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32 Fast-Working Secrets to Prevent and Cure a Hangover & Sober Up ASAP!

You wake up feeling like a herd of elephants are dancing in your head. Bad times. But you can learn how to cure a hangover and get on with your day. 

how to cure a hangover and sober up fast

You could be wasted off your ass right now, trying to figure out how to sober up fast. Look, there’s nothing wrong with partying and getting drunk occasionally, especially if you’re celebrating or just want to de-stress. But drinking to excess has its problems. However, if you want to know how to prevent or cure a hangover, or even sober up fast, you’ve come to the right place.

You’re also an adult, which means loads of responsibilities. The good news is that there are ways you can sober up immediately that don’t result in your job or sanity being affected.

Just be sure that you’re not regularly needing to sober up fast as that would be a pretty strong red flag. [Read: How to prevent a crazy hangover from setting in the first place]

How does the body metabolize alcohol?

When you drink alcohol, your liver kicks into action because it needs to metabolize the alcohol you’re drinking to get it out of your body.

If you enjoy a few drinks, it’s not only about learning how to prevent a hangover or sober up quickly, it’s about knowing what it’s doing to your body. [Read: How to be chill and learn to live a happier life as a result]

Your liver metabolizes the alcohol and breaks it down, but it’s also joined in the process by the brain, stomach, and pancreas, which release substances that aid the final aim.

The problem is, the entire process doesn’t take just five minutes. In fact, it can take quite a while for the alcohol you’ve consumed to disappear from your body completely:

Urine – 12 -25 hours, and sometimes up to 80 hours.

Saliva – Between 2 – 48 hours

Blood – Up to 90 days!

So, now you can see why the next morning and for the hours afterward, you feel pretty rotten. You’re asking your body to do A LOT. [Read: What to talk about when you’re drunk with your date]

Common myths about drinking

Now, nobody is here to chastise you about your enjoyment of a drink or two. Drinking in moderation is fine! But when it becomes too much or you’re kidding yourself about the whole drinking subject, it’s time to take a step back.

There are some pretty common drinking myths out there, including:

1. You can sober up quickly

Look, this feature is going to tell you how to cure a hangover and how to prevent a hangover, but you should know that none of it is going to be instant or guaranteed. Alcohol affects the body in many different ways.

So no, you’re not going to click your fingers and sober up fast. [Read: How to handle your drunk girlfriend on a night out]

2. You can drive safely after a few drinks

No, you cannot! While there is a limit to how much alcohol you can drink before getting behind the wheel of a car, it’s far more sensible to have zero alcohol if you’re planning on driving.

Firstly, you don’t know the alcohol content of what you’re consuming, so you could be over the limit without realizing it. Secondly, alcohol impairs your reactions and when you’re driving, those need to be laser sharp.

3. Drinking is not dangerous

It’s not dangerous if you’re careful and stick to one or two drinks. But beyond that? Yeah, it can be dangerous because it impairs your reactions and judgment. [Read: Girly drinks – 33 best and most common staples every girl’s gotta know]

4. Alcohol is a stimulant

Contrary to popular opinion, it’s actually not. Many alcoholic beverages have extras added in, such as sugar, and those are more likely to be the stimulant ingredient.

Alcohol is actually a depressant, which is why it can often make you feel very down after you’ve drunk too much, and you start to become super-emotional.

5. You can cure a hangover

We’re telling you how to cure a hangover but in reality, you can’t actually ‘cure’ it. You can minimize its impact and help it pass a little easier and faster, but you can’t cure it once it’s there. It’s going to have its bout out one way or the other.

6. Throw up to sober up

Nope! It might make you feel slightly better if the room is spinning and you feel super sick, but it’s not going to help you sober up that much.

Alcohol has already passed into your bloodstream and no amount of throwing up is going to get that out. [Read: How to take care of a sick girlfriend – do it right without losing it]

7. Drink strong coffee to sober up

While it may make you feel a bit more alert, that’s just the caffeine doing its normal thing. Many studies have shown that coffee can just trick a person into feeling a bit more sober, and not that it actually does anything solid to help.

