Are There Cures for Hangovers?

Hangovers from alcohol best avoided with plenty of water and moderate drinking

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) After the last drops of New Year's Eve champagne have been drunk, some revelers may be in a less-than-happy mood when they wake up with a hangover. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure for hangovers — it's really just about not drinking too much and staying hydrated.

Hangover “cures” have been a popular topic online this year, ranging from expensive treatments to pills. However, doctors say the simple truth is that there is no cure.

So-called hangover cures simply replenish fluids and vitamins in most cases, and a better option is to drink plenty of water to avoid pain the next morning, experts say.

"There are no medications that you can take for a hangover," said Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, according to Reuters. "And we’re not putting any money into it.”

In fact, one study published in the BMJ said the only way to dodge those painful headaches the day after is to drink in moderation or not at all.

Another study published in the Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology journal suggested drinking fruit juice because the fructose — a type of sugar found in fruit — could lessen hangover symptoms.

And past research has suggested that eating bread or other foods heavy in carbohydrates could level out the low blood sugar tied to hangovers. This could ease the headache and other symptoms.

Following up that night of drinking with a morning of drinking non-alcoholic beverages might help, too. New research published in Food & Function suggested that drinking Sprite or certain herbal infusions might help by reducing the amount of time a hangover-causing chemical called acetaldehyde stays in the body.

Of course, the simplest option is likely just not drinking or drinking in moderation.


Review Date: 
December 31, 2014
Last Updated:
March 10, 2015