Hungover? Here’s How To Kick It

Hungover? Here’s How To Kick It

As with most things (wine excluded), hangovers get worse with age. What once took a litre of water and a Domino’s to fix, now takes a day in bed, followed by a concession of early nights – long gone are the days of bouncing back, rather we now book out two days post party to recover. Fear not, though, there are steps you can take to alleviate the dreaded hangover....

Drink All The Fluids 

Following a night of drinking, your body will be severely hydrated – so replacing lost fluids is key to improving your symptoms. Water is best, but you can also drink energy drinks or coffee to give you a bit of a boost. Juices are good because they contain sugar and alcohol can lower your blood sugar levels. 

Oralyte has been created to quickly rehydrate and has vitamins, minerals, salts, sodium chloride and potassium – all which are lost through the diuretic effect of alcohol. You should start to feel better in a couple of hours. Berrocca is another fast-working remedy thanks to high levels of vitamins B, C and other minerals, essential for rehydrating and stabilising your body. If you’re feeling particularly nauseous, add an Alka-seltzer to your water as these can help rehydrate you faster and help settle your stomach.  

Take Ibuprofen 

One of the main effects of a hangover is the dreaded headache. At its worst it can feel like you’ve been hit around the head with a club, other times you might just feel a bit foggy – either way, alleviating your throbbing head is one of the first things you should tackle. 

Pop an Ibuprofen or two, rather than paracetamol, as consuming alcohol makes it harder for your liver to break it down and after a heavy drinking session, the last thing your liver needs is added stress. Be mindful of the effect it can have on your stomach and ever take it without eating food first. 

Don’t Binge On Junk Food 

Ever noticed how your stomach becomes an endless pit the day after a big night out and all you want is a big old greasy fry up? Apparently, it’s all down to a neuropeptide called Galanin, which resides in our nervous system and works alongside other neuropeptides to help our body remember things like our route to work and why not to touch things that are hot. Scientists have discovered that ingesting alcohol and fatty foods causes more galanin to be produced – explaining why we crave junk food like a full English breakfast or McDonalds’ – but that doesn’t mean it’s good for us. 

Dr Luke James Medical Director for Bupa UK Insurance advises eating healthier, vitamin rich foods post a big night: “Drinking can cause you to lose nutrients, so your body will benefit from a nutritious breakfast rather than ‘junk food’. Try eating a banana or a kiwi to replenish your potassium stores. Carbs, protein, magnesium and healthy fats are all good too.”

Get Some Sleep  

Aside from the alcohol, you’re likely to be sleep deprived (unless you’ve been day drinking, obviously), which only exasperates your symptoms. If in doubt go to sleep, it will give your body a chance to detoxify without you feeling rubbish and when you wake up you’ll feel a lot better. 

Prevent It Before It Begins

An ideal situation would be stopping your hangover before it starts, which is actually a lot easier than it sounds. Put these in place before you go out and you’ll set yourself up for a hangover free day... 

Eat a big meal beforehand: Not only will this help with your hangover, it will stop you from becoming very drunk, very quickly. Having food in your stomach – especially proteins, fats and carbohydrates, slows down the absorption of alcohol into your blood stream.  

Stick to clear spirits: Ever noticed how some drinks gives you a worse hangover than others? There’s a reason for this and it’s all down to congeners, which are impurities in alcohol from the fermentation process, something that the body struggles to process. Studies have found that alcoholic beverages with a high congener content produce more severe hangover symptoms. Clear alcohol like gin and vodka contain very small amounts of congeners, so will give you less of a hangover than darker drinks that are higher in congeners like red wine and tequila.  

Follow the ‘drink for drink’ rule: This involves knocking back a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage and, if you can manage to stick to it, it works a treat. 

Drink water before you go to sleep: As it’s very likely you’ll forget to chase your drinks with water when you’re inebriated. Set yourself up for a hangover free Sunday by downing as much water as possible and taking a paracetamol before you go to sleep – this is SL’s tried and tested personal favourite trick in the book.   

Stay active: No, we’re not suggesting you go for a drunken spin class – but simply staying active in your day-to-day life. Studies have suggested people who regularly exercise are less likely to experience the negative effects of alcohol on the brain like memory loss and a fuzzy head.  

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