By the time you wake up, it’s safe to say the damage has been done. Hangovers are the result of dehydration, low blood sugar and exhaustion, combining to create cruel symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle aches and diarrhoea. In other words, you’re in for a very bad day.
Most of the common hangover remedies we know about are preventatives – things we need to do before or while we’re drinking, to stop the hangover arriving in the first place. But if you weren’t organised enough to eat a stomach-lining dinner beforehand, and you weren’t in the right frame of mind to substitute every second drink with a glass of water, there are still a few things you can do to ease the pain.
Load up protein and complex carbohydrates
Step away from the greasy bacon and egg roll! Although you might feel like it upon waking up, it will only make you feel worse in the long run.
To recover, your body needs protein and complex carbohydrates, so opt for a filling breakfast of poached eggs, spinach, tomato and wholemeal or rye toast.
Sip on a lemon and honey drink
Lemon will help to rebalance your body and control blood sugar levels, while honey will replace a lot of the potassium you’ve lost from drinking. Together, they can alleviate some of the nasty hangover symptoms, like queasiness and dizziness.
As soon as you wake up, add two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey to a warm glass of water (or get someone to do it for you!) Sip slowly, and repeat a couple of times throughout the day.
Incorporate ginger wherever you can
Much like lemon and honey, ginger has been hailed as a natural hangover remedy thanks to its ability to stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce nausea and vomiting.
There are lots of ways to add ginger to your diet, but some of our favourites are: drinking a large green juice that’s packed with vegetables and ginger, nibbling on crystalised ginger or brewing a cup of ginger tea.
It’s not unusual on a Saturday night to see someone staggering home with a brightly-coloured, sugary sports drink in hand, hoping to replace the electrolytes they’ve lost from excessive drinking. But while it’s true we do lose our electrolytes, there are healthier ways to get them back.
Coconut water, kefir and watermelon all have high amounts of electrolytes and have been known to reduce hangover symptoms.
Of course, in addition to these, you should also be aiming for 8-10 glasses of water to increase your hydration levels.
Bloody Mary’s have become so popular as a miracle hangover cure that they now appear on almost every café menu, but while many people think it’s the shot of vodka that’s helping (hair of the dog, and all that) it’s actually more likely to be the tomato juice.
The sugar in tomato juice will help your body metabolise the alcohol, while the vitamins and minerals will slowly start to repair your body from the inside out. Hangover symptoms are at their worst when your blood alcohol levels are at zero, so the last thing you want to be doing is adding more alcohol into your system!
Give your body a chance to recover and opt for a Virgin Bloody Mary instead, with a dash of cayenne pepper.
Needless to say, the only tried and true hangover remedy is time. Sleep is the body’s way of healing itself, so if you’ve woken up feeling average, make yourself a nutrient-filled breakfast, fix yourself a cup of lemon and honey water or ginger tea, then head back to bed to nap (and Netflix) the day away, making sure to rehydrate every time you wake up.
You’ll feel better tomorrow, promise!