A hangover is Nature's way of reminding you that alcohol is not good for your body. Having said that, there are some substances that will reduce the damage or lessen the discomfort.
1. WaterIt isn't so much the alcohol that causes a hangover as some of the chemicals the alcohol is metabolized into, such as acetaldehyde. It takes water to detoxify alcohol, so the more water you drink the less dehydrated you will become and the less severe or longlasting the hangover will be.
Aspirin brings pain relief and reduces inflammation of irritated tissues, which helps address one of the causes of the pain. Powders work most quickly, but buffered aspirin may cause less stomach upset.
B vitamins are needed to help the body cope with stress, including physical stress from exposure to ethanol, its metabolites, methanol (found in red wine and cognac), and sulfites (used to preserve many beverages).
Cysteine is an amino acid that directly counteracts the negative effects of acetaldehyde. Cysteine is the primary component of the chemical glutathione, which is quickly used up in the detoxification process. Eggs are rich in cysteine, so there may be some benefit to the 'raw egg' remedy.
Detoxifying alcohol and its metabolites leaves free radicals floating around in the body. Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant, so having enough available will help minimize tissue damage and hangover discomfort. Alcohol also depresses the immune system, so consider taking vitamin C to help ward off the cold or flu after drinking.
Fruit juice or an electrolyte sports drink (e.g., Gatorade) may be even better than water at rehydrating your body and replacing lost minerals. The carbohydrates (sugar) will help restore normal blood sugar levels. Blood sugar tends to drop in response to alcohol, leaving the drinker hypoglycemic.
7. Bouillon BrothA soup made from bouillon replaces water, electrolytes, and also some nutrients. It may help settle your stomach, too! If you can handle a soup with meat and veggies, the extra nutrients can give you a boost.