What is the best hangover cure drink? If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’ve woken up feeling rough after a big night out.
We’ve all been there. Waking up and instantly regretting those extra shots you did the night before. You’ve got a headache, you’re dehydrated, and you’re desperate to try anything that’ll help.
While food may not sound appetizing, a hangover drink is a delicious and nutritious way to start your day.
In this article, we’re going to examine the best drinks for a hangover that’ll give you the boost you need. We’ll also give you a few recipes to try along the way.
So, with the introductions out the way, let’s start taking a closer look at the best hangover cure drinks.
What to look for in a hangover cure drink
The science of hangovers is complicated. Dehydration, inflammation, and reduced sleep quality all play a part in your hangover symptoms.
The best hangover cure drink should be able to replenish some of the nutrients lost from drinking too much alcohol, rehydrate and energize you for the day.
It’s important for us to mention that no drink is going actually to “cure” your hangover. That said, if you pick the right ingredients, you may feel slightly better.
Ideally, you need to include ingredients that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your body in dealing with the by-products of alcohol metabolism.
So without further ado, let’s get straight into our top picks.
The best hangover cure drink will be something that is ginger based. Hands down, it beats anything else. And there are a few reasons for it.
Ginger is a research-backed anti-sickness remedy. Several studies have shown that it reduces nausea and settles upset stomachs.(1)
In fact, doctors still recommend ginger as a first-line remedy before medication for morning sickness.
Seeing as nausea and vomiting is one of the worst symptoms of a hangover, ginger always makes it top of our list of best hangover drinks.
You can read more on the benefits in our article about ginger for hangovers.
RECIPE: Ginger lemon and mint drink
This hangover drink combines the goodness of ginger with a little zing from lemon to lift you up in the morning.
-About half a cup of chopped peeled ginger
-10 leaves of fresh mint
-4 cups water (initially boiled)
-1 large lemon, juiced
-Few spoons of sugar – (adjust depending on personal preference)
You’ll first want to blend the chopped ginger before adding it to boiled water. This way, you’ll accelerate the infusion of ginger into your drink. You can then pass the mix through a sieve before chilling.
Afterward, just add the mint, squeezed lemon, and sugar for your perfect ginger hangover drink.
Water + Rehydration salts
There’s no way a list of best hangover cure drinks can be made without the inclusion of water. Dehydration is a big part of hangovers because alcohol is a diuretic. That means, it makes your kidneys flush out water. You can find out more about this in our article on why alcohol causes dehydration.
That’s why making sure you get enough fluids in the morning is key. Plain water is great, but you can supercharge it into a true hangover cure drink by adding rehydration salts.
They contain minerals and electrolytes that facilitate speedy rehydration.
You can find these in any health store or pharmacy. That means you’ll need to be prepared for your night of drinking to make sure you have some at home.
In addition, taking rehydration salts before the dehydrating damage from alcohol happens is even better. By this we mean taking your rehydration salts after your night out and not waiting until the morning.
Need something to help you bounce back after drinking?*
Green juices are all the rage nowadays. There’s no official recipe, but common ingredients include celery, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, wheatgrass, cucumber, parsley, and mint.
Given that green juice tends to taste bitter, most recipes add small quantities of fruit — which may or may not be green — to sweeten it and improve its overall palatability. Popular fruit options include apples, berries, kiwi, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.
So why is a supergreen juice a good hangover drink?
Well, it’s packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which will support your body recover. In fact, it may be better to have your green juice before a hangover. By that we mean after your night out.
The reason is, the nutrients in your supergreens drink are much more likely to be beneficial while alcohol and the toxic by-products being produced are still circulating in your system. Although not completely useless, it’s probably a better hangover prevention drink than “cure” drink.
RECIPE: Kale, cucumber and ginger juice
You can even add ginger to your recipe to boost your green juice
1 bunch curly kale roughly chopped
half lime peeled and quartered
1 inch ginger peeled
1 large cucumber
2 large granny smith apples cored and sliced
4 whole celery stalks
Simply add the lot in a blender and whizz away.
