Expert Reviewed

How to Get Rid of a Hangover

"I will never drink again!" is a common phrase heard after someone wakes up after a night of drinking with a hammering headache and a stomach rolling around like a sneaker in a washing machine. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it removes liquids from the body. It is the resulting dehydration that causes most your horrible hangover symptoms. Unfortunately there are no cast iron hangover cures, but there are various ways that you can treat the symptoms to keep you going until you have recovered.[1]

Method One of Four:
Re-hydrating Yourself

  1. 1
    Drink plenty of water. The dehydration caused by alcohol consumption needs to be tackled if you are to get rid of your hangover. The most straightforward way to re-hydrate yourself is simply by drinking lots of water when you wake up. Drinking bland fluids that are easy on your digestive system will help you replace lost liquid without irritating your stomach.[2]
    • Drinking a pint of water before you go to bed will help to lower your dehydration levels before you wake up. Keep a glass of water next to your bed to drink from in the night.
  2. 2
    Drink an isotonic sports drink. As well as water, an isotonic sports drink can be a very effective way to replace fluids and give you some much-needed energy. These drinks contain carbohydrates that release energy slowly, helping you pick up as the day goes on.[3]
    • Look for drinks that contain electrolytes, which you need to replace when you have become dehydrated.[4]
    • Be wary of sports drinks containing caffeine as these will likely make you more dehydrated.
    • If you feel severely dehydrated, look for an oral rehydration solution. These are specially formulated to treat dehydration, whereas most sports drinks are not.
  3. 3
    Drink fruit juice. Another good thing to drink is fresh fruit juice. The vitamins and minerals will give you a boost.[5] Fruit juices are generally high in fructose, which is sugar that affects your energy as well as the functioning of your liver.
    • Fruit juices are also often high in vitamin C, something which is often lost in your urine when you are drinking.[6]
    • Tomato juice, orange juice, and coconut water are all good choices.[7]
  4. 4
    Drink ginger tea. Drinking ginger tea can help to suppress nausea and vomiting. It is often drunk by pregnant women to help with morning sickness and the same principle applies for a hangover.[8] One option is to boil 10-12 pieces of fresh ginger root in about four cups of water and add the juice of one orange, half a lemon and half cup of honey.
    • This concoction will provide quick relief from the hangover by stabilizing blood glucose levels.
    • A calm tea is probably better than a carbonated ginger ale. Fizzy drinks increase the pressure on your stomach, and could cause you to feel nauseated.[9]
  5. 5
    Sip drinks throughout the day. With all of these drinks, there is no fixed amount that you need to drink, it is more a question of drinking throughout the day. Taking regular sips of water, fruit juice and/or an isotonic sports drink will help you replenish your lost fluids, vitamins and nutrients as the day goes on.[10]
  6. 6
    Avoid caffeinated drinks. Just as you are drinking water and juice to help rehydrate yourself, drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, can make you more dehydrated rather than less. Caffeine also narrows your blood vessels and raises your blood pressure, which can also exaggerate your hangover symptoms.

Method Two of Four:
Eating to Combat your Hangover

  1. 1
    Eat some eggs. Eggs are an excellent thing to eat to combat a hangover. They contain an amino acid called cysteine, which your body will be very happy to receive after a bout of drinking. Cysteine works to break down the toxins that make you feel unwell after drinking. By helping cleanse your body of these leftover toxins, eggs can help you to feel better, rejuvenated, and more energized.[11]
    • Avoid preparing your eggs with too much fat or grease, as this could make you feel nauseated.
  2. 2
    Have a bowl of cereal. If the thought of eggs makes your stomach turn, try a bowl of fortified breakfast cereal. Whole grain cereal is preferable, as it will have more vitamins and nutrients.[12]
  3. 3
    Have bouillon soup to restore vitamins and minerals. A bouillon soup is a thin broth that is based on vegetables. It’s a good source of the vitamins and minerals you need to replenish when you’re hungover. It’s also perfect if you are feeling very fragile and might struggle to keep down solid foods.[13] Bouillon soup can particularly help you to replace salt and potassium.[14]
  4. 4
    Eat food rich in potassium. When you are drinking you will find yourself making regular trips to the bathroom, due to the fact that alcohol’s a diuretic. When you are urinating a lot you will lose more potassium than normal. Lower potassium levels contribute to tiredness, nausea and weak limbs, all symptoms of a hangover. To tackle this eat foods that are good sources of potassium.
    • Two cheap, easy to find examples you might already have in your kitchen are bananas and kiwi fruits.[15]
    • Baked potatoes, leafy greens, mushrooms, and dried apricots are also good sources of potassium.[16]
    • Sports drinks are often good sources of potassium.[17]
  5. 5
    Eat bland foods like toast and crackers. Eating bland foods may be the best option if your stomach is feeling sensitive. The point of eating to tackle a hangover is not to "absorb" the alcohol, but to boost your blood sugar and replenish nutrients.[18]
    • Alcohol prevents your body from maintaining normal blood sugar concentration, and low blood sugar leads to fatigue and weakness, making your body tired.[19].
    • Complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, whole-grain bread) are good choices.

