Most of us tend to go a little overboard during the holidays, whether it’s that third helping of ham, or one too many drinks while ringing in the new year with friends. When it’s the latter, the ringing can stay with you as you nurse your New Year’s Day hangover. And while a little “hair of the dog” might be your go-to for a quick-fix, research shows that it’s probably the worst thing you can do to your body. So instead of pouring yourself another drink in hopes of curing that wicked headache, try one of the solutions below to ease into 2016.
While the only true hangover cure is time, if you’re lucky enough to sleep into the afternoon hours, it will do wonders for your aching body, allowing it to gain some strength and rejuvenate itself.
Getting into a sauna and sweating it out may not be the best idea for an already dehydrated body. A hot shower, however, will make you feel more relaxed and ready to deal with the day. A cold shower can also help—it will get the adrenaline pumping and leave you feeling more awake.
There is no single food item that will cure a hangover completely, but loading up on carbs, and especially toast, can help bring your blood sugar levels up, giving you a temporary boost at the least.
Common over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are safe and will alleviate a pounding headache while you get your bearings, but stay away from Tylenol, since acetaminophen can wreak havoc on an already boozy liver.
A short walk outside
A little walk around the block in the sun for a dose of vitamin D is always good—just make sure you stay hydrated and bring a pair of shades with you.
Alcohol is a diuretic and will cause your body to dehydrate. It’s recommended to drink a glass of water with every alcoholic beverage, but since that rule often gets thrown out the window once the party gets going, try to drink as much water as possible the following day to rehydrate yourself.
A caffeinated beverage will boost your energy and mental alertness, but don’t drink too much of it. Like alcohol, coffee is also a diuretic, which can end up making you feel worse. A single cup of good coffee with a glass of water is a good start to recovery.
For the most heinous hangovers, Alka-Seltzers have been known to settle the stomach due the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) contents, which neutralize stomach acid, and may relieve the minor aches and pains, fatigue or drowsiness associated with a hangover.
A virgin caesar
It’s definitely not the vodka in these tasty drinks that will help a hurting body, but its tomato juice can. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and contain glutathione—the substance your body produces to fight toxins that cause the hangover in the first place.