the liver digest all the nastiness you took upon yourself to imbibe. It’s basically the chicken soup for the hungover soul.
Ever wonder why people turn to Bloody Marys for brunch after a night of heavy drinking? It might be because our bodies inherently know that tomato juice is the alcohol antidote.
“One Japanese study showed that upon chasing alcohol with tomato juice, blood alcohol levels became three times lower than with water alone,” Brodsky said. So, when you’re drinking a Blood Mary the morning after, it’s not the hair of the dog that’s setting you right, it’s the hair of the tomato. Or rather the stem.