It’s summer, and you may be on a Balearic beach, a Croatian boat or in your back garden, but if you’re in ‘holiday mode’ it’s probably safe to say there are a few late nights and hangovers on the horizon.
Aged 21 – 35, we could party until 6am and still get up at 8am and go to work. But post- 40 comes the devastating realisation that you’re definitely not immune to hangovers anymore.
Yes, feeling shocking the morning after is a dead cert. Once you’ve taken up full residency on your couch, how do you cure a hangover?
It’s better to use natural remedies, as popping Neurofen on an empty stomach after a large alcohol intake can lead to ulcers and other liver damage. Plus, it takes time for the booze to clear your system. Sadly, the only way to guarantee your hangover goes away is to wait it out.
Let’s start by understanding why you feel like sh*t in the first place.
Hangovers are typically a three-in-one suck fest that include dehydration, hormone dysfunction, and a run-down immune system. As a result, you experience the classic headache, nausea, dizziness, and indigestion trilogy.
Sadly though, there’s really no singular “best” way to treat hangovers. But before you throw in the towel and make yourself a Bloody Mary (which definitely does help that hangover headache), consider the following helpful info regarding natural and healthier options.
Water & Full Fat Coke
Alcohol decreases the production of the anti-diuretic hormone that helps the body reabsorb and retain water. Increasing water intake in general will help with this. By virtue of being liquid, full fat coke may also help alleviate the dehydration that stems from drinking.
Alcohol is a potent inhibitor of the sleep hormone melatonin. When you go to sleep hammered, alcohol inhibits your melatonin, and you can wake up tired even after eight hours of sleep.
That said, sleep can be particularly restorative for hangover symptoms – even after *technically* getting a full night’s sleep — do yourself a favour and grab a mid-afternoon nap.
That blackcurrant Dioralyte sachet your mum gave you when you were home sick as a kid worked wonders on your stomach bug recovery. Fun fact, it can still work now you’re a big bad grownup. Pro-tip: drink it as soon as you get home, instead of immediately passing out for the night.
Electrolyte powder is a good option for hydrating before bed and throughout the next day after waking up with a hangover.
Bagels with Everything
Alcohol impairs the kidneys’ ability to concentrate urine, so you end up losing extra sodium and potassium—aka electrolytes or substances that conduct electrical impulses—every time you hit the toilet. The resulting imbalance contributes to next-day symptoms like shaky hands and feet—but bagels, which tend to be super salty and also contain potassium, help replenish lost stores to make you feel better, according to Strang. Add cream cheese and bacon and you’ll get a dose of protein, which neutralizes the irritating acids alcohol leaves in your stomach.
Tomato Juice / Bloody Mary
If last night’s indiscretions left your stomach irritated, hair of the dog may cause more trouble, but it’s not a terrible choice. The Bloody Mary is an electrolyte solution with nice and healthy complex carbohydrates. Vodka may prolong your hangover long-term but tomatoes deliver complex carbohydrates that improve blood sugar with longer-lasting results than simple sugars in coke. The celery, lemon, salt & pepper and spicy Worcester sauce will perk you up too.
At the end of the day (or a very, very late night), plain tomato juice beats the Bloody Mary.
Bananas & Honey
Bananas deliver potassium, an electrolyte you lose when you sweat or pee. The fruit also contains vitamins C and B6 which help neutralise free radicals that negatively affect the liver after drinking. The antioxidant Vitamin C specifically prevents the conversion of alcohol to aldehyde, the organic compound that’s generated when your body breaks down booze and contributes to hangover symptoms.
Honey plays a role, too. Fructose is a natural sugar that helps to metabolize alcohol, the sugars in this snack send glucose to the blood stream quickly so you feel less irritable.
Coconut Water & Lime Juice
I use this as my hangover cure – as well a normal water, coconut water gets extra credit since it contains electrolytes. Replacing the sodium and potassium you lost last night helps your body perform functions that bring you back to baseline.
Also, the addition of lime juice doesn’t just make the drink taste better, it adds extra sugar that can moderate your moodiness once it hits the bloodstream.