An absolute must. You’ll recognise that the need to pee increases after a night on the town. This is because alcohol is a diuretic and can cause dehydration. One of my best mates swears by drinking a pint of water as she goes to bed, while another orders a glass of water with every beer she buys —and she alternates between the two thereby replacing lost fluids right there and then.
A cup of coffee can make you feel temporarily more alert. But remember the benefits are not lasting and caffeine can cause headaches and migraines particularly if you’re already feeling rough, so again, with every coffee you drink, you need to take in water too.
A breakfast the morning after is helpful but remember that it’s what you eat BEFORE you start drinking that counts. Food helps slow down the absorption of alcohol, and the longer it takes the alcohol to reach your blood stream, the longer it is until you become intoxicated. Don’t drink on an empty stomach and snack while you drink.
4. Toast or Crackers
As a child when you were sick, do you remember Mum giving you toast and soup? Well that’s sound advice the morning after your night of partying too. Carbs will help bring your blood sugar levels back and help combat nausea. According to one expert, when your blood sugar levels dip normally, your liver reacts by producing more glucose from stored carbs. But if you’ve been drinking too much, your liver is too busy metabolizing the alcohol and can’t handle the extra work, so your blood sugar levels stay down, and you can feel cranky and tired.
5. Avoid Pain Medication
It’s ok to ease your thumping headache with a pill (follow the recommended dosage), but stick to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) because when combined with a liver that’s working overtime to metabolize alcohol, tablets can cause liver damage or be deadly.
One drink can be metabolized by your body in about an hour (that’s a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces short) so the whole “sweat it out” theory is myth. Yes the endorphin release could boost your mood but you’ll be dehydrating while you exercise so keep taking on the water.
7. Sports Drinks
Samir Zakhari, Ph.D., director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism finds that, “Even though the diuretic effect of alcohol may cause the body to lose some electrolytes, it’s not so much that you need to replace them right away”. In fact research has shown that exercise drinks are no better for a hangover than water from your tap, so save your money.
Research has not found any evidence that particular vitamins do anything for a hangover. And one night of intoxication isn’t enough to throw off the levels of nutrients in your body to the point where you need to worry.
For one small drink, take
• 25ml brandy
• ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
• ½ tsp. red wine vinegar
• A dash of Tabasco sauce
• 1 raw egg yolk
Pour the first four ingredients into a small glass.
Crack the egg, separate the yolk, drop it in, and knock it back.
10. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle was used by the Romans to treat the victims of snakebites and sickly children but it has also been marketed as a liver tonic for well over fifty years. Partygoers are now extolling its virtues as a potent hangover cure and the sales of milk thistle capsules have soared.
11. Eggs Benedict
In 1894, a New York socialite named Samuel Benedict believed he had found the perfect solution to the morning after the night before. After a heavy night on the tiles he asked the staff at the Waldorf Astoria hotel to whip him up his own creation, now known as eggs Benedict: half an English muffin, topped with bacon or ham, poached eggs, and rich Hollandaise sauce.
The secret is thought to be the ham and the bread. Newcastle University conducted some research on the most effective hangover cure in 2009 and discovered what some of us already knew – that the bacon sandwich won hands down. Bread is high in carbohydrates and bacon is full of protein, which breaks down into amino acids. Amino acids help to counter the effects of the alcohol, so eating them should ensure you feel better.12. Lick a chimney
Nineteenth century chimney sweeps were known to dose themselves with a lump of soot mixed into warm milk. Apparently soot helps to mop up toxins in the stomach and intestines.
13. A pair of pickled sheep’s eyes in tomato juice.
No seriously, this is what they recommend you eat the morning after the night before in Mongolia.
14. A “soup for the stomach”
In Korea a “Soup for the stomach” is sold on weekend mornings via street stalls. This soup is made of pork spine or cow bones, coagulated ox blood, cabbage, and vegetables. Mmm yummy. Kind of like our kebab then.
15. Deep Fried Canary
Apparently the Ancient Romans swore by this to help mop up the after effects of too much alcohol. Not that dissimilar to a bargain bucket from the Southern Fried Chicken shop really ….
16. A dried bull’s penis
This is supposedly a favourite of Sicilians. I have a sneaking suspicion that someone was pulling someone’s leg.
17. A Hair of the Dog
Good idea say the Dutch. Bad idea say medical experts because it will make your headache worse and they fear that the risk of abuse will continue. When do you stop?
18. Irn Bu
In Scotland and the North East many people swear by the soft drink Irn Bru as a recovery aid for the worst of hangovers.
Time is a great healer. If you can rest up do so. Have a bath, drink water, have a number of light meals. You should start to feel human again within 12 – 24 hours.
Imagine how amazing you’ll feel while everyone else nurses their worst hangovers ever!
Finally! Remember it is illegal to drink and drive so don’t be tempted. If you would usually be driving to work after a shedload of beer the night before, consider how wise that is. Alcohol stays in your system for longer than you think and if you’re not as sharp as a tack on the road you could cause an accident. Stay safe this year and look out for others too.
Maybe you have better ideas about hangover cures? Let me know below or come and talk to us on Facebook.