New Year's Day 2019: Hangover Remedies, How to Cure a Hangover

Good morning, 2019! After a long night celebrating the end of 2018 and ringing in the new year, people around the globe will wake up on January 1 with a throbbing headache, a room that's spinning and tell themselves, "At least the year can only go up from here."

But is there a quick way to get someone out of bed and back on their feet, ready to carpe the diem out of the first day of 2019?

At the risk of crushing the dreams of readers around the world, the honest answer is, no. Unfortunately, when it comes to a hangover that's strong enough to leave a person making empty promises to never drink again, time is the only way out of post-drinking purgatory.

It's not all doom and gloom, though, and as is the case with all darkness, there is a silver lining to the situation. The silver lining being that you only need to endure the misery for eight to 24 hours, as that's when hangovers usually subside.

Dr. Robert Beam, a family medicine specialist at Novant Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in Kernersville, North Carolina, explained to Newsweek that the only way to eliminate the possibility of a hangover is to not drink.

"Abstention is the only way to limit the risk completely, but in reasonable terms that's not going to happen," Beam said. "So, stick to the lighter colored alcohol, stick to water in between drinks of alcohol and consume alcohol on a full stomach."

new year's day hangover cures hangover remedies
A woman sips a drink made from Dewars Scotch whiskey at Bar Convent Brooklyn, an international bar and beverage trade show at the Brooklyn Expo Center on June 12 in Brooklyn, New York. There's no cure for a hangover, but time, rest and hydration are the best ways to help symptoms subside. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Lighter alcohols, such as tequila, vodka and light rum, Beam explained, have fewer congeners, which are known to increase the risk of a hangover. Alternating alcoholic beverages with water can also reduce hangover risks because it helps prevent dehydration and decreases the rate of alcohol consumption.

But if the damage is done and you woke up in bed wondering if you'll ever feel the same or possibly even on the bathroom floor with your head resting on the toilet, there are things you can do to help. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water and ultimately, just wait it out.

"After it occurs, time is the single most important part of the treatment and make sure hydration is adequate," Beam said. "Many of the over-the-counter wonder treatments…none of them have ever been documented to ever make a difference in true quality studies and all of them involve consuming a copious amount of water so the water itself is probably part of the treatment plan."

A Pedialyte on the Rocks

While some can't even fathom hearing the word "drink" while recovering from a long night out, others turn to a glass of ice cold Pedialyte to cure their affliction. Chock full of electrolytes, Pedialyte's website promotes its products as being able to help with dehydration after a couple of cocktails. But if you're expecting a quick fix to your unpleasant state, you may want to think again.

"Certainly nothing wrong with [Pedialyte or Gatorade]," Beam said. "The concept is to help with the dehydration aspect of the hangover and to simultaneously replace electrolytes. There has been little, if any, data supporting any rapid improvement as a result, but they're certainly not harmful to try."

Vomiting

Not the most glamorous part of a social function, but sometimes vomiting is inevitable. Unfortunately, if as your head is in the toilet you're thinking, "A least it'll be over after this," you'll likely be sorely disappointed. Beam explained that vomiting is simply a symptom of the hangover and doesn't actually do much to cure the effects.

Turning the Shower Water From Hot to Cold Really Fast

"A shock to my system, yes! That is all I need to rid myself of this wretched hangover!" I cried as the shower water turned immediately from hot to cold.

If that's a line from your unpublished manuscript titled "Hangover Survivor: An Autobiography," I'm sorry to say, the ending will be a tragic one. All cold water is going to do, according to Beam, is mitigate the redness in your face and even then, the solution will be fleeting.

Hangover IVs

After her wedding reception to celebrate her nuptials to Joe Manganiello, actress Sofia Vergara had an IV truck sent to the location to help guests with their hangovers. Although it could help with hydration, Beam explained that not even a direct line to a person's veins is a magic cure.

Coffee

Generations of drinkers have put their morning-after fate in the hands of a cup of black coffee. As a stimulant, Beam said the caffeine could help in the short term with fatigue and cognition, but added that there were no real studies that have found there's a long-term benefit to coffee with regard to hangovers.

Exercise

Sure, it sounds absolutely insane. Going to the gym as your world spins and your head throbs? But there are people out there who do it. Beam said, however, you can't exercise your hangover away, and if a person was experiencing significant dehydration, it wouldn't be a productive workout.

Hair of the Dog

Searching out a mimosa, bloody mary or perhaps a screwdriver to ease the pain? Unfortunately, just as you can't exercise your hangover away, you can't drink your hangover away, either. Although, one certainly sounds like a more fun cure than the other.

"There's no evidence that the hair of the dog will do anything but delay the ultimate hangover," Beam said.

Ultimately, there is no surefire cure to getting rid of a hangover, aside from allowing nature to take its course. In other disappointing news, there's not a huge rush to develop a cure, either.

Given that hangovers last only eight to 24 hours, Beam said it would be difficult to conduct an accurate study. Time isn't the only factor making finding a cure difficult, either. He cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and explained that it would be hard to measure hangovers since they vary from person to person. Beam added that it would be difficult to separate the physiological effect from the sociological effect, which he described as the guilt that a person feels after drinking too much.

"It becomes very complicated to perform adequate trials to determine the efficacy of a product for curing a hangover," Beam said.

So, it seems, that when it comes to hangovers, the only "cure," so to speak, that the world has to rely on, is to not drink excessive amounts.

New Year's Day 2019: Hangover Remedies, How to Cure a Hangover | U.S.