8. Apply a hangover patch

There is no solid evidence to suggest that these hangover patches work.

9. Eating something fatty will cure a hangover

There is a common idea that if you eat something fatty, like a fried breakfast, it will help you to sober up and feel more human.

However, research says that it’s not true and that instead you should eat fast-digesting carbs like crackers, bagels, and toast. [Read: Foodie dates – 15 trendy dinner ideas for new couples]

How to cure a hangover and sober up fast

Do you regret getting drunk? Of course not, you had an amazing time, but now your conscience is kicking in and giving you a small lecture on how bad of an idea it was. Okay, well, you can undrunk yourself to a certain degree.

Here’s how to get through the day that little bit easier.

1. Time cures all

Get as much sleep as you can because time is really the only thing that can sober you up. Even if it’s a short nap you take while on the commute to work, then take it.

Anyone who’s ever been hungover will tell you that sleeping is the best cure for going over the top with alcohol. However, if you cannot rest, below are some other things you can do to speed up the process. [Read: 20 ways to bring back the spark when you’re super bored with life]

2. Hydrate yourself

Alcohol is a very dehydrating thing, so if you really want to know how to sober up fast, we highly suggest hydrating yourself with lots and lots of water.

If you’ve been downing shot after shot without anything in between, well, you’re going to get really wasted.

Alcohol depletes the electrolytes in your body, so you need to make sure that you sustain your electrolyte levels.

It doesn’t matter if you keep having to pee! This is a sacrifice you’ll have to make. [Read: The 35 best manly drinks – what makes them masculine and must-know secrets]

3. Throw up to feel a little better

This isn’t our first suggestion when it comes to knowing how to sober up fast, but for many people, it helps to a degree.

Of course, it doesn’t reduce the alcohol that’s already in your bloodstream, but if you just took five shots in a row and realize that’s a bad idea, throw it up now.

If you’re feeling sick in the morning and only feeling the alcohol now, run to the restroom and throw it all up.

4. Stop drinking

This should be obvious, but if you want to know how to sober up fast, stop drinking immediately. For every one drink you have, it takes approximately one hour *or more depending upon what it is* for it to be processed in your body.

So, if you keep drinking, you’re going to keep adding on the hours until you’ll be sober. If you don’t want to risk your career because of that meeting you have in the morning, then stop taking those tequila shots.

5. Activate your liver

With all the alcohol floating in your body right now, you’re going to need your liver in tip-top shape. So, try taking some milk thistle. It’s a natural herb that detoxifies the liver and keeps it functioning.

This isn’t something a lot of drunk people know about, but trust us, you’ll be thanking us in the long run. [Read: 19 popular alcoholic drinks – how to prepare them to impress anyone]

6. Get a little cardio in

This is a classic when you’re asking how to cure a hangover. If you’re already drunk, you’re probably not going to do a 10k run, and we don’t blame you. But, we suggest you try to go for a walk at least.

Doing a little bit of cardio is the best way to feel better about your intoxication.

Don’t go running intensely when you still have a hangover, but take it lightly. Doing cardio actually helps to increase blood flow to the liver which results in your blood detoxifying faster. [Read: The benefits of exercise on your brain and body]

7. Drink a smoothie to load up on vitamins

Now, you don’t have to swallow a handful of vitamins, but you should at the very least make yourself a smoothie… alcohol-free.

All that alcohol you drank deprived your body of a lot of vitamins and nutrients, which is also why you feel weaker when drunk.

Use ginger, carrots, apples, mint, oranges–fruits high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Now’s not the time to complain. If you want to know how to cure a hangover, drink that smoothie!

8. Carb it up

Carbs slow down the absorption of alcohol in the body and lower the ratio of alcohol in your bloodstream.

