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7 Ways to Help Ease a Hangover (According to Science)


We love a good time, but let’s face it: nobody likes a hangover. Who has time for headaches, nausea, and unbearable fatigue the entire next day?

While the only definitive way to avoid a hangover is to skip alcohol, we’ve rounded up 7 science-backed strategies to help ease hangover symptoms whenever one sneaks up on you.

1. Try a B Vitamin Supplement Before Having Some Drinks

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Since alcohol depletes the body’s vitamin stores, a pre-game supplement isn’t a half-bad idea.

A small study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that participants whose food and drinks contained greater amounts of B vitamins and zinc had less severe hangovers.

So, it doesn’t hurt to pop a vitamin B complex before drinking to help with those dreaded hangover symptoms. A complex pill contains B1, B2, folic acid, B6, and the real star, B12, which helps boost energy production and decrease lethargy.

2. Don’t Forget the Water

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You’ve probably heard this a million times—and that’s because it’s true! It’s so easy to forget about drinking water when you’re having a good time, but it’s important to make it a priority.

Here’s the reason: Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes you to pee more frequently, causing dehydration.

If you wake up the morning after drinking with a dry mouth, headache, and insatiable thirst, dehydration is likely to blame!

Your best bet for preventing dehydration (and the effects that come with it) is to drink water before, during, and after you drink alcohol.

Tip: Try to alternate—drink one glass of water after every alcoholic drink you consume, and drink extra before bed.

3. Take it Easy on the Congeners

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You may have heard of ethanol, the main ingredient in alcohol. Ethanol contains varying amounts of congeners that give alcoholic drinks their taste and flavor—and certain drinks contain more than others.

While not the sole cause, research suggests that congeners can increase the severity of hangover symptoms. A rule of thumb to remember: The lighter the drink, the less congeners it contains since it’s not as heavily distilled.

Drinks high in congeners include:

Bourbon whiskey (the biggest culprit)




Drinks low in congeners include:

White wine

Light rum

Light beer



Avoiding the dark stuff as much as possible may help you feel less miserable the day after!

4. Remember to Eat Before Drinking

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If you wait until the drunk munchies hit, it’ll be too late to help prevent a hangover. (And you’re more likely to grab unhealthy foods, too.)

Here’s the deal: When you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, alcohol passes quickly into your small intestine. Food in the stomach helps prevent this, so alcohol is absorbed more slowly.

Drinking on an empty stomach can also increase the effects of alcohol, and you’ll end up drunk much faster than you intend to be.

The best foods to eat before a night of drinking should be a mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. A Registered Dietician from Johns Hopkins University provides some examples to help you out, including:

A burger with sweet potato fries

An egg and cheese sandwich

A tofu bowl with rice and veggies

A bean burrito with cheese and vegetables

Salmon with rice and asparagus

5. Skip the “Hair of the Dog” the Next Day

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The day after drinking, many rely on the “hair of the dog,” or drinking alcohol to help your hangover—but it does more harm than good.

Sure, it may be a temporary fix in helping you feel better, but all it’s doing is masking or delaying your hangover symptoms, Dr. Sarah Shafer, a medical toxicology specialist at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Business Insider.

Basically, you’re delaying the inevitable.

She explains that when your hangover symptoms do return, they could be even more severe. The best thing you can do is avoid alcohol together the day after a bender.

6. Don’t Rely on a Greasy Food Cure

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Contrary to popular belief, greasy food doesn’t actually help cure your hangover. The reason? By that point, the alcohol has already been digested and processed by your body, so there’s nothing left for all that greasy food to absorb. (And it may end up just making you feel worse.)

Your hangover is likely due to dehydration and low blood sugar, so you’ll need to balance it out with protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Keep it simple! For breakfast, try a couple of eggs, whole-wheat toast or bagel with sliced bananas, or an omelet with veggies. And, of course, remember plenty of water. (As much as you can stand!)

If you’re feeling extra nauseous, stick to the BRAT diet—bananas, rice, apples, and toast. These foods can help give you some energy without upsetting your stomach even more.

7. Pace Yourself

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Pacing yourself is key! Your body can only metabolize about one drink per hour. That’s one beer, glass of wine, shot, or mixed drink.

It’s relatively simple: the faster you drink, the drunker you’ll get and the worse you’ll feel the next day. Consuming alcohol at a moderate pace can help prevent a more severe hangover.

Best Mocktails | Hangover-Free and Healthy

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Maybe you’re taking a break from alcohol or looking for cocktail alternatives. Either way, a mocktail can be a delicious and satisfying drink if you want to be alcohol-free!

The mocktails here are made using whole ingredients, natural sweeteners, and often fermented foods and superfoods. They taste like cocktails, but you aren’t left with a dreaded hangover.

Best Mocktails | Hangover-Free and Healthy

6 Health Benefits of Celery Juice & Why I Drink It On An Empty Stomach

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Drinking celery juice is worth the hype! There are many health benefits when you drink celery juice daily and on an empty stomach.

From a nutrition standpoint, a whole celery stalk is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium, iron, and essential amino acids. But it also has many other benefits!

6 Health Benefits of Celery Juice & Why I Drink It On An Empty Stomach

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

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From healthy skin to improved memory, check out the top 14 health benefits of cucumbers!

And if you’re lucky enough to have a load from your garden or farmers market on hand, you’ll definitely want to check out some of our favorite cucumber recipes, too.

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

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