We’ve all been there. All great nights of partying eventually burn out into a groggy mornings of headaches and minor regrets. So you’ve got a hangover, but there are a few effective tricks you can use to help minimize your suffering. Follow these simple rules to conquer the hangover blues and get yourself back in action as quick as possible after a night out.
Rule #1: Rehydrate
Fluids are the number one thing your body needs to recoup after a night of drinking. Water is obviously a great thing to drink, but a sports drink like Gatorade can help restore your energy faster because of the sugar and electrolytes it provides. An even more effective drink to combat your hangover is coconut water, which contains no fat and is low in calories. Coconut water will provide you with natural sugars, magnesium and tons of potassium.
Rule #2: Recharge
Hit the snooze button—you know you want to! Although it’s not always possible to sleep off a hangover, hopefully your worst hangovers occur on a weekend so you have the opportunity to sleep later than usual. Your body needs some extra sleep to recover from the abuse you put it through last night.
Rule #3: Refuel
Once you’ve gotten enough shuteye and liquids, and can start to feel that twinge of hunger returning, it’s time to refuel on food. Many people default to big greasy breakfasts on hangover days, because of the belief that the grease will absorb the alcohol. However, you will recover more quickly if you eat something rich in fiber to get your digestive system working, such as oatmeal. If you still feel like you really need that plate of bacon, at least enjoy your grease with a side of instant oats.
Rule #4: Allow Alka-Seltzer to Assist
Depending on how much you drank the night before, you might not feel like eating anything at all. If you don’t think you can stomach food without taking something to settle your hangover gurgles, I’d recommend a dose of Alka-Seltzer. All Alka-Seltzer varieties contain sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which will help settle any queasiness by neutralizing stomach acid. Plus the aspirin might help ease your pounding head.
Rule #5: Get Moving
Once your body has benefited from a nice, long sleep, it’s time to hop out of bed and get moving again. Exercise serves several functions to speed up hangover recovery; however, you need to have already reached a certain stage of recovery in order to attempt exercise. You need to have gotten enough sleep, fluids, and foods so that you can safely get out of bed, make it to the gym, and really get moving. Sweat out those remaining toxins and get your muscles working, and soon you’ll find your hangover completely diminished.
Rule #6: Dismiss the “hair of the dog that bit you” myth!
One last piece of advice is to disregard the old wives tale that more alcohol is the key to combatting a hangover. It might be tempting to start drinking again the morning after a night out, but the result is often postponing and worsening your hangover for the next day. Follow rules 1 through 5 today, and you won’t need to worry about being hung-over again tomorrow!