Essentially no physicians, whether practicing traditional or natural medicine, will ever advocate drinking alcohol to excess. We’ve all seen the occasional scientific study about how an occasional glass or wine or even a beer can offer modest health benefits. But binge drinking, which the CDC defines as consuming four or more drinks on one occasion for women and five or more drinks for men, doesn’t do anybody any good.
Yet sometimes a celebration gets a little out of hand, a circumstance leads you to self-medicate, or peer pressure makes an encore appearance after the adolescent years. If you’ve had a bit too much to drink and are feeling the effects of poor decisions the next morning, many adults are quick to reach for the closest bottle of ibuprofen or aspirin. However, even over-the-counter medications that are presumed safe can irritate an already-sensitive stomach, and long-term use can increase your risk of liver and kidney problems when combined with alcohol. So, for your next bad hangover morning, here are a few natural hangover remedies to try to start feeling like your normal self again.
Lots of Pure Water
It sounds simple, but really the best thing that you can put in your body when you have a hangover is pure water. Water helps flush toxins out of your system, so the more water you drink, the quicker you’ll get over that pounding headache and nauseous feeling.
Coconut water is a great alternative to standard water for hangover sufferers because it contains natural electrolytes. Unlike commercially produced sports drinks that contain way too much sugar, which can actually make hangovers worse, coconut water is rich in calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. Therefore, this tasty drink has the ability to replenish your body with nutrients that the body needs when it has become dehydrated due to too much alcohol.
Ginger is commonly used as a natural seasickness medication, but you don’t have to be sailing the ocean to take advantage of these anti-nausea benefits. If you’re feeling a bit woozy in the morning after last night’s party, eat some raw ginger or mix it into a breakfast recipe to calm down your stomach.
Oatmeal might not sound like the most satisfying breakfast after a night of drinking, but it’s considerably better for your hangover recovery than a big plate of bacon or greasy leftover pizza. That’s because oatmeal is rich in nutrients, it helps to stabilize blood sugar, and it is neutral enough to help settle stomach indigestion.
Bananas are also a great option for breakfast if you wake up with a hangover, because they are packed with potassium. When you drink alcohol, your body loses potassium, so this accessible fruit helps to retain that nutrient balance. Bananas are also a great way to help balance your blood sugar after a night of drinking because they contain a natural mix of both glucose and fructose.
Not only does honey contain fructose to help your body process alcohol, but it is also rich in enzymes, antibacterial properties, and potassium. Add a tablespoon of honey to your oatmeal or make a piece of toast with honey and a sliced banana if you don’t wake up feeling so great.
A Good Nap
If all else fails after trying these healthy and nutrient-rich foods, settle in for a good nap to sleep it off. The body has a way of naturally restoring itself through sleep, so get a little extra rest and see how you feel when you wake up. If things still aren’t back to normal, consider trying a diet and colon cleanse, such as nopal cactus or natural seaweed. These are effective and natural strategies for getting your body feeling back to normal and hopefully thinking twice about causing such a hangover again in the future.