Well, this hangover drink needs no introduction. If you know you know.
Fresh orange juice squeezed with a few ice cubes is another favourite hangover cure drink of ours. It’s packed with vitamin C, tastes amazing and is cool and refreshing.
You can see our in-depth review of orange juice for hangovers for more information.
The less said the better. You don’t need anything fancy for this hangover drink. Just fresh oranges cooled in a fridge. If not, just add a few ice cubes once your squeezed the juices in a glass.
Prickly pear juice
What is prickly pear juice!?
It’s the juice from the fruit of a cactus plant.
The reason why it makes in our list of best hangover drinks is that studies have shown that it reduces hangover symptoms.(2)
Taken before drinking alcohol, the study showed that most people reported less severe hangovers. And the researchers think that’s to do with the fact it’s full of polyphenols.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that have the ability to reduce inflammation.
RECIPE: Prickly pear juice
Prickly pear drink recipes are a little trickier. It’s the hangover drink that you’ll need to prepare for before going out. Some stores will have prickly pear juice ready-made which you can buy
Lemon water means different things to different people. For some, it means slicing a few pieces and dropping it in a jug of water. For others it means squeezing a whole lemon into water.
Citrus fruits, like lemons, are some of the most nutritious you’ll find on the fruit stand, making them the perfect addition to any hangover cure drink.
With that said, if you’re just slicing a few pieces and adding it to a jug of water, it’s mainly the of lemon you’ll get. Rather than any benefit from the nutrients in lemon itself.
Nevertheless, it’s a good drink to have when hungover, even if it makes plain water more palatable
RECIPE: Homemade lemonade (i.e lemon with soda water and sugar)
The tastiest way to have lemon water is to essentially make a lemonade.
-5 Fresh lemons squeezed
-125g granulated sugar
-1 ltr soda
You can’t go wrong!
This hangover drink contains more than meets the eye. Coconut water is packed full of vitamins and minerals that will rehydrate and replenish depleted reserves.
With that said, if you’re buying coconut water from the label, make sure to check the label to see what the actual coconut water content is and how much sugar has been added.
While coconut water is not a hangover “cure”, it may be a more palatable drink to have in the morning.
RECIPE: Coconut and Lemon thirst quencher
Coconut water is another drink that doesn’t need a recipe. It’s a hangover drink you can drink straight from your fridge if you have some.
If you want to jazz things up a bit, try this coconut lemon thirst quencher.
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1½ cup coconut water
½ cup water
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp grated ginger root
As you can see, this hangover cure drink contains a little bit of all the good things you need to pick you up in the morning. Check out our article on coconut water for hangovers for more information on its benefits.
In 2013, a research group from China tested various drinks to see if any would speed up or slow down alcohol metabolism. Interestingly, they found that a drink that’s similar to sprite sped up alcohol metabolism.(3)
This was picked up by the media and several outlets hailed sprite as the next hangover cure drink. But before we all get excited, it’s important to mention that the test was carried out in a lab in test tubes and not tested in humans. Also, speeding up alcohol metabolism doesn’t necessarily mean hangover symptoms are improved.
Nevertheless, we’ve given it an honorary mention in our list of hangover cure drinks because of the media attention to clear a few things up. We discuss it in detail in our article about sprite for hangovers.
Anything else to consider?
Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle. Trying to treat it with a hangover cure drink is the wrong approach.
The best way to “cure” a hangover is by preventing it from happening in the first place. That means, drinking less alcohol, at a slower pace, keeping well hydrated, and eating before going out.
Darker colored drinks also make hangovers more severe. It’s because they contain higher concentrations of congeners which studies have shown intensify hangover symptoms. That’s why sticking to lighter colored drinks may also help.
Hangover cure drinks – Final words
That brings us to the end of our look into the best hangover cure drinks.
We’ve walked you through the most nutritious and hydrating drinks you’ll need to help you recover.
With that said, it’s important for us to reiterate that a true hangover “cure” drink doesn’t exist. Ultimately, hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol, and drinking less is the only solution.
If you’re interested in this topic, check out our article on hangover supplements which can also help recovery.