Hangovers can be rough. A throbbing head, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, aches, and more are all signs of having too much the night before. Hangovers are bad enough on their own. They’re even worse if you have something that needs doing the next morning – like work. While you can’t instantly cure a hangover, choosing the best drinks for hangovers can make a major difference.
Drinks matter because a night on the town will often leave you dehydrated. Getting more water into your system is essential for feeling good again.
Water isn’t all you need either. Many of the drinks that we’re featuring here have other advantages. Some are high in key electrolytes too. Those electrolytes help to improve your electrolyte balance and get your body back on track.
If these drinks aren’t enough, you could also check out our list of hangover foods. These get some goodness into you and help your body recover much faster.
Table of Contents
Drinks For Hangovers
- Infused Water
- Orange Juice
- Coconut Water
- Tomato Juice
- Pickle Juice
- Sports Drinks
- Specialty Hydration Products
- Green Tea
- Any Type Of Tea
- Bone Broth
- Miso Soup
- Fruit Or Veggie Juice
- Hair of the Dog
Dehydration is one of the main factors behind your hangover and being dehydrated isn’t a good thing anyway. You need to get water back into your body fast. Drinking water on its own is the easiest way to do this.
You may need more water than you expect, especially if you ended up throwing up the night before. Drinking an 8-ounce glass of water for each shot that you took is a good rule of thumb.
Be sure to listen to your body too. It should be easy to tell when you need more water and when you’ve had enough. Too much water isn’t likely to do serious harm, but having a lot of water on an empty stomach when you’re feeling nauseous could be a bad plan.
You could also try warming your water slightly to make it easier to drink. Or, if you get stuck, add some flavor to it.
Infused water is a simple way to make your water taste better. This can make it easier to drink the amount of water you need to.
Infused water is simple to make. You just need to cut up the fruits, veggies, and herbs you want, stick them into water and leave the combination to sit for at least a few hours. Doing so in a water jug would give you multiple servings of infused water. Or, you can use a water bottle, which provides a convenient on-the-go solution.
The biggest problem is that infused water takes time. It’s best to start infusing before you go out, rather than after you come home. Still, this is an easy enough habit to get into. You might find yourself enjoying infused water during the day too.
You could also try lemon water. Here you’re adding lemon juice into your water, rather than doing an infusion. There’s no planning required, so lemon water is ideal if prepping infused water sounds like too much work.
Lemon water is often promoted for its potential health benefits. It’s thought to increase your energy and help you to detox. Most claims haven’t been proven and honestly, you’re not getting that much lemon juice per serving. Still, the extra flavor in your water could be reason enough to try the drink for yourself.
Orange juice is vibrant and a fantastic source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps with your immune system and various other parts of your body. These features could improve your hangover symptoms too.
The sugar in orange juice also has some advantages, as alcohol can lead to low blood sugar levels. Having a sugary drink is an easy way to boost your blood sugar levels and make you feel better. And, despite common assumptions, sometimes you do need to increase rather than decrease your blood sugar levels.
To get the most benefits, focus on fresh orange juice. While orange juice from the store isn’t bad per se, the fresh stuff is always better. After all, fresh orange juice is less processed and doesn’t contain additives. It tends to be a little tarter than packaged orange juice, which can’t be a bad thing.
Like water, coconut water is an easy way to rehydrate. It also contains important electrolytes, which is good news for your electrolyte balance. Coconut water has an interesting flavor too. This can make it more appealing than water on its own.
In fact, coconut water is sometimes seen as a natural sports drink. The water does have some of the same properties, but coconut water is less processed than a sports drink.
While coconut water is low in calories, it isn’t normally sugar-free. This isn't a bad thing, as some sugar can help with a hangover too.
Of course, coconut water is only helpful if you enjoy it to begin with. If you're one of the many who can't stand coconut water, then give this one a miss. You can get similar hydration from other drinks too.
Tomato juice has a few advantages, starting with the fact that it is savory rather than sweet. The savory nature could be ideal if you’re someone who doesn’t like sweet food or drink in the morning.
The juice has been linked to improved liver function too. This could help your body process alcohol and is an excellent antidote to the revels of the night before.
There are also plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present too. These are all important for health. They might help with your hangover too.
You could take this idea one step further and make a virgin bloody Mary (i.e., a bloody Mary without the alcohol). This gives you extra nutrients from the other ingredients, like lemon juice, celery, and olives. Besides, virgin or not, a bloody Mary just tastes better than straight tomato juice.
Pickle juice might not be the most appealing option in the morning, but it is a decent source of electrolytes. These can help your body to get back in balance in a way that water on its own simply will not.
Still, only go with this hangover remedy if you're confident that you can handle it. If you're a little queasy, that pickle juice could easily come back up again. That’s not fun at all.
Coffee is an interesting choice for a hangover.
For many people, having some coffee after a hard night is essential. If you have a coffee habit anyway, then skipping your coffee when you're hungover will probably make you feel worse.
The caffeine in coffee has some advantages too. It dilates blood vessels, can make you more alert, and energizes you. Those are all attractive outcomes when you're hungover.
