Trying To Beat A Hangover? Learn About the Best Over-the-Counter Cures

For those of us that have experienced a hangover in our lives, we know that they aren’t pleasant. From anywhere from 24-72 hours, we find ourselves wearing sunglasses indoors and asking if there’s a way to make it end.

Well, even though there’s no cut-and-dry cure for a hangover, there are ways to effectively relieve the symptoms. Some can even perk you up quickly enough so you can go back to your daily routine. So if you only have time to take a pill and walk out the door for work in the morning, what should you take?


What Happens To Your Body When You Have A Hangover?

When you have a hangover, it means that your body needs to get rid of the toxins that are in alcohol. How hungover you’ll be depends on how much you drink the night before, how often you drink, your age and weight, etc.

Some common symptoms of a hangover may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble focusing
  • Dehydration
  • Inflammation
  • Digestive issues
  • Feeling “off”

Nobody wants these symptoms when they have a whole day ahead of them. So when we get hangovers, we ask around or go on the internet to figure out how to get rid of them. And, unfortunately, the results aren’t always accurate.


The Myths of Managing Hangovers

There are many so-called “cures” to a hangover floating around, but many of them don’t really fix the problem. Here are some examples:

  1. Hair of the Dog. You might have heard people say that having a drink the morning after a night out will prevent/cure a hangover. While this is a popular strategy and may make you feel better for about an hour, you will probably end up feeling worse later.
  2. Coffee/Caffeine. Caffeine may mask your drowsiness for a little while. But once it wears off, your symptoms will come right back.
  3. Medicine While Drinking. The theory that taking pain relievers before going to sleep isn’t true. If you’re drunk while taking ibuprofen then go to bed, it won’t have any effect in the morning.
  4. Greasy Foods. Of course, eating greasy food while hungover feels great in the moment. But soon after, your digestive system might not respond well.


Can Pills Cure Hangovers?

In short, it depends on the pill. Some can reduce hangover-induced headaches and muscle pains, but should not be taken if you have stomach issues or nausea. Others can cause more serious complications; so before taking any sort of pain reliever, talk to your doctor first.


Ibuprofen: The Best Pill for Hangovers

Many over-the-counter pills can help relieve the symptoms of a hangover. But one of them, Ibuprofen, has the quickest benefits with mild side effects. The primary Ibuprofen brand that you can find over-the-counter is Motrin or something similar.

Some other pain reliever brands that people commonly take for hangovers include:

  • Aleve
  • Excedrin
  • Advil
  • Tylenol (not recommended)

And of course, pills aren’t the only thing that can help relieve the side effects of a hangover.


Other Hangover Remedies

Be sure to get lots of sleep if you have a hangover. This might require a personal day from work, but you will feel more refreshed after a day of rest. Continue to drink fluids, especially water and sports drinks.


Preventing Future Hangovers

The most obvious way to prevent a hangover is to drink in moderation. However, we all like to have a night out sometimes and might not be able to guarantee that. If you have a few too many drinks, be sure to drink lots of water and pace yourself.

To learn more about the science of hangover and alcohol consumption, contact our team of substance abuse professionals by visiting us here or calling 267.209.7312.