In other words, eat that baguette because carbs are good. Carbs are your best friend when drunk! Not to mention, they taste a hundred percent better when intoxicated *we don’t know why either, they just do*.

If you want to sober up fast, this isn’t the time to reject carbs into your body. You’re also going to need all that energy for your meeting or whatever your plans are. [Read: Foodie dates – 15 trendy dinner ideas for new couples]

9. Don’t drink carbonated beverages

Here’s a fun fact: carbonated beverages that contain alcohol actually quicken the absorption of alcohol in your body.

So for those who like using sodas as a chaser for hard liquor, then you’re in real trouble. It’s best to stick to water if you really must use a chaser after your shots.

So, if you’re trying to set a pace for yourself, stay away from anything carbonated such as champagne, mixed drinks with soda, or beer. [Read: What your favorite drink says about you]

10. Take a pain reliever

It’s common to have the worst headache of your life when dealing with a hangover. You’ll need painkillers for this, given that you’re persistent in going to work despite your intoxication.

Drink lots of water as mentioned above, and take a painkiller when your headache becomes too much to bear. It’s not going to cure your hangover completely, but it can aid as a temporary fix just to get you through the day.

11. Get fresh air

We know exactly how tough it is to get out of bed in the morning when you’re drunk, but you need to get that fresh air.

If you really want to know how to sober up fast, get that fresh air and try walking, similar to one of the points above. This change of environment can benefit your sobriety even just a little bit. [Read: Calm your mind – how to get the inside voices out of your head]

12. Making love

We know, we know. You’re probably wondering why this is on this list, but there’s a perfectly logical explanation.

When you make love, endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin enter your body. These are otherwise known as feel-good hormones. [Read: What is dopamine? The dopest pleasure pill inside of you]

13. Try Pedialyte

Instead of washing vitamins down with water, you may want to use something more effective at treating hangovers.

If you’ve never heard of Pedialyte, it’s a drink that is typically made for toddlers. However, it contains many beneficial vitamins and the most important thing: electrolytes.

If you can’t find Pedialyte, the electrolytes in sports drinks will work just as well.

14. Anti-inflammatories

Have some anti-inflammatory drugs waiting next to your bed when you get up in the morning. Alcohol causes a lot of inflammation within your body and that is the cause for the pain you feel.

Reducing inflammation will reduce your hangover drastically. [Read: Sober reasons why drunk sex is never a good idea]

15. Get some vitamin C

While vitamin C isn’t going to magically take away your hangover, it will give you an energy boost and make you feel better. So, drink some orange juice or eat some strawberries.

How to prevent a hangover in the first place

Okay, we know about alcohol absorption and we’ve talked about how to cure a hangover, or at least feel a little better, but prevention is always better than cure, right?

So, how can you prevent a hangover from appearing in the first place? Here are a few tips to help you avoid the agony.

1. Don’t drink

Well, it makes sense, right? If you want to know how to prevent a hangover, just don’t drink in the first place! [Read: Teetotaler dating- how to date when you’re sober and don’t drink]

2. Drink water between each alcoholic beverage

Hangovers are largely caused by dehydration. Your body sucks water out of the cells to help eliminate the toxins *alcohol* from your system. That is why you pee so much when you drink.

If you can avoid dehydration, you are halfway to avoiding a hangover altogether. The easiest way to do this is to simply alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water.

The other option is to have a few drinks to get a buzz, and then switch to water… but that depends on how much self-control you have and how addictive you find alcohol.

On top of this, chug a couple of glasses of pure water before going to bed and have some ready for the morning, as you will wake up a little dehydrated, even if you were drinking water the night before. [Read: How to feel more confident in your body and fall in love with you]

3. Be drink savvy

Knowing how to prevent a hangover is about understanding how to drink properly in the first place.

Cheap alcohol will always give you terrible hangovers. It is less pure and is generally full of crap that your body doesn’t like. This goes for mixers, too.

If you are adding a load of cola on top of alcohol, you are just putting more chemicals in your body that it has to get rid of.

