Sex, charcoal and other tricks to beat a hangover

Beat a hangover with these tips.
Beat a hangover with these tips.
Image: Milkos/123RF

Now that President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted the ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol with immediate effect, some might have found themselves on the wrong side of a hangover, thanks to some overzealous indulging.

The President has, however, pleaded with the nation to drink alcohol responsibly because the fight against COVID-19 is not over.

Even though the fight against COVID-19 is ongoing, the fight against a hangover might be over with some of these remedies.


Eating a greasy breakfast will kick start your recovery because fat contains loads of calories which will increase your energy levels. Eating fried eggs and meat will also be helpful because this food is rich in amino acid which will help clear out toxins.

If you are not comfortable with eating a greasy breakfast, then you can have crackers or toast.  Breakfast is important because it will provide you with the necessary minerals and vitamins to help reduce your symptoms.


Activated charcoal is the darling of holistic health-food fanatics, but it's long been in use in medical environs for counteracting the effects of overdose.

Please don't go foraging in the charred remains of your braai: this sooty black powder is not akin to its combustible counterpart. It's the byproduct of a variety of charred vegetation — coconut, or bamboo, or wood — which is subsequently exposed to chemicals — “activated” — to enhance its porousness.


Your body needs a chance to recover and it’s recommended that you rest, sleeping in for an hour or two can be very helpful. Since alcohol consumption often interferes with sleep, lack of sleep can cause fatigue, irritability and headache. To win the fight against a hangover, try to rest and re-set with some sleep.

4. SEX

If you possibly can, do. Endorphins are the ultimate panacea; and sex is an excellent method of generating them.

The prospect might not be particularly enticing at the height of your hangover: lethargy, nausea and a pervasive sense of self-loathing aren't exactly aphrodisiacs. But sex also has anti-inflammatory benefits, as a flood of congratulatory oxytocin not only augments conjugal euphoria, but also combats the inflammatory immune response to which some experts attribute hangovers.


Drinking alcohol leads to dehydration and it also makes you urinate a lot.  By drinking lots of water, this will help your body become hydrated and alleviate some of the hangover symptoms.  You can also drink coffee because the caffeine will fight against fatigue.  Black tea is also recommended because it contains antioxidants that can help fight hang over symptoms.

This advice is not a cure for a hangover but it will help fight your hangover symptoms which include fatigue, headaches, dizziness, thirst, nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. Prevention is better than dealing with a hangover and we encourage you to drink alcohol responsibly.

This article is adapted from one that appeared in the Sunday Times Lifestyle. Additional reporting by Paula Andropuolos.