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New Year's Day Hangover Detox

How to Cure a New Year's Hangover

by Lynn Baer, M.A., N.C.

Part II of this series is what to do if you failed to obey the suggestions of New Year’s Eve Predetox Part 1. The party’s over and you know you’ve had too much too drink. Throwing up means you have so much poison that your body must rid itself immediately. If you can “hold your liquor” then you are going to have to decide what to do next.

Hangover Prevention: the night of the party


Coffee is a stimulant that can wake you up from a drunken stupor. Unfortunately, it is also a dehydrant and can make the headache of a hang-over worse. There is also the possibility that coffee will keep you from sleeping once you get home and comfy in your own bed. A good night’s sleep is a very important part of the hang-over recovery.


Aspirin is the classic cure for a hang-over in the UK. The trick is to take the aspirin before you go to bed on the night of New Year’s Eve. Aspirin somewhat reduces dehydration by making the blood thinner.

Hangover Cure: the morning after


When you wake up with a hang-over you might look in the medicine cabinet for headache relief. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is hard on the liver under normal circumstances. With the increased stress of alcohol on the liver, Tylenol is a terrible choice for hang over relief. Avoid it like the plague.

Hair of the Dog

For hard-core alcoholics who have a serious alcohol addiction this highly refined sugar must be consumed throughout the day since the body is now acclimated to be operating continuously under duress. Similar to a chain-smoker that on the one hand has a bad smoker’s cough, but on the other hand can’t stop smoking; the true alcoholic is too acclimated to the presence of alcohol in the body to tolerate stopping intake for more than a few hours. Like the smoker who lights right after waking up & smokes in bed before falling asleep; the true alcoholic self-medicates throughout the day. If you find yourself waking up to a cocktail more than once a year, it’s time to seek professional help.


Because alcohol depletes the body of minerals it’s important to take a mineral supplement and eat various foods that are rich in minerals. Eastern Europeans believe that drinking pickle juice (that is very rich in minerals) is an excellent remedy for a hangover.


There is good medical evidence that forcing yourself to exercise after a particularly bad night of drinking helps with the alcohol detox in that exercise induces sweating and sweating helps the body detox. You may respond to this suggestion by saying your head is pounding now so how can you go out and jog. You may also reasonably assume that maybe a wet or dry sauna or a hot bath can accomplish the same thing. Maybe this strategy could work in moderation, except that immersion in sudden high heat lowers blood pressure. Passing out in the tub with a hangover is dangerous and the last thing you need.

Hangover Prevention: next year

Learn from your mistakes

Most importantly, a bad hangover teaches you to learn from your mistake. Your first New Year’s resolution on New Year’s Day might be to never over imbibe again - not in the New Year and especially not on New Year’s Eve. If you make your hang-over a teachable moment, then the experience will have value and your pounding headache and debilitating malaise will not have been in vain.

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