Hangover Cures

We know a lot about getting drunk here at GDNF.  Here are our best recommendations for curing or preventing a hangover:

Before Drinking

  1. drinkpourThis is a formula we invented here at GDNF and all of our friends swear by it.  We actually were going to start selling this secret formula but got lazy and went back to drinking.  To your benefit you can buy these ingredients at Amazon for about $0.30 a dose.
    Before your first drink, take one each of the following: 100mg B-6 vitamin, 600mg NAC, and one Liv 52 herbal pill 

    NAC (N-acetylcystine) can bind to acetaldehyde: the toxic, hangover-inducing metabolite of alcohol. When NAC binds acetaldehyde the body can much more easily get rid of it.

    Vitamin B6 – Reduced the number of hangover symptoms by approximately 50% in one study of 17 men and women attended. Fifty percent of participants B6 and 50% received placebo.  A survey instrument of 20 symptoms was used to assess hangover severity. On a scale of 1 to 10, the mean symptom score was 3.2 with B6 and 6.8 with placebo.

    Liv 52
    – Herbal formula which prevents the binding of acetaldehyde to cell proteins in the liver. An independent study showed patients scored on a scale of 1 to 5 a 2.44 on hangover symptoms vs. 3.81 with placebo. More info: http://www.liversupport.com/liv52.htm

  2. Drink water between each drink.  Put a water bottle on your pillow before you go out.  Pound it before you pass out.
  3. Do not drink on an empty stomach! Drinking as little as 2 ounces of alcohol on an empty stomach can lead to very low blood sugar levels.  When you drink alcohol, the body focuses on metabolizing alcohol and getting it eliminated from the body. Therefore, the body focuses less on maintaining proper blood sugar levels.


OK, I forgot to follow your advice above and I have a terrible hangover, now what?

  1. hangoverGo for a 20 minute run, long enough that you are sweating for at least a good 10 minutes.  It sounds terrible but once you start sweating out the toxins you will feel way better.
  2. When you wake up at 5am needing to hit the bathroom, pound as much water as possible.  Bed will be calling you to get back in but the water will make a huge difference when you wake up again.
  3. Take two Alka Seltzer plus cold tablets.  They will ease the queasy stomach and headache.
  4. F@ck it, get hammered all over again.  Make the hangover a tomorrow kind of problem!

Hangover causes courtesy of SABMiller

While the vast majority of people drink responsibly, some do occasionally drink too much. When this happens, the body may react with physical symptoms often referred to as a hangover (also known as veisalgia or ‘alcohol hangover’). A hangover typically begins within several hours of someone stopping drinking, peaking when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) falls to zero and continuing for up to 24 hours.

Hangovers have been with us for centuries but the precise biological factors that cause them are not fully understood. We do, however, know what leads to them – drinking too much – and how to avoid them – responsible consumption.

What’s happening when you have
a hangover?

Since alcohol is absorbed directly through the stomach, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can irritate the stomach lining and cause nausea.
If consumed in excess, alcohol can promote the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Your body may react by vomiting if too much hydrochloric acid builds up in the stomach. Common symptoms of a hangover include headache, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, lack of appetite, thirst and sensitivity to light and noise.

As alcohol is a diuretic, excessive consumption can cause the body to increase the amount of urine it produces. Alcohol also inhibits the production of anti-diuretic hormone, a hormone that keeps the urine concentrated. If you drink too much alcohol, your kidneys may expel water in your urine instead of reabsorbing it into the body, you may urinate more and your body could become dehydrated. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include thirst, weakness, dizziness, headache and lightheadedness – much like those of a hangover. Excess urination also removes necessary salts and potassium from the body. This can result in fatigue and nausea.

Glycogen is the body’s main source of stored energy. Alcohol breaks down glycogen in the liver and expels it from the body in the urine. The resulting lower levels of glycogen can make you feel tired and weak until the body restores its supply.

When the liver breaks down alcohol, it produces a toxic substance called acetaldehyde. In turn, acetaldehyde is broken down by an enzyme called glutathione. When too much alcohol is consumed for the liver to keep up, acetaldehyde can build up in the body until the liver is able to metabolise it. This may leave you with a headache and feeling nauseous.

Excess alcohol can inhibit the production of glutamine, a naturally occurring stimulant in the body. When you stop drinking, the body may react by overproducing glutamine. The increased production of glutamine can stimulate the brain, making for a restless night and contributing to feelings of fatigue and anxiety.

Although some old wives’ tales claim to have a cure for the hangover, it’s drinking water and giving the body plenty of time to heal that will help you feel better. Also, be cautious about reaching for quick relief from aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Each has side effects (e.g., stomach bleeding and possible kidney and liver damage) that can be exacerbated when alcohol is in your system.

Let us know your favorite hangover remedies below!


on “Hangover Cures
10 Comments on “Hangover Cures
  1. I am a boater and most boaters drink! Cause really, why else would you have a floating money pit? So you can sit on it and drink your cares away. What always works for me, even on the throw up in the middle of the night kind of drunk, is Dramamine the next morning. I’ve experimented with different generic brands, but the original Dramamine works the best. It really gets rid of that queasy feeling in your stomach and helps with the splitting headache as well. There’s no way I could have gotten through 4th of July at the marina without it.

  2. When you wake up drink a big bottle water to help with the dry mouth and dehydration, either go to the closest local breakfast joint or do this at home. Have two Bloody Marys and a bottle of beer with a big breakfast burrito (or any breakfast combo with at least three eggs/grits/hash browns/etc.). Take three Ibuprofrens during the meal or at the end (food will help protect stomach irritation). When your done you will feel better but tired, so go back home and take a nap. When you wake up, you will not be 100%, but you’ll feel much better.

  3. When done drinking – McDonalds breakfast burritos (They are magical) + 1 entire gatorade + 3 Ibuprofen + Sleep, Middle of the night if you wake up – 3 more ibuprofen + 1 more gatorade + back to sleep, Next morning -Ibuprofen + Gatorade + Hot Shower + Energy drink + greasy absorbant food (pizza/big mac) – This combination in that order usually works well for me =) I’ve practiced for years to master the art of beating a hangover.

  4. what i usually do is make a badass spicy bloodymary with a piece of bacon and a pickle in it with some of the juice mixed in. also do a heavy pour of the good stuff. Another one i do is i drink 4 Pedialytes. “the kids electrolyte drink” that really does the trick. Vicodin does also and your friendly smokable green plant material.

    • Vicodin is my go-to when I’m hella hung over…it will either A. get rid of the headache, or B. upset your stomach enough for you to yack it all out and soon feel better!

  5. Pepcid Complete or a generic variation of it will do the trick every time! I learned this from a microbiologist and everyone I’ve shared this with now swears by it too. Yes, water and Powerade Zero (no sugar!!) are still essential, but after years of only downing water before passing out, this has prevented hangovers for me even on nights I’ve forgotten my water/Powerade. What it does: antacids neutralize the acid that accumulates in your body from drinking (which causes that massive headache the next day). Pepcid Complete has more than one useful antacid ingredient in it, which is why I prefer it (well, generic version of it) to other options =)

  6. Wouldn’t know, never been hungover. After I’ve had too much whiskey, I
    cook myself a large flank steak pan fried in salted butter. I eat that,
    put on a pair of wet socks, and go to sleep.

  7. My hangover cure that has always worked for me, take 1-2 advil PM and the biggest glass of water you can find before you pass out in bed. You will sleep like a deadman, but when I haven’t thrown up the advil from drinking too much, I always wake up a little sleepy but feeling great.

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