Method Three of Four:
Resting and Recovering

  1. 1
    Go back to bed. Simply put, sleep is the best way to deal with a hangover.[20] The kind of sleep you get after drinking may involve less of the R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) state of sleep which provides proper restoration for your brain, so it’s important to get some more sleep if you can.[21]
    • Sleep deprivation can certainly make the symptoms of a hangover worse.[22]
    • The only real cure for a hangover is time.
  2. 2
    Take a gentle walk. Without exerting yourself too much or risking further dehydration, getting out of the house and taking a walk can help you to feel better when hungover. The rate that alcohol toxins are broken down is increased by your oxygen levels.
    • A brisk walk will help speed the metabolism and clearance of alcohol in your system.[23]
    • If you are really struggling, don’t push yourself but rest and recover.
  3. 3
    Try not to dwell on it. If you are hungover, it can be tempting to wallow in your state of disrepair and refuse to get out of bed or off the couch all day. If you counter this and try to carry on regardless you might find that your symptoms feel diminished. Denial can be a powerful way to try to convince your brain that everything is okay.[24]
  4. 4
    Do a special hangover massage. You can try relieving some of the symptoms of a hangover by massaging special points on your head and hands.
    • Massaging the point in the center of a pit under the occipital protuberance will help you normalize blood pressure.
    • Put some strong pressure on the point between the eyebrows above the bridge of the nose.
    • Gently massage your temples.
    • Squeeze your earlobes with thumb and index fingers.
    • Push the point directly under the nose, above the center of the upper lip, with your index finger.
    • Massage the point in the hole on the chin with vibrating movements.
    • Massage a point in the center of your palm on both hands.
    • Massage cushions of your little fingers: first on your left hand, then on your right hand.

Method Four of Four:
Medicating your Hangover

  1. 1
    Take an over-the-counter painkiller. Your throbbing headache and aching muscles can be tackled with a simple and easily available over the counter painkiller. Check the recommended dosage on the packages, usually two tablets, and take them with a glass of water when you wake up.
    • You can take aspirin-based painkillers or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen), but they may irritate your stomach further and cause nausea.[25]
    • If you have a sensitive stomach or are in any doubt about what painkillers to take, contact your doctor.
    • Do not take acetaminophen! Acetaminophen is processed in your liver, just like alcohol. Tylenol instructions, for instance, specifically say not to mix with alcohol. Doing this can lead to liver failure. (Brands include Tylenol, Paramol, and Anacin).[26] In some countries, acetaminophen is called paracetamol: it is the same medication.[27]
  2. 2
    Take an antacid pill for your stomach. A common symptom of a hangover is a very delicate stomach caused by high stomach acidity levels. If you feel nauseous, consider taking an over-the-counter product that can neutralize stomach acid and tackle feelings of indigestion.[28] As with the painkillers, there is a risk that these tablets could irritate your stomach, so be sure the read the package and take as advised.
    • There are a number of branded antacid pills available to buy.
    • Common antacid ingredients include aluminum hydroxide, magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate, and magnesium trisilicate.[29] These ingredients are found in brands such as Tums, Mylanta, and Maalox.
  3. 3
    Take a multivitamin pill. When you drink alcohol your body will lose a lot of nutrients, including vitamin B12 and folate, that will need to be replenished.[30]If you're feeling really nauseous, you might not be able to keep a multivitamin pill down.
    • As with the other pills, taking a soluble or effervescent pill will mean that it gets into your system faster.[31]
    • Soluble pills are simply those which you dissolve in a glass of water and drink.
    • Effervescent tablets will dissolve in water, but have added carbon dioxide so will fizz up. These effervescent pills can cause nausea.[32]
  4. 4
    Be wary of “miracle cures”. There are some so-called ‘hangover pills’ that claim to include elements that tackle all your hangover symptoms at once. Perhaps try one of these, but be aware that scientific studies have concluded that their effectiveness is at best limited.[33] Nothing truly cures a hangover except time and hydration.[34]
0 / 0

Method 3 Quiz

How can light exercise help you combat your hangover?

Try again! If you're feeling hungover, it's best to keep your exercise low-impact, especially since you don't want to further dehydrate yourself. Pick another answer!

Not exactly! If you have decided to try to walk off your hangover, it's really important you keep yourself as hydrated as possible. Still, you should be doing this regardless of whether you exercise or not. Click on another answer to find the right one...

