Hangovers are the worst—no matter when you get them—but it can’t get more untimely than a wedding hangover. Having to cope with a headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, sweating or any other miserable hangover symptoms on your special day really drags things down, especially when you’re supposed to feel nothing short of amazing in every way. Luckily, there’s an unlimited amount of hangover remedies out there that promise to tackle even the worst symptoms. Hey, if there’s one day to give a few a try, it’s definitely your wedding day so you can focus on enjoying each and every special moment.
Here are all of the wedding hangover cures experts say are worth trying.
The Night Before
Eat a filling meal
Typically, the night before the wedding, the soon-to-be married couple has their rehearsal dinner, which is all the more reason to chow down. Of course, you want to make sure you’re not overdoing it or eating the wrong things at your rehearsal dinner so you don’t feel bloated or sick on your big day. Try to stay away from foods that are fattier and saltier, as they tend to cause bloating due to water retention in our hands, feet, neck and even our face, warns Roger E. Adams, Ph.D., personal trainer, doctor of nutrition and owner of eatrightfitness. Whatever you do, don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach, as doing so will most definitely give you a wedding hangover the following day.
Hydrate while drinking
If you do choose to have a few alcoholic beverages at your rehearsal dinner, or the night before your wedding, balance them with glasses of water in between to avoid a wedding hangover. “Water also works wonders in reducing the effects bloating and painful (hangover headache) of alcohol on your body,” says Dr. Adams. “Having one to three glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage you have allows your liver plenty of time to metabolize the alcohol and will minimize water retention and lessen chances of headaches, which are usually attributed to electrolyte imbalances from too much alcohol.”
On Your Big Day
No, not more booze—we’re talking serious H2O. “You’re body is severely dehydrated after a night of drinking due to excess urine production triggered by alcohol's diuretics effects,” says Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com. “Drink up, focusing on having plenty of water and other hydrating fluids like coconut water (a great source of electrolytes) or herbal tea (especially ginger tea to ease your stomach).”
Have a hearty breakfast
“Alcohol causes low blood sugar, which can lead to fatigue, cravings and irritability,” says Dr. Axe. To get your blood sugar back on track and help remedy a wedding hangover, he suggests eating a balanced breakfast that includes complex carbs, protein and some healthy fat (for example, eggs and avocado on whole grain toast). “Skipping breakfast is not a good idea, since this will leave you feeling further depleted,” he adds. “You can also benefit from having a snack before bed, especially something that includes some protein and quality carbs.”
Snack on potassium
Foods high in potassium, such as bananas, yogurt, avocado, sweet potato and watermelon, may help offset any sodium-induced water retention, according to Dr. Adams. “All of these are high in potassium and will not only help offset sodium-induced water retention, but will also help restore electrolytes in your body so you don’t have that pounding headache from all the champagne at the rehearsal dinner,” he says. He recommends starting the morning of the wedding with a large glass of water and some foods high in vitamin C and potassium, like OJ or other citrus fruits, which will help restore some electrolyte imbalances that may cause hangovers.
Skip the morning mimosa
You may have heard the saying, “bite the dog that bit you,” which suggests that drinking more of what caused your hangover in the first place (aka alcohol), might help stave it off, but this is totally untrue, according to experts. “While it could take the sting out of the hangover’s bite, it is not recommended,” says Caleb Backe, certified personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “Later in the day, the symptoms could come back with a vengeance, and you don’t need that.”
Chug pickle juice
If the thought doesn’t make you feel queasy, give this time-honored remedy a try. “Pickle juice has been used for hundreds of years all over the world as a ‘hangover cure,’” says Sara-Chana Silverstein, Master Herbalist RH (AHG). “When you have a hangover, two of the biggest challenges is dehydration and also an electrolyte imbalance—pickle juice not only hydrates, but the salt helps balance your electrolytes!”
“Ginger is packed with vitamins and minerals making it a great remedy for settling an upset stomach,” says Christopher Calapai, D.O., certified in Family Medicine and Anti-Aging Medicine and based in Long Island, New York. If you can’t get your hands on fresh ginger, a ginger tea or ginger-flavored candy will work well. Dr. Calapai suggests even adding honey if you can, as it contains fructose, which will help the body metabolize and burn off any alcohol still in your system.
There are several homeopathic remedies that may be indicated for a wedding hangover. The most popular remedy by far for overindulging is called Nux Vomica. “This remedy, which can be purchased at most drugstores and health food stores, is best used when a person has simply consumed too much alcohol and has a headache, possibly nausea, with a sensitivity to light, odors and noise,” says Lynn Wagner, Certified Classical Homeopath (CCH, RSHom(NA) DHom(UK). “It can be useful for restoring balance when a person has over-indulged with food also.”
Have some milk thistle
If you’re the organized type and want to prepare a month before your wedding night, Silverstein recommends taking an herb called milk thistle, which comes in capsules, regularly in the months leading up to your wedding. “Milk Thistle supports the liver and gets rid of excess fatty deposits in the liver which can clog it and make it work less effectively at filtering,” she says. “Since the liver is where the alcohol is metabolized after a night of drinking, its best to have the liver in tip-top shape even before you begin drinking.”