How To Cure a Hangover in 10 Simple Steps

There Is No Magic Hangover Cure, Just Ways to Ease the Pain

Woman suffering from hangover
Kris Ubach and Quim Roser/Getty Images

Now you've done it, it's official... you have a hangover. Now, what?

No matter what you do, sleep and either water or juice should be included. Your body needs both rest and hydration in order to recover.

There are many folk remedies that are supposed to cure a hangover. Many of them will help you cope by replenishing the vitamins and liquids you lost over night. Others, like avoiding caffeine, are important for making a quicker recovery.

There is no one size fits all cure. The list below is a good place to start and you will need to find what works for you. Sadly, that is going to happen through trial and error.

If you want to get back on your feet ASAP, here are a few hangover 'cures' to try:

#1 - Get Some Sleep

Rest is your best friend at this point because your body needs an opportunity to recover. It is best to simply stay in bed, even an extra hour or two of sleep will help.

If your hangover is really bad you might need to call into work. Of course, we don't recommend being irresponsible -- but that is something you should have thought about last night! Whoever you need to call, you will sound so bad on the phone that they may believe your excuse. (That's assuming they didn't see you at the bar last night -- then this is a very bad idea.)

 #2 - Drink Water or Juice

Replenish your body with fruit or vegetable juice and water.

Alcohol dehydrates the body and right now you need to replenish that water.

One of the easiest restorative drinks is to add a little lemon juice to warm water.

#3 - Avoid Caffeine

A weak cup of coffee may be okay, but an entire pot will only dehydrate you more. This is the opposite of what you want right now.

Even though it is tempting to grab a cup of 'wake up joe,' it is not the best idea.

#4 - Get Some Vitamins

Your body could really use some vitamins right now. The easiest way is to drink orange juice for a healthy dose of Vitamin C.

As an another antidote, a little extra multi B vitamin and drinking a lot of water before going to sleep may help as well. 

#5 - Eat Something

Eat mineral and protein rich food, even if you don't feel like it. Begin with something bland, even a piece of bread or a few pretzels. If that stays down, try something a little heartier.

Your mother gave you chicken noodle soup when you were sick as a kid, right? Try that now. It is packed with protein and minerals and you can always just slurp the broth.

Some swear by fast food and you may want to drag yourself down the street for a greasy burger and fries if you can stomach the thought.

 #6 - Get Some Exercise

It takes willpower to get up and move when even standing seems like a challenge, but there is truth to this for making both the body and the mind feel better.

Even if you don't work up a sweat, the fresh air will do you good.

#7 - Avoid Pain Killers If Possible

The side effects of aspirin, Tylenol, and ibuprofen can be magnified when alcohol is in your system. It is best (even though it may be the first thing you reach for) to avoid them to kill the hangover pain.

This is probably contrary to everything you want to do right now, but for your long-term health, it is good advice. Be cautious when going for the quick relief.

Just like alcohol, aspirin is a blood thinner and it can intensify its effects. Tylenol (or acetaminophen) can cause more damage to your liver and ibuprofen can also cause stomach bleeding.

The Alternative? Tiger Balm: As an alternative to conventional pain relievers, try getting rid of your headache by rubbing tiger balm into your temples.

It can be found in many drug stores and international markets. This little jar is perfect for easing headaches, as well as muscle and joint pains.

#8 - Take a Shower

Once you have gotten as much sleep as possible, take a cool shower. This will not only clean you up a little bit but freshen and wake up your senses.

Some people like to switch between cold and hot water as well. Don't take this to an extreme as the shock could do more damage to your system.

#9 - Alka-Seltzer or Pickles

Try Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief, as the ingredients it contains works better than regular effervescent tablets at soothing the queasy stomach.

In Poland, drinking pickle juice is a common remedy. Here are more Hangover Food suggestions from this region. Also, great things have been said about the 'magical' street food of Poland after a night of drinking. There's a lot of merit to what a vodka-loving culture has to say about it.

#10 - Hair of the Dog

While the popular phrase “hair of the dog that bit you” may sound logical when a shot of whiskey is still in the bottle next to your bed, it will only provide temporary relief.

Try a Bloody Mary instead. While your blood is dealing with the new alcohol it is ignoring the old. In the meantime, the tomato juice and celery are replenishing your body with vitamins.

If you drank the last of the vodka last night, make a Virgin Mary or Bloody Maria or go with the original Bloody Mary base of gin. Any of them will do the trick!

There are more spicy morning-after drink options available:

Yet another classic option (without the spice) are the aptly named Corpse Reviver drinks:

Or...Just Bury Me?

This is obviously not a recommended hangover cure -- but it is a fun bit of trivia that may put a smile on your face this morning!

According to Irish folklore, it was said that the cure for a hangover was to bury the ailing person up to the neck in moist river sand.