Nice! Light, low-impact exercise can increase your metabolism so it can clear the alcohol from your system more quickly. Be careful not to overdo it and drink plenty of water, however. Read on for another quiz question.

Nope! Being outside might make you feel better--though consider bringing a pair of sunglasses--but the vitamins your body needs are the ones you eat! Replenish your system with fruit juices and veggies and consider taking a light walk for another reason. Choose another answer!

0 / 0

Method 4 Quiz

Why should you avoid Tylenol when you are hungover?

Not exactly! It's possible that some over-the-counter medications can help your head but hurt your stomach, so listen to your body's cues. Still, there's a much more pressing reason to avoid Tylenol. Try another answer...

Try again! Of course, staying hydrated is the most important element of curing a hangover. Still, avoiding Tylenol won't help you with that. Guess again!

That's right! It's quite dangerous to mix alcohol with medications containing acetaminophen, like Tylenol. Acetaminophen is processed in your liver, just like the alcohol is, and combining the two can lead to liver failure, so it's very important to take a different medication. Read on for another quiz question.

Not quite! Normally, Tylenol is perfectly safe to take if you're suffering from a headache or swelling. Still, there's a specific reaction you can create from combining Tylenol and alcohol that you want to avoid. Your vitamin levels are safe, however. Pick another answer!

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • How do I stop vomiting during a hangover?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Just let it all out. That's the only way to make it stop.
    Thanks! 18 1
  • I've been light headed and dizzy for three days after drinking vodka what can I do about it?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Go to a doctor immediately. Prolonged symptoms can mean alcohol posioning.
    Thanks! 46 8
  • Is puking a lot while drunk normal?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • No. If you are vomiting, that is a sign you have had far too much to drink and your body is trying to release some of the toxins. If you are experiencing vomiting while drinking then you need to cut back. Try taking more time in between drinks to see how drunk you become with each drink, remember that it can take a significant amount of time for your body to metabolize the alcohol in your stomach.
    Thanks! 68 16
  • How do I make someone stop drinking alcohol and using cocaine?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Unfortunately, nobody can make people stop doing drugs/alcohol. For an addict, it's especially hard to quit because there's a physical AND mental component to the behavior. The addict needs to want to quit, and he needs support to quit. The best you can do is encourage him to get help.
    Thanks! 49 11
  • Is ice cream good option for hangover?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You shouldn't eat ice cream because with an upset stomach, dairy products may make it worse.
    Thanks! 62 19
  • What should I do if I keep throwing up the next morning after a night of drinking?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Wait a few hours, then drink Gatorade or juice or water. Be careful about taking medicine because you probably will throw it up and it will taste bad.
    Thanks! 16 3
  • Why do I get so depressed when I drink?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Alcohol is a depressant. For many people a common side effect is to feel down or sad. If any substance causes you unhappiness, it is best advised to cease using said substance.
    Thanks! 116 46
  • Can you eat meat while having a hangover?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • If it doesn't make you nauseous, go ahead.
    Thanks! 8 1
  • Why does cocaine make me happy?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Cocaine stimulates the brain by releasing dopamine. A buildup of dopamine causes a euphoric feeling in the brain.
    Thanks! 72 32
  • Are hangovers permanent?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • They are not permanent. The length and severity may vary depending on your body and how much you drank. Make sure you stay hydrated, and if it is prolonged you may want to check with a doctor to make sure nothing else is going on.
    Thanks! 26 11
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  • Eat well when you have hangover because an empty stomach can make you feel more nauseated.
    1 Helpful?  1
  • To avoid a hangover, drink water between each alcoholic drink and before bed.
    2 Helpful?  0
  • Try a cold shower. It should cool you off, and help with your head and stomach.
    3 Helpful?  0
  • Chicken noodle soup will help you to feel better.
    1 Helpful?  1
  • Drink responsibly and know your limits. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that women have no more than 3 drinks on a single day and no more than 7 drinks per week. Men should have no more than 4 drinks on a single day and no more than 14 drinks per week.[35] "One drink" means one of the following: 12-ounce beer, 8-9 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.[36]
    2 Helpful?  0
  • A study found that hangover symptoms varied by the type of alcohol consumed: (in order of decreasing severity) brandy, red wine, rum, whiskey, white wine, gin, vodka, and pure ethanol.[37]
    2 Helpful?  0
  • Brush your teeth before you go to bed, or at least when you wake up. This helps get rid of the stale alcohol taste in your mouth and reduces the nausea.
    3 Helpful?  0


  • Even without treatment, a hangover should last no more than 24 hours. If you're still feeling bad after that, call a doctor.
    28 Helpful?  8
  • The "hair of the dog" approach, or drinking more alcohol in the morning, only delays your hangover and ultimately will make it worse when it does arrive.
    27 Helpful?  9
  • If you can't remember what happened while you were drinking, if you get hangovers on a regular basis, or if drinking is affecting your work or your relationships, you may have a drinking problem. Talk to someone about getting help.
    30 Helpful?  12
  • Exercise does not make a hangover go away. In fact, it might make the hangover worse by further dehydrating you. If you choose to exercise, drink extra water.
    23 Helpful?  10

Expert Review By:

Doctor of Medicine

This version of How to Get Rid of a Hangover was reviewed by Laura Marusinec, M.D. on January 19, 2017.

