Dealing with a hangover

Identify what causes a hangover and the best way to prevent one in the future.

Hangovers vary from person to person, but usually involve a headache, nausea, tiredness and dehydration.

Dehydration is one of the main causes of your hangover symptoms.

A hangover can leave you struggling to concentrate, feeling irritable and sensitive to light – not a good combination if you were planning to make the most of the day and not spend it in bed.

What causes a hangover?

The main cause is ethanol – the alcohol in your drinks. It's a toxic chemical that works in the body as a diuretic, which means it makes you pee more and you can become dehydrated as a result. Dehydration is one of the main causes of your hangover symptoms.

Ever wondered why alcohol makes you pee more?

What can you do to prevent another hangover?

• Keep track of what you're drinking and stay within the government`s lower risk guidelines. Our MyDrinkware drink tracking tool can help you keep track.

• Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. Food helps slow down the rate your body absorbs alcohol.

• Try not to get into rounds. They make it harder to control how much you drink.

• Drink plenty of water or soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks to avoid dehydration.

• Your body takes about one hour to process each unit of alcohol. Consider stopping drinking well before the end of the evening, so the process can begin before you go to bed.

• Drink plenty of water before hitting the sack and keep more by the bed.

How can you treat the symptoms of a hangover?

• As well as water, drink fresh juice to give yourself a vitamin boost. If you really need it, take a painkiller and an antacid to settle your stomach. Try a rehydration treatment sachet – they replace lost minerals and salt.

• Eat something - bananas and kiwis are a good source of potassium (a mineral you lose when you drink because of the diuretic effect of alcohol).

• Avoid hair of the dog - it only delays the problem. Take a break from alcohol.

Need help cutting down? Check out some tips

Are you drinking too much?

Find out how many units you are drinking

Compare your drinking to the government's lower risk guidelines.

Try our Unit Calculator

Take a drinking self assessment

Answer these simple questions and find out what kind of a relationship you have with alcohol.

Assess your drinking

How to cut down

We have many tips and strategies for cutting down at home or when out and about.

Tips on how to cut down

Page updated: October 2014