The dreaded hangover.
You went hard last night. You had a blast – but now it’s the morning after and you’re desperately Googling how to make yourself feel just a little bit better.
Well, you probably know by now that there is no magic pill for a heavy hangover. However, fear not my debilitated friends as below are some of the best, practical tips to help get you back on your feet.
“What in the world is a hangover cure?”
– Brian Wilson
Starting with the obvious, and not to sound like your Mother, but you need to get a lot of water into your body, stat. Alcohol is known for its dehydrating properties and it’s had all night to work its magic. It is the dehydration that first hits you upon waking.
Pro tip: Always try to drink some water before you go to bed. This will help replenish your water levels throughout the night. It’s also a good idea to leave a glass of water ready for the morning. Nothing beats finding water on your bedside table when you come round.
I know, I know. Leaving the comfort of your bed is the last thing you want to do right now. Netflix and ill – perfect, right? Wrong. Lying in a ball of duvet, self-wallow and beer fear is only going to encourage your hangover to stick around longer.
Spring out of bed (it may take a couple of attempts) and get soapy. The shower will wake up your senses, soak off the night before and leave you feeling much fresher.
Pro tip: Some people like to alternate between hot and cold water in the shower. Doing so helps to increase alertness, speeds up muscle recovery and relieves symptoms of depression.
Another thing that you might not want to do, but it’s going to help, I promise. Grab something high in protein and/or carbs to start re-fuelling your body and upping your blood sugar levels (a large factor in feeling fatigued).
Pro tip: The thought of cramming food into your sickly stomach might go against everything you believe in right now, so try starting small. A banana, some jam on toast or an egg or two (amazing for hangovers). Build up your intake as you progress through the day.
If you weren’t too keen on getting out of bed or eating, you’re not going to like this one.
Although studies show that one alcoholic drink is normally metabolised without one hour of consumption and that the ‘sweat it out’ theory is a myth, there are still benefits. However, any workout, hungover or not, will help release a load of endorphins (the feel-good chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin) to help ease your pain.
Pro tip: If you do manage a workout (you hero, you), make sure your water bottle is full. The last thing you want is to become more dehydrated.
What you don’t want to end up doing is moping around the house playing the world’s smallest violin. This isn’t your first hangover (if it is, welcome) and it won’t be your last. There is a huge connection between what you think and how you feel.
Try thinking positively. Plan out your day. Set yourself little goals.
By achieving little successes throughout the day, you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time moping around, telling everyone how delicate you are. Feeling rough is bad enough, but wasting a full day because you’re singing ‘woe is me’ from the rooftops is much worse.
Play some of your favourite music. Open the blinds. Go outside and breathe some fresh air. Socialise!
Don’t let how you feel ruin what could be a spectacular day.
What to avoid on a hangover
You may want to re-think necking a pot of coffee when you’re feeling the effects of the night before. The caffeine may help wake you up, however, it may worsen the feelings of nausea or tremors and make you more dehydrated in the long run.
Pro tip: try throwing together a smoothie to give your body the vitamins that you need or try drinking tea. The natural sugars and caffeine will help wake you without overloading your system.
Although a hair of the dog might make you feel better temporarily, curing your alcohol-related illness with alcohol isn’t the best idea.
“The severity of your hangover is impacted by your blood alcohol level, as well as the quantity and speed at which you drank,” leading nutritionist Amanda Hamilton explains. “The actual hangover reaches a high when the blood alcohol level returns to zero and this is when those feelings and side effects begin,” she says. “So ultimately, all you’re doing is delaying the inevitable and prolonging the headache.”
Pro tip: If you are going to drink, try something like the traditional Bloody Mary. The tomato juice will help replenish your body with vitamins.
Everybody is different, and what might work for you might not work for others. The best cure for hangovers is prevention. But no one wants to be the guy with a pint in one hand and a glass of water in the other, chiming on all night about how great he’s going to feel tomorrow.
Enjoy yourself. Drink in moderation. Prepare yourself for the morning.
Now, go get that shower.