8 votes - 95%
Co-authors: 185
Views: 4,868,615

Reader Success Stories

  • A


    Oct 29, 2017

    "Because alcohol is a diuretic, it is best to try and hydrate your body by drinking plenty of water or sports drinks. One shouldn't entirely avoid eating, try to keep something down to boost your energy. It is also okay to take some painkillers."..." more
  • KP

    Keidra Petters

    Jun 17, 2017

    "This is my first hangover ever. I'm 25, and all I want is my mommy and some food. Reading this article and doing these suggestions helped tremendously. I ate eggs and toast and had some orange juice, B12 vitamin and plenty of water."..." more
  • XT

    Xamarie Tulloh

    Jan 14, 2017

    "I took 2 aspirins, drank ginger tea, fresh orange juice and plenty of water. I ate two toasts, a cup of bouillon soup, a few crackers and a banana. I remained in a sitting position. An hour later, the hangover was gone."..." more
  • OR

    Osama Rabadi

    Dec 30, 2016

    "I slept well during the night after drinking. In the morning after, I tried drinking more water than I am used to. Also I took a multi-vitamin pill. I felt really good."..." more
  • MH

    Molly Halliday

    Oct 16, 2016

    "I usually drink coffee after a hangover, but after reading this I stopped. I made eggs on toast with orange juice, and it made me feel better so much quicker!"..." more
  • A


    Jan 5

    "I haven't really tried any of it because I'm still in bed, but it is really helpful for people like me to know what to do or what to avoid."..." more
  • A


    Apr 30, 2017

    "After a night out and twelve beers along with half a bottle of vodka, this page saved me from a day spent groaning on the couch."..." more
  • A


    Sep 17, 2016

    "Info about types of alcohol and hangover severity and also caffeine consumption effects on hangovers was helpful."
  • CS

    Charlotte Smith

    Oct 22, 2017

    "Currently I'm laid in bed regretting last night and came across this sight and it's very useful."
  • A


    Apr 30, 2017

    "Drink lots of water, a sports drink, and eating some eggs with a bit of sausage and cheese."
  • A


    Aug 28, 2016

    "Rehydration was the key to success. I consumed water as often as I felt comfortable doing."
  • A


    Jun 15, 2016

    "Really a good article. It's well-explained, and the pictures make it pleasant to read."
  • AH

    Autumn Hart

    Aug 24, 2016

    "The tip about bouillon soup was what really helped me. Ramen really boosted me up!"
  • A


    Aug 27, 2016

    "This article is great. I'm going to go and start these helpful tips right now! (:"
  • OC

    Odette Chiongbian

    Dec 1, 2017

    "Drinking water before sleeping and upon waking up, and miso soup for breakfast!"
  • A


    Mar 21, 2017

    "So I know what I'm getting myself into and I know the risks before drinking,"
    Rated this article:
  • A


    Jan 28

    "The info will help me help others, as I personally do not drink alcohol."
  • A


    Jul 1, 2016

    "Drinking plenty of water and no caffeine!!! Gatorade helped a lot."
  • CE

    Carlisa Eatman

    Oct 7, 2016

    "Every detail helped me with my significant other's hangover."
  • LB

    Leon Burton

    Dec 25, 2016

    "Just follow instructions on how to drink in moderation."
  • LJ

    Lou Jones

    Aug 20, 2016

    "Drinking water, chicken soup and resting helped."
  • LC

    Luna Cruz

    Jul 30, 2016

    "Drink plenty of fluids and tomato soup helped."
  • PC

    Paula Crawford

    Sep 16, 2016

    "It very helpful, thanks for the advice."
  • S


    Apr 9, 2017

    "Just drink lots of water and Lucozade."
  • A


    Nov 4, 2017

    "Dehydrating was especially helpful."
  • Anikesh Jain

    Apr 25, 2017

    "Stop drinking too much alcohol."
    Rated this article:
  • JS

    Judy Sizani

    Aug 6, 2017

    "Ginger tea and eating oranges."
  • A


    Dec 3, 2016

    "Everything was well said."
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