10 HANGOVER CURES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE MORNING
If you woke up this New Year’s Day (or indeed any Saturday or Sunday morning) thinking ‘NEVER AGAIN!’ or “Why did I have that last drink!?” as you struggled to cope with the first stage of your red wine/gin/Jeigermeister (or other alcoholic drink) hangover, then I am with you!
I rarely drink alcohol these days - but last night was New Year’s Eve, and, you know, friends, celebrations and good music all just, happened! You know you shouldn’t, but sometimes a gal just can’t help herself. And then some of us find ourselves in a full *fear-filled, ‘ground-swallow-me-up’ mode the morning after partying a little too heartily the night before. *Thankfully I have never experienced what my chums call ‘The Fear’; for me, a hangover is just about eating and drinking and sleeping my way back to normality – but with the added loss of a day’s productivity.
Anyway, I digress. It’s New Year’s Day, so whether you plan to spend it doing very little or entertaining family and friends, don’t let your hangover ruin your day. Trusted hangover cures are an essential coping mechanism on days like this - we all have our own go-to treatments that we swear by, but which remedies are the best when you have, um, accidently, had one too many and suddenly you find the room is spinning around you? In today’s blog, I have gathered together some of my fave hangover cures from friends, family and fables that will have you up and rearing to go in no time (well, we live in hope!).
DRINK WATER - AND LOTS OF IT!
Rule number one. Any regular readers will know I am a H20 fanatic normally, but when the drink goes in, the wit goes out and so many of us forget to drink up when we need it (water, that is…). A hangover is first and foremost a combination of symptoms of dehydration – as well as your body dealing with toxins – so rehydrating is key.
Personally, I always try and have a glass of water before going out or when I arrive at the restaurant or bar, because I rarely remember the trusted advice to drink a glass between each alcoholic drink. It’s easily said, but can be hard to remember as the night goes on. And it’s just so BORING compared to a jam jar cocktail or a shot at the bar, isn’t it?
But back to the remedies – they say you should have a large glass of water before going to bed as well as keeping water by your bedside for dehydration during the night (does anyone else wake at 3 or 4am with palpitations when they drink red wine? Ok, just me).
A final tip on the subject of water is to drink water that contains extra electrolyte minerals such as potassium, sodium and magnesium. Try coconut water or the River Rock Revive + Relax range is great for hangovers as it contains lots of these electrolytes.
There is a reason bananas are favoured by athletes and that is because they contain potassium, which also makes them a great hangover cure! When you’re at that pesky hungover stage it means your body has already lost a lot of potassium and it is important that it is replenished. If you can, try to eat a banana when you first wake up to provide some much needed relief, if you are feeling too queasy and simply can’t manage any solid foods yet then try a banana smoothie, or even better, if you can eat one as you stumble towards bed it will help kick start the recovery process even quicker.
EXTRA VITAMIN C
Our bodies use Vitamin C to produce energy, help our immune system function properly and also as an antioxidant to neutralise free radicals. When hungover try and eat lots of Vitamin C-rich fruits such as citrus fruits, strawberries, papayas, peppers and kiwis or alternatively, drink some orange juice made from fresh oranges to get rid of your hangover quicker.
You could also add some Vitamin C powder to your water before going out to start the healing process immediately; and if you are feeling a little on the rough side the next day - take a Vitamin C tablet every two to three hours to help your body replenish quicker. One good friend swears by a glass of water with Dioralyte and a Berocca dissolved into it before bed. I’ve tried that and it does seem to work well it has to be said.
EAT PROTEIN AND FAT BEFORE YOU DRINK
Before you head out for a night on the tiles (or a night in, as the case may be) try and eat a meal that is rich in protein and healthy fats, as these are broken down more slowly than carbohydrates or sugars and stay in the stomach for longer.
Protein rich foods that are great foods to eat are meat, fish, eggs, beans and lentils whilst olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats. One doctor I know suggested that if you know there will be lots of alcohol in the evening ahead, you should try to take some omega-3 oil before heading out as it helps coat the stomach and replenish levels of fatty acids that may be depleted later through too much alcohol consumption.
Honey – it is one of those tried and tested miracle foods that seems to have so many applications and, luckily for us, hangover help is one of them! The fructose in honey helps our bodies to metabolise the alcohol. If you’re in a bad way take two teaspoons every 20 minutes or until you feel better. Try to use organic honey, local if possible – and Manuka honey if you’re buying off the shelf in a supermarket.
The whole ‘sweat it out’ theory to cure a hangover is actually a myth, but what exercise does do is release endorphins which can boost your mood and burning off a few calories may ease your guilt about how much you drank! So if your mood is as bad as the hangover, why not put on those trainers and run your way to happiness? Just make sure to keep you water bottle handy so you don’t become even more dehydrated!
EAT LIVER-SUPPORTING FOODS
You drank too much, way too much and now your poor liver has the job of breaking down 95% of the alcohol you consumed so, go on, give it a hand and stock up on the foods that help promote liver function, before and the day after a heavy night of drinking.
Protein breaks down the amino acids that are used by the liver for detoxification so eating plenty of protein-rich foods such as eggs, broccoli, kale and cabbage will give your liver a well-welcomed hand!
Other liver-supporting foods include, artichoke, which can increase bile flow (to support elimination of toxins through the liver) and is thought to help protect the liver cells from damage, and also turmeric, lemon juice and salad greens such as watercress and rocket. And lastly – add a few drops of Milk Thistle to your water before bed, or to the water you drink throughout the day of the ‘morning after’.
It’s early, the kids are calling your name, over and over and over. You’re tired, your head is sore and the room is spinning. What do you do? You reach for the coffee, but believe me when we say “avoid at all costs!” This is because coffee is a diuretic which causes your body to lose water quickly - not what you need when you’re trying to rehydrate! Instead try to stick to the water or fruit juice - trust me, you’ll feel better in the long run, I promise.
Getting a good night’s sleep while your body recovers means you can sleep through the worst of the hangover, so if you can, try and sleep for a little longer than usual and your hangover may just be a little more bearable!
Once you have gotten as much sleep as possible, take a cold shower. This will freshen you up. awaken your senses and leave you feeling some-what normal again. Boom! You’re back in the game.
Happy New Year everyone – and if you’re doing Dry January, enjoy the feeling of freshness you’ll have every single day!