Don’t worry about the so-called dehydrating effect of coffee. While it’s true that coffee acts as a slight diuretic, that effect isn’t strong. Coffee also contains a decent amount of water. In the end, you gain much more water than you lose with coffee.
Sports drinks like Gatorade are designed to help athletes rehydrate. They’re often chock full of electrolytes, sugar, additives, and coloring – although some more natural options do exist.
The combo of sugar, electrolytes, and water makes sports drinks an obvious choice for a hangover. You get an energy boost too, which is always useful.
You will still get similar benefits from some of the items featured earlier in this list, like coconut water, so sports drinks aren’t the be-all-end-all. They’re best when you want something easy or when you struggle to drink water on its own.
Specialty Hydration Products
You can also find specialty products for rehydration, like Pedialyte. These have similar advantages to sports drinks, but they can have different formulations.
One example is Pedialyte, which is mostly designed to help children rehydrate. This focus means that Pedialyte contains less sugar than Gatorade. It’s lower in calories too. It also contains higher amounts of sodium and potassium than Gatorade, which could make it a better choice.
Pedilate has even become popular as a way to fight hangovers, which is why many adults are now using the product, rather than just kids.
Still, more electrolytes aren’t always essential. If your electrolytes aren’t out of balance, then you’ll get just as much hydration from water as from any of these products.
Coke isn’t a common hangover aid, but some people find that it does help to make them feel better. That effect may be linked to the caffeine, which is energizing. The sugar could help your body kick into gear a bit faster.
How well coke works for you may depend on your relationship with the drink. If you love coke anyway and drink it regularly, then it could be just what you need. But, if you don’t enjoy coke or find it too sweet, it isn’t likely to help with your hangover.
Sprite is another type of soda to consider. It doesn’t contain the caffeine that you find in coke, but it is refreshing.
There’s also a theory that Sprite can help your body to turn acetaldehyde into acetate faster. This effect could directly help your hangover symptoms.
Besides, soda mightn’t be the healthiest drink, but it does still provide some water. While you’ll get more hydrated by focusing on water instead, you’re still getting somewhere with Sprite or another type of soda.
All tea is good for you and green tea tops the list. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and can lead to many health benefits. It could even decrease disease risk and extend your life.
Green tea is also caffeine-free and easy-to-prepare. Those features are all appealing when you’re dealing with a hangover.
And, of course, tea is basically just flavored water. This makes it fantastic for hydration. So there’s no need to feel guilty if you find tea easier to drink than water.
Any Type Of Tea
While green tea might be the standout choice for your health, any type of tea will offer you similar benefits. All teas have some antioxidant properties, along with plenty of water.
There are also countless options out there, including traditional teas, herbal teas, and flower-based teas. Then there are the products that combine multiple ingredients into a single tea blend, giving you a broader flavor profile.
Some teas contain ingredients that might help with your hangover more directly. For example, ginger can be found in ginger tea and various tea blends, and is fantastic for settling your stomach.
While bone broth is a type of soup, it tends to be a thin and watery one that you can easily drink. It’s also a good choice for hydration, while giving you a decent amount of electrolytes too.
You’ll also get more nutrients in bone broth than in many other hangover drinks.
Plus, bone broth is often promoted as a way to boost health. You get some nutrients from the bones that you mightn’t get in other foods, so it’s worth a shot.
Like bone broth, miso soup is warming and you can easily drink it. Miso soup has a more intense flavor of the two and it won’t be to everyone’s taste. Still, if you enjoy miso soup, then it is ideal as a hangover cure.
The soup has another advantage too – it’s fermented. The fermentation means that the soup provides you with probiotics. These can improve your gut health. That effect could easily help with your hangover and certainly won’t hurt.
Smoothies are a fast way to get nutrients into your body. You can pack them full of healthy ingredients, including superfoods, fruits, nuts, and more. You’ll end up with a decent amount of sugar, along with many electrolytes and vital nutrients.
If you include some protein-based ingredients, then a smoothie can be filling too. This can be valuable on mornings where you need something in your stomach, but don’t feel like you can handle actual food.
There are countless variations on flavors and ingredients, so feel free to be creative. You could start by thinking about what you’re craving. Your cravings are often a sure sign of what your body needs.
Fruit Or Veggie Juice
We’ve already mentioned a few types of juice, but you can really choose whatever type of fruit or vegetable juice you like. Each option will have its own benefits.
You could get creative with this idea, especially if you have a juicer. For example, beet pineapple juice gives you plenty of vitamin C and flavor, along with some powerful compounds from the beets. The drink is also much more appealing than beet juice on its own.
Why not look online for some juice recipes? Some might even be targeted at hangover relief.
Hair of the Dog
Hair of the dog simply means that you’re having another drink in the morning, perhaps a bloody Mary or a corpse reviver. Doing so is meant to make your hangover easier, mostly because the come down is slower.
Of course, you’re really just delaying the inevitable. You’re still going to hit the hangover sooner or later.
And honestly, the idea of keeping drinking isn’t good for your job, social life, or your body. It’s much better to let the hangover hit and ride it out.
Still, we’re including having another drink on this list because you are taking care of your hangover, even if it’s just for a little while. Doing so much even be helpful if there’s a time where having a hangover would be a serious problem.
Just be sure not to make this hangover ‘cure’ a habit.