Hangover treatment


Here are tips on preventing a hangover:

  • Drink slowly and on a full stomach. Keep in mind that if you are a small person, the effects of alcohol consumption are greater on you than the same amount of alcohol on a larger person.  
  • Drink only in moderation. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that women have no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day. One drink is defined as a 12-ounce bottle of beer; a 4-ounce glass of wine; or a 1 1/2-ounce shot of liquor.  
  • Drink a glass of water in between drinks containing alcohol. This will help you drink less alcohol, and will also decrease the dehydration associated with drinking alcohol.  
  • Of course, hangovers can be prevented altogether if you avoid alcohol completely.

If you have a hangover, consider the following for relief:

  • Consume foods and drinks that contain fructose (such as fruit juice or honey). There is some evidence that fructose will help your body burn the alcohol faster - that is, get the alcohol out of your body faster.  
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.  
  • Eat well, if possible. Bouillon soup is good for replacing salt and potassium depleted by drinking alcohol.  
  • Most hangovers are gone within 24 hours; rest is recommended. Remember, even if you feel good the morning after heavy drinking, your ability to perform at your best will be diminished due to the residual effects of alcohol.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Martin A. Harms, M.D.

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