After a night of partying and drinking, the only thing worse than a hangover is a hangover accompanied by a sore throat. Alcohol can cause throat and mouth dryness. This dryness can result in unpleasant inflammation in the throat and vocal cords after a night of shouting or talking over loud music.
Drinking too much can trigger the functions of your immune system to release chemicals like cytokines. Increased levels of cytokines can affect memory and concentration, causing headaches, nausea, chills, and tiredness.
Here are some common reasons you might experience sore throat after drinking, as well as treatments and ways to avoid it.
What Causes Sore Throat Hangover?
Various possible reasons can lead to a sore throat and hangover. The common cold, bacterial viruses, alcohol intolerance, and dehydration are some factors causing painful throat hangovers.
Moreover, vomiting several times, a weak immune system, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) also contribute to sore throat hangover.
Having gone through common causes of a sore throat hangover, let’s look at how to soothe a sore throat hangover.
Cures for Sore Throat Hangover
Several over-the-counter (OTC) options can help you to soothe a sore throat hangover. You must consult a doctor if these home remedies do not work.
1. Saltwater Rinse
One of the most effective cures for sore throat is saltwater rinse. Usually, a dry mouth can lead to a sore throat, and using mouthwashes in this condition can add to the irritation. A mouthwash already includes alcohol, which Dr. Daniel L. Orr II, professor and head of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of Nevada, claims may further burn your mouth when you have a sore throat. Hence, Saltwater Rinse may offer great help in treating sore throat hangovers.
A saltwater rinse is made by combining warm water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. After 10 to 12 seconds, spit the mixture out of your mouth. Make sure you don’t swallow the saltwater because it can dehydrate you and isn’t good for you to consume.
2. Drinking some Hydrating Beverages
Alcohol’s diuretic nature causes dehydration which leads to scratchiness in the throat. Consuming herbal tea with Honey or water with lemons can help you rehydrate or alleviate any scratchiness in the throat.
Lemon is popular because of its high levels of Vitamin C. As the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests, Vitamin C can prevent and treat acute respiratory infections. Honey has antimicrobial properties. Centers for Disease Control suggests that Honey effectively reduces cough associated with the common cold and flu.
Drinks with high levels of congeners should be avoided. Congeners are fermentation byproducts that have been linked to severe hangover symptoms. High levels of congeners are found in cognac, whiskey, and tequila.
3. Adequate Sleep
Fatigue from sleeplessness can contribute to hangover symptoms. Getting a good night’s sleep before leaving will help you feel refreshed when on your night out. It can impair sleep quality and duration while disrupting your sleep schedule if you stay up too late. Adequate sleep can provide rest and the ability to heal your throat and vocal cords. Good sleep does not necessarily cure sore throat hangovers, but it can help reduce the severity of hangover symptoms.
Even though it’s not the only cause of hangover symptoms, getting too little sleep can increase your fatigue, and you will feel irritability frequently after a hangover.
4. Reduce Smoking
On top of being harmful to teeth, fingernails, and vision, regular smoking can also lead to problems with the throat, especially when accompanied by drinking. A painful and scratchy throat after drinking is a common symptom for habitual smokers and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke on a daily basis. The overconsumption of smoke causes a disproportionate amount of dry and hot air to pass through your throat, peeling off any existing moisture.
Apart from weakening your immune system, dry and hot air affects the line of tissues around the throat, leading to a sore throat and hangover. Moreover, it can worsen if you already have respiratory or neck illnesses, such as Asthma, Tuberculosis, and Pneumonia.
If you are a regular smoker, simply resigning from this habit may bring surprisingly positive results for your sore throat after drinking. Unless cigarette chemicals haven’t damaged the throat tissues beyond the limit already, this step may yield instant results.
5. Foods to Eat
The best cure for a hangover and sore throat is a stomach full of good food. Foods packed with nutrients like blueberries, watermelon, and bananas can help dilute hangover symptoms. However, eating solid food items with a sore throat is normally difficult. Hence, some soft food items such as the following may be helpful:
Yogurt is packed with immune-system-friendly proteins, healthy fats, bacteria, and carbohydrates. All these ingredients can boost your immune system and healing processes. Its creamy, smooth, and easy-to-swallow qualities are effective for sore throat.
Ginger is one of the natural home remedies to help cure nausea, motion sickness, and sore throat hangovers. Ginger’s inflammatory properties can break down alcohol-related chemicals and detoxify your body. It boosts blood circulation and pushes out alcohol using excretion, and helps the body maintain homeostasis.
Turmeric is composed of curcuminoids. Curcuminoids have inflammatory properties, which are known to reduce sore throat. Try using turmeric with hot or slightly warm liquids, as the warmth of the fluid can help dislodge mucus present in the throat.
Throat infections are widespread forms of illness and are relatively common. They tend to be moderate and manageable but can potentially become severe. Sore throat hangovers are generally caused by excessive alcohol consumption or loud yelling over the music. Above mentioned are some home remedies that will help soothe such hangovers.
Moreover, an unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet can also put you at serious risk of such symptoms and diseases. If you keep experiencing digestive unrest, difficulty in swallowing that stops you from eating or drooling, and cannot produce enough saliva, you should consult a specialized doctor for better and permanent treatment.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.