Drink quality alcohol, with minimal mixers or with soda water. Clear alcohol is generally cleaner *and lower in calories* than dark alcohol–but a high-quality whiskey will be better than cheap gin, so choose quality if you can afford it.

Another commonly-given tip is to stick to one type of drink all night. Generally, things do start to get a whole lot worse when you start mixing all sorts of different drinks. [Read: Party hours – what your favorite drink says about you]

4. Drink vegetable juice

How to prevent a hangover? Remember, your poor kidneys and liver have to process the alcohol, which is a poison, and whatever chemicals and sugar are in the mixers you may be drinking. You want to support them in every way possible.

One way is to give them the raw nutrients that they need to work efficiently. This is most easily done with vegetable juice before you start drinking and the following day after your first glass of water.

Greens, along with beets, are the best for packing a nutritional punch full of the specific nutrients your liver uses to detoxify the body. [Read: When a guy buys you a drink at the bar – what he expects and what you must do]

5. Eat a protein-packed or fatty meal before drinking

Call it “lining your stomach” if you like, but having a good meal before you start drinking will definitely help prevent a hangover, or at least a bad one.

It slows the absorption of alcohol, which will keep you from getting blackout drunk and will help with the subsequent hangover.

Protein and fats are best because they are digested and released into the bloodstream slowly. The temptation after you have had a drink will be to eat greasy, carbohydrate-laden junk food–and it is probably better than not eating anything, hangover-wise.

Being prepared and having a proper meal in advance is always a better idea if you want to prevent a hangover from hell. [Read: Cooking as a couple]

6. Take a nap

You don’t sleep very well after drinking. Even if you pass out and are dead to the world for several hours, you are never really in a deep sleep.

Sleep cycles go through different phases: light sleep, deep sleep, and REM *rapid eye movement* sleep. When you consume alcohol, you tend to stay in the light sleep phase and do not make it into the REM cycles, which is where most recovery and regeneration happens. This is why you can wake up still feeling exhausted, even after 6-8 hours of sleep.

Getting up, drinking some water, maybe doing some exercise, or heading to the steam room to detoxify some of the alcohol, and then going back to bed for a power nap will result in better-quality sleep. [Read: Common couple sleeping positions, what they mean and the best ones]

7. Support the liver with supplements

Specifically, milk thistle helps the liver detoxify, and if you cannot get vegetable juice, a greens powder in water will do the job almost as well.

Without the raw materials, the organs cannot do their job properly, so make sure you are giving them what they need. That’s the best way to avoid a hangover as much as possible. [Read: Emotional wellness – the road map to live your life with intention]

8. Take an aspirin and some fiber before drinking

Excessive alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate, and this is why you get a headache when you’re hungover. Taking aspirin before you start drinking will help ward this off and prevent a hangover, as it has the opposite effect and opens the blood vessels instead.

Of course, be sensible and do not make a habit of this–you shouldn’t be drinking to excess often enough for it to become a problem, anyway. Knowing how to prevent a hangover basically means not making a habit of needing to do it!

You can also take a fiber supplement before you start drinking. You will need to eliminate the alcohol from your system. Taking a fiber supplement before drinking ensures you have all of the materials in place, ready to help your body excrete the toxins. [Read: Surefire ways to keep it classy at a party]

Now you know how to sober up fast, get to it!

With these tips, hopefully, we’ve helped you recover from your intoxication and learn how to prevent a hangover in the first place. While drinking certainly is fun and will give you a night to remember, it’s important to learn how to sober up when your career is on the line.

Drinking sensibly will help you enjoy the night and avoid feeling terrible the next morning. While knowing how to cure a hangover can help, remember that no matter what you do, alcohol is going to make you feel a little tired at the very least. Go easy on yourself and rest up until it passes.

[Read: Make the most of your girls’ night out using our fun ideas]

So, what are you waiting for? These are all the ways on how to sober up fast. Use these to your advantage in sobering up right away.


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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...