Best Ways to Cure a Hangover

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Drinking is fun, there’s no getting around it. But a hangover can leave you feeling gnarly and nauseous, as well as cause you to waste a whole day recovering.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to! If you’re smart about what kinds of beverages you consume and how you go about downing a few, you can dodge the hangover bullet. These simple “biohacks” are definitely some of the best ways to cure a hangover.

Choosing the Right Alcohol

The first step to avoid a hangover is to choose alcohol that won’t make you feel terrible the next day. There are many types of alcohol, and depending on what you choose, you could be setting yourself up for a wicked hangover.

  • Typically, clear alcohols such as vodka, gin and tequila are the safest and most hangover-proof, as long as you drink them in moderation.
  • White wines, red wines and beer tend to have the most toxins and will send you on your way to hangover city.
  • Mix yourself “clean drinks” that have fewer toxins and low-sugar mixers. Try a NorCal Margarita — two shots of high-quality tequila, club soda, and lots of lime (lime limits your glycemic response).

Dave_Asprey.jpegIn order from best to worstVodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, other distilled spirits, dry cider, dry champagne, dry white wine,white wines, red wines, dessert wines, beer. Tragically, beer has the most toxins of any common alcoholic beverage.
-Dave Asprey, Bulletproof Executive

Asprey put together a killer infographic diagramming alcohol types from best to worst. Check it out:

Courtesy of Bulletproof Executive

Grab a Snack

One of the best remedies for hangover symptoms is an end-of-the-night snack.

Try to avoid the temptation of a fatty, greasy meal normally associated with post-drink cravings. A few crackers or some lean proteins or veggies will help your stomach soak up the toxins before they head into other parts of your body.

Load Up on Vitamin C

When you drink, your body wants to change the alcohol into a metabolite called aldehyde, which makes you feel bad (and causes wrinkles and other types of aging). Loading up on vitamin C can help expel the aldehyde before it takes it’s toll on your body.

As the body processes alcohol, acetaldehyde is the very first byproduct, and it’s estimated to be between 10 and 30 times as toxic as alcohol itself.

-Joseph Stromberg for Smithsonian Magazine

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Make sure to drink something other than booze throughout the night. Slip a glass of water in between every drink you have.

Your body will suck water from wherever it can in order to dilute the alcohol, and if you aren’t hydrated it will pull it from your tissues, which can lead to a massive morning headache.

Eat Some Charcoal

Sounds crazy right? But it’s not. These biohacking supplements help your body process the alcohol like a champ:

  • N-acetyl cysteine & alpha lipoic acid: these will help your body make glutathione, which is what stops aldehyde from being produced (see above).
  • Activated charcoal: the carbon in this supplement binds to the toxins you have consumed and helps your body process and remove them more quickly.
  • Excessive alcohol inhibits vasopressin release (the hormone that regulates water retention). Dietary potassium can counteract this effect, so eat foods high in potassium before drinking (avocados are an excellent source).

Teaspoon of Sea Salt

If you’ve followed the above steps, after all’s said and done, you should feel okay in the morning. But if you’re still feeling rotten, try taking a teaspoon of sea salt mixed in a large glass of lukewarm water.

This will help your adrenal glands maintain your sodium levels and will take some stress off of the organs that have been struggling to process the alcohol all night.

One More Thing…

(You know we have to say this) Please remember that drinking excessively is never a good thing: it inhibits muscle recovery, slows down your immunity, and will inevitably take a toll on your longevity.

Drink responsibly! (And take your charcoal!)

Further reading:
  • Get more in-depth with Dave Asprey’s full report here.
  • Ready for some heavy lifting? Check out all the science behind biohacking hangovers from Steve Fowkes’ paper in Smart Drug News.

Sources: Bulletproof Executive, Quantified Science, News.comAlternetMislav Marohnic @Flickr