Get some help with our handy 'how to manage a hangover' guide

Headache? Feeling sick? Room spinning is it? Well welcome to hangover land. Good job we are here to help you manage it then isn’t it. If you have over indulged then here is what you can do to minimise the bad effects you are feeling. When you are feeling better why not get clued up with the M.O.C handy hints for drinking so next time (there probably will be a next time despite your cries of never drinking again) you will have some clever strategies to put in place to keep hangovers at bay.

Drink water, drink water, drink water

Drink as much water as you can manage. If you can, try drinking fresh fruit juice to treat your poor body to a vitamin boost. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it removes fluids from the body so drinking too much can cause you to become dehydrated. If you had been clever you would have drunk as much water as possible before you went to sleep. It’s a good idea to keep some water by the bed so you can have a quick drink if you wake up with a raging thirst and help to keep dehydration at bay.

Oh my head hurts

If your headache is unbearable then you can take a painkiller. Remember that your stomach is probably a little bit fragile so a soluble painkiller might be a better option. If you haven’t eaten anything then you might need to have something like a slice of toast before you take any painkillers. Paracetamol based remedies are probably a safer bet as aspirin may further upset your stomach and make you feel sicker or cause you to vomit. As with any medication be careful of the amount you take, always read the directions on the packet.

Sick of feeling sick

Well this is a tricky one, you feel sick, you probably haven’t managed to eat anything yet and you may have actually thrown up. You can take an antacid to settle your stomach but you will need to eat something at some point, no matter how disgusting the idea seems at the time. Eat what you can manage; perhaps something with sugar to beat that trembling feeling, but good healthy snacks will speed up your recovery. Bananas and kiwis are great at replenishing your potassium levels, something you will need as potassium takes a big hit when you are drinking.

I don’t want a nice cup of tea, coffee, or an energy drink

Try and avoid caffeine when you are experiencing a hangover. They may give you a little boost but they are packed full of caffeine which will only dehydrate your poor battered body further. If you are desperate for a hot drink how about a warm fruit squash or a mug of boiled water with a slice of lemon. Mmmmm refreshing.

Hair of the dog? Let’s think sensibly about this one

A hair of the dog that bit you might seem an attractive option and you may be convinced that it’s a scientifically sound strategy to kill a hangover but guess what. It’s not. It’s crazy! Your body is desperately trying to rid itself of alcohol so popping a little bit more in is just going to make you feel even worse even if just for a couple of minutes you feel a bit better. Drinking to delay a hangover is a risky little game and if you find yourself falling into this habit you might want to talk to someone about your drinking as it can often be a warning sign.

Go outside. Go on, get out

Sunlight on your face, the cool breeze in your hair and air that doesn’t smell like a pub toilet, ahh the outside world. Despite every part of you begging to stay on the sofa and not move, a little gentle exercise could do you the world of good. If you can muster up the energy, just a short stroll to the local newsagents and back could sort you out a treat. If you are feeling particularly energetic then any exercise you can manage will speed up your recovery.

Kick back and relax

You are going to need to be kind to your body and mind during a hangover as the poor things have had quite a traumatic experience. It is important to get good night’s sleep (another good reason for avoiding caffeine on a hangover) and to stay calm and restful during the day. You can achieve calm and restful in whatever way suits you, a gentle stroll as recommended above or a nice nap on the sofa, whatever you feel like. It’s best to avoid alcohol for 24 – 48 hours to give your body a fighting chance at recovering. Giving alcohol a miss will also help improve your sleep and will help you remain relaxed as you fight your hangover.

The light at the end of the tunnel

So the hell of your hangover is over and you are starting to contemplate what the weekend plans are, where you are going, who with and maybe what you will be wearing. Whilst planning your next night out spare a thought for your body and what you put it through at your last session and look up our handy hints to avoiding a hangover. Just a few simple tweaks to your night out could mean the difference between the hangover from hell or a pleasant morning after the night before.


  • Drink water, plenty of it
  • Take pain killers if you feel you need them
  • Eat something
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Don’t drink alcohol to delay a hangover, “hair of the dog” style
  • Go for a walk, get some fresh air, exercise
  • Relax and rest up.

Read up on how to avoid hangovers

Got the hangover heebie jeebies? Feeling anxious, stressed or emotional because of drinking alcohol?

Find out about alcohol and its effect on mental health at Drink Aware

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