How to get rid of a hangover – now that Dry January is over

Need an emergency hangover cure now that dry January's finished? Here's how to get rid of a hangover as quickly as possible – and how to avoid one

How to get rid of a hangover: Feet poking out of bed
(Image credit: Getty)

Dry January is over, so you probably need to know how to get rid of a hangover. First one in a while, eh? Headache, dry throat, feeling sick? Yeah, you definitely need a hangover cure. 'Get to the point already!' (we hear you shout). Okay, here are our favourite hangover cures – they work fast – and some tips on how to avoid a hangover in the first place.

For more food and drink related stuff, see our recipes page (sorry if the mention of food makes you feel queasy. Oops, we did it again). 

1. Drink plenty of water before you go out. And eat

Alcohol makes you wee more which makes you dehydrated... and while drinking water also makes you wee, it will help you at least start the evening hydrated.

Too obvious? Don't go out with an empty stomach.

2. Drink water while you're out partying

Not just water, obvs. But try to match your alcohol content with your water intake if you can. Might make you rethink that outfit, though, if it's tricky to get on and off for a trip to the loo...

3. Before you go to bed, drink more water

Same principle.

4. Drink water during the night

When you drink loads, you generally don't sleep as well (we'll the team doesn't), so make sure there's a big glass of water on your bedside table for you to sip from during the night.

5. Drink plenty of water when you wake up

We know. It's a lot of water. But you are reading an article on curing hangovers, so...

6. Keep painkillers to hand

We keep a pack of painkillers on the bedside table and crack it open in the night if we wake up with a headache... If you wake up in the morning with a corker of a headache, a couple of painkillers washed down with a fizzy, caffeinated drink (we favour a coke), can often kick the hangover in the butt a little. Expecting it to be a big night? Measure out the correct doses before you go out so you don't take too much or too little.

7. Stomach feeling dodgy?

You might need an antacid to settle your tummy. After that it's good to eat.

8. Eat something

What do you feel like you could manage?

Something sweet will help with the DTs (shakes), but we'd avoid anything too milky if your stomach feels dodgy. Another good option is a thin vegetable or chicken broth. Get one from the supermarket (the walk might do you good). It'll help top up your body's depleted vitamins and minerals and it's easy to digest.

9. Swap water for other drinks

Bored of water? Other drinks, especially sugary or isotonic ones, will help you feel better. We still favour a coke, but follow your tastebuds. Even a herbal tea will refresh you.

10. Do not have a hair of the dog

It's a myth. It won't help. Or it might for a short while, then you'll feel worse again. And possibly much worse. 

11. Get some fresh air

Once you feel ready, go for a walk. You don't have to go far, but the fresh air and the gentle exercise will help.

12. Try eating again

If you can manage something a little more substantial now, have it. We like a good carb load at this point – a bowl of plain pasta, some toast or some rice is good.

13. Go back to bed

Followed the tips above? If you can squeeze in another nap, whether in bed or on the sofa, you'll feel better after you wake up.

14. Awake? Have some caffeine and a shower

You'll feel more refreshed. If you're not a coffee fan, a cup of tea or an energy drink will have a similar effect. 

15. Swear to never do it again

Yeah. Right.

Lucy Searle

Lucy is Global Editor-in-Chief of Homes & Gardens having worked on numerous interiors and property titles. She was founding Editor of Channel 4’s 4Homes magazine, was Associate Editor at Ideal Home, before becoming Editor-in-Chief of in 2018 then moving to Homes & Gardens in 2021. She has also written for Huffington Post, AOL, UKTV, MSN, House Beautiful, Good Homes, and many women’s titles. Find her writing about everything from buying and selling property, self build, DIY, design and consumer issues to gardening.