There is no definitive cure for a hangover. However, certain drinks may help treat the symptoms. These include water and electrolyte drinks.

Researchers have studied hangovers for decades but have found no conclusive data proving what causes them. Research suggests that biological factors, such as the combination of dehydration, hormonal alterations, dysregulated cytokine pathways, and the toxic effects of alcohol, likely contribute to the issue.

As alcohol is a diuretic, it increases a person’s need to urinate. This is why many people may experience dehydration after drinking alcohol. Therefore, people may want to consider hydrating beverages that might help to reduce the risk and side effects of hangovers.

While drinking certain beverages may help, the only way to prevent a hangover is to avoid drinking alcohol or drink it in moderation.

In this article, we discuss beverages that people may want to consider drinking or avoiding to alleviate hangover symptoms.

A beverage next to a person's bed, which may help with a hangover.Share on Pinterest
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Some older research suggests that dehydration occurs independent to hangovers and markers of dehydration do not necessarily result in a more severe hangover. However, a 2016 study notes that dehydration is a contributing factor to the symptoms of a hangover.

Regardless, no evidence suggests that hydration makes hangovers worse and most information suggests that it is beneficial for the body. Therefore, people wanting to avoid a hangover may want to consider hydrating beverages. Some options include:


Water is the safest and most accessible option for most people. People can try to drink water between alcoholic beverages, before they go to bed, and throughout the day after drinking.

Drinking sufficient amounts of water is vital for good health and can prevent dehydration.

People who do not enjoy plain water can try drinking coconut water, aloe vera water, or adding squash or diluted fruit syrups or juices to their water to provide some flavor.

Electrolyte drinks

Drinking beverages containing electrolytes, such as sports drinks or broths, may help relieve some symptoms of a hangover. Research suggests that electrolyte-rich beverages can help people maintain hydration.


Non-caffeinated teas are primarily water, so they may help a person hydrate. Some research also suggests that certain teas, such as green tea and honey chrysanthemum tea, may help the body process alcohol quicker and prevent damage to the liver.

However, it is also worth noting that some teas contain caffeine, which is a diuretic and may further dehydrate the body.

Fruit, vegetable, herb, vitamin, and mineral drinks

People may find relief from hangover symptoms after drinking certain fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, or other beverages containing herbs, vitamins, and minerals.

A 2018 study found that a beverage containing A. keiskei juice, green grape juice, and pear juice may help to relieve hangover symptoms. A 2017 study also found that some beverages containing ginseng or pear juice could provide relief of some symptoms related to hangovers.

Some evidence also suggests that higher levels of B vitamins and zinc in the diet may reduce hangover severity. Therefore, certain drinks containing these ingredients may help with hangover symptoms.

However, people should try to avoid juices or beverages with excessive sugars, as this may result in dehydration.

Not all drinks are good treatments for hangovers. It is advisable for people to avoid the following beverages:


Alcohol dehydrates the body, so it will make any symptoms of dehydration worse.

Some people may suggest the “hair of the dog” to offer temporary relief, but drinking more alcohol will only prolong the symptoms of a hangover. Regularly using this method also may lead to alcohol use disorder.


Caffeine is a diuretic, so it will further dehydrate the body and may prolong certain symptoms of a hangover. While a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea may help with some symptoms, it is unlikely to provide much relief.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note the potential dangers of mixing alcohol and caffeine. A 2014 study also found that mixing alcohol and caffeine does not prevent a hangover.

Drinks with added sugar

Consuming sugar at high doses, such as that found in sodas and some fruit drinks, can be dehydrating. A 2016 study found that rehydrating with soft drinks increased dehydration and the risk of kidney injuries.

Salty drinks

While drinks with trace amounts of salt can restore electrolytes, very salty drinks, such as high-sodium vegetable juices, Bloody Mary drinks (even without alcohol), and salt water, can pull water out of a person’s cells and cause the kidneys to produce excessive urine.

This can cause dehydration and other possible complications.

Doctors do not fully understand hangovers, but some research suggests the following factors may play a role in hangovers:

  • Type and amount of drink: Some beverages have more congeners than others. These trace compounds may intensify hangovers. Vodka, for example, has almost no congeners, while bourbon has many. According to a 2010 paper, hangover rates are higher when people drink alcohol that contains more congeners. Another group of chemicals, called sulfites, might cause hangovers after drinking wine.
  • Other drugs: Other drugs may intensify the effects of alcohol or change how the body responds to drinking.
  • Overall health: Various health conditions may increase the risk of a hangover. For example, some research shows that hangovers cause inflammation. Diseases that also cause inflammation, such as diabetes, might affect a person’s chances of getting a hangover.
  • Sleep disruption: Some people who drink stay up late doing so. This fatigue may cause a hangover or intensify its effects.
  • Biological factors: Sex, age, and body type may affect how people experience hangovers. Some people may even have a genetic disposition for worse hangovers than others.

Scientists have not found a surefire hangover preventative or cure. However, people can try the following strategies to reduce hangover symptoms:

  • Moderation: Avoiding alcohol or reducing the total amount a person drinks can help prevent a hangover. Heavy drinking may cause more severe hangovers and other side effects. Some research also notes that hangovers become worse when people experience them more often.
  • Eating: Drinking on an empty stomach intensifies the effects of alcohol. Eating certain foods before alcohol consumption may help to slow alcohol absorption in the body.
  • Avoid congeners: Drinks with high congener content, such as whiskey, cognac, and tequila, are more likely to cause a hangover. Vodka, rum, and gin are low-congener drinks and may slightly reduce the risk of a hangover.
  • Rest: Alcohol can affect sleep quality and sleep may help reduce the fatigue and other symptoms of a hangover. A person concerned about a potential hangover can try drinking a big glass of water and then going to bed.

The amount of alcohol that causes a hangover will vary from person to person. It can help to be aware of alcohol guidelines set by the government.

A hangover may result in undesirable symptoms. Currently, there is no surefire method for preventing one other than avoiding alcohol.

However, if people still desire to consume alcohol, maintaining sufficient hydration by drinking beverages such as water may help reduce any hangover symptoms.