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April 23, 2019

What are the best ways to recover from a hangover?

Avoid Tylenol and the like after a night of drinking

Illness Hangovers
Hangover Center 04232019 Dominic Milton Trott/via Flickr Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0


Is this scenario familiar? After fun night out with your friends, imbibing too many alcoholic drinks at the bar or club, you wake up with a pounding headache, dry mouth and upset stomach. All you want to do is stay in bed all day, but you know you can’t.

We have all been there one time or another. The morning after can be a real bear, but luckily, there are a few things you can do to bounce back more quickly.

Here are the most effective ways to recover from a hangover gathered from a few top medical experts. (Sources: Harvard Health, Jefferson Health, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mayo Clinic.)


Have you ever wondered why we make more frequent trips to the bathroom when drinking alcohol? According to Harvard Health, alcohol “inhibits the release of vasopressin, a hormone that decreases the volume of urine made by the kidneys.” It's a sign of dehydration.

MORE HEALTH: Pedialyte finally launches product made for treating hangovers

So you have dry mouth and perhaps a dehydration headache – a result of the brain temporarily shrinking from fluid loss and painfully pulling away from the skull.

Before you go to bed, drink a glass of water, and then throughout the next day continue to drink the recommended amount of water.


That pounding headache is probably one of the most unpleasant effects of a hangover. Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen can help relieve the pain so you can get through your day a little easier. Never take an acetaminophen-based pain reliever like Tylenol after drinking or you risk serious damage to your liver.


Stopping for greasy fast food at the end of the night is a common ritual after a night of drinking, but it's not the healthiest remedy for the drop in blood sugar levels that can occur after drinking. The next day try some toast or a bowl of soup instead. Eating healthy carbohydrates will settle your stomach and help with the headache and fatigue without clogging your arteries.


As your body purges all the toxins from a night of heavy drinking, you might also find yourself a little sweaty and shaky. A mild workout can help release more of the toxins so you feel better quicker. Just be sure to stay properly hydrated so you don’t feel worse instead of better.


On top of everything else, alcohol can mess with your sleep-wake cycle so give yourself some time to sleep in the day after a big night out. Keep in mind though that hangovers can take up to 72 hours to recede depending on a myriad of factors, so you need to be patient. Be good to yourself. With the right balance of rest, proper nutrition and exercise, you will be feeling better in no time.

And next time, maybe drink a little less.

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