Top 5 Hangover Cures
Nobody enjoys a hangover, and the best way to avoid one is to avoid drinking to the point where you’ll regret it the next day. However, we all have to enjoy ourselves every once in a while, so here are some ways you can use nutrition to help prevent or cure a hangover.
#1 Drink Up
No, not another ‘drink’. Whilst ‘hair of the dog’ may be a popular way to null the effects of a hangover, you’re close to entering a vicious cycle of drinking and putting off the hangover until the next day. Instead, you should drink water, and lots of it. Drink a glass of water between drinks, before you go to bed, when you wake up, and throughout the day. This is something almost everyone knows, however, they rarely put it into practice. Water re-hydrates you, as alcohol is a diuretic. With that being said, coffee is also a diuretic and could leave you worse for ware, despite being a popular beverage for people to turn to after a heavy night out.
#2 Line Your Stomach Well
The severity of your hangover doesn’t just depend on how much you drink, but how your body metabolises the alcohol you have drunk, which depends on what you have eaten. It is recommended to eat a meal containing protein, carbohydrates and fats to help prepare your body for the masses of alcohol you are about to load it up with. Eggs are a great option as they are a good source of cysteine which helps to break down a headache causing toxin which is produced when our bodies digest alcohol.
#3 Take Multivitamins
It is a common misconception that hangovers are induced purely from dehydration, as the main issues can be due to inflammation and oxidative stress. For this reason, it is recommended to take a multivitamin before you begin drinking, and also in the morning. Multivitamins contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need that can help to reduce the severity of a hangover.
Whilst we can drink lots of water to re-hydrate ourselves after drinking, we are not replenishing our electrolyte stores which get depleted when we drink a lot of alcohol. Electrolytes are essential salts that our bodies need to function and in order to replenish our stores in effective quantities, we need to take some form of electrolyte supplement or sports drink. Many people opt to use an electrolyte powder and mix in into their drinks to keep up their electrolyte levels throughout the night. If this isn’t an option, then taking electrolytes before and after drinking is also effective. This is the reason many people recommend to drink isotonic sports drinks to help a hangover.
#5 Other Non-Nutrition Based ‘Cures’
Whilst what you put into your body can be the difference between feeling as fresh as a daisy the next day, or like you were just hit by a bus, there are a few things you can do that are non-nutrition related that can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of a hangover.
The first of these is to ensure that you get a good amount of sleep. When you are drunk, your sleep is typically interrupted which can lead to you feeling worse for wear in the morning. Moreover, when we drink we will typically be having a later night, meaning on average we get less sleep. If you can, try and sleep in for as long as possible, as you could even sleep through the worst part of the hangover.
Something else to try is distracting yourself. If you sit around, then you’ll notice the hangover more. However, if you distract yourself by going out and about then you won’t feel as bad and it can help you get over the worst of your hangover more quickly.
Take Home Message
Whilst yes, the best way to avoid or ‘cure’ a hangover is to not drink in the first place, there are just some times when we will inevitably overdo it. In such instances, following these nutrition based tips of things to do before, during and after the night, you should feel as close to normal the next day as possible.