10 Ways to cure a hangover
It's New Year's Eve (Hogmanay, if you're in Scotland) and what better time to enjoy a few drinks? Celebrating the end of one year and the start of a new one usually involves good food, drinks and time spend with friends and family - so if you're going to be indulging in a few alcoholic beverages this evening, you're probably going to need a hangover cure come the 1st of January! There are definitely some cures that work better than others - and we're not suggesting hair of the dog is a good solution, by any means - and we've got 10 for you to try. Happy New Year!
#1. Stay hydrated
Of course, drinking plenty of water (or soft drinks) inbetween alcoholic drinks can help prevent such a bad hangover the next day, but it's equally important to stay hydrated when you're battling that morning-after feeling. Alcohol is a diuretic which causes our bodies to lose water, so replenishing this lost liquid means our bodies can process the alcohol faster, breaking it down, which means you'll feel better more quickly!
#2. Eat well
Eating a meal containing protein, such as eggs or a fry-up, can help to replace essential fatty acids and break down alcohol in the liver. But if you feel particularly delicate, you might want to go for something lighter such as toast or crackers, as carbs will give you a boost. Eating potatoes or bananas in the morning can replenish potassium levels, depleted after a night on the tiles.
#3. Have a drink
No, not more booze! Try ginger tea if you're feeling nauseous, hot water with honey and lemons for vitamins and a blood sugar boost or a glass of fresh fruit juice for energy, a sugary kick and a vitamin and mineral boost. Milk thistle tea is a traditional remedy for hangovers and you can pick some up in most health food stores.
#4. Avoid caffeine
Coffee and tea have a diuretic effect on the body, which is the last thing you want when you've been drinking all night long. Avoid caffeine-containing drinks and if you must have a hot drink, stick to herbal teas.
#5. Say no to hair of the dog
Yes, a few more drinks will ease your pain in the short-term, but when you do finally crash, you'll have the hangover to end all hangovers! Don't drink more alcohol the next day - a glass of wine with lunch/dinner is fine but avoid the temptation to see in January 1st at the pub.
#6. Have a hot shower
A shower is really refreshing for your mind and body, and most of us will feel much better after a long, hot shower. There isn't really any science in this - well, the hot water gets your circulation flowing and warms you up - it's just the done thing! Make sure you're first in line for the bathroom on 1st January if you live with housemates; a cold shower once the hot water runs out just won't be the same.
#7. Have a can of Sprite
Drinking fizzy drinks regularly is bad news for your teeth (and your health), but researchers in China discovered that Sprite is the most effective drink (out of 57 drinks studied, including herbal tea) when it comes to speeding up the time our bodies take to break down alcohol (1).
#8. Pop some painkillers
Many of us turn to over-the-counter remedies when a hangover strikes, and there's nothing wrong with this. But try to avoid aspirin, which can irritate your stomach, causing nausea and sickness. Stick to paracetamol-based remedies instead.
#9. Go for a run
When people talk about 'sweating out' the alcohol, we have to disagree - that's not going to happen. But going for a run - or a less strenuous form of exercise like Yoga or Pilates, for example - can help to get endorphins flowing and boost your circulation, so your body is better able to cope with the after-effects of your big night out. Plus it's a great start on your 2016 health and fitness goals!
#10. Get some sleep
Alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle - you might feel like you've slept soundly after 5 glasses of wine, but actually the quality of sleep you're experiencing is inferior to a normal night's sleep. So why not use your lazy Friday off work to take a nap? Naps can boost your energy levels and if you're suffering from a hangover, you're more likely to get rid of your pounding headache with a quick forty winks than you are by slouching in front of Netflix all day.
We hope you have a great New Year, and that your head won't hurt too much tomorrow - if it does, we're sure one of these cures will work!
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