We all want to be sociable and have a great time at that party – but don’t go reaching for the hair of the dog the next morning – there are healthier ways to face the next day and get back on track.
Here are some proven ways to help deal with, or even prevent a hangover from happening – so you can have an enjoyable time over the holiday celebrations.
Refuel at the breakfast table – alcohol causes our blood sugar levels to drop, so boost it back up with a glass of apple juice the next morning. Fruit juices are a good way to help treat mild low blood sugar, but if you are really feeling unwell, then reach for something a little higher in glycemic index. Some Rice Bubbles or Vegemite on toast might be good in addition to the fruit juice.
Go one for one – keeping well hydrated while drinking alcohol is very important, especially in our hot Aussie climate. We often find ourselves outdoors, next to the pool or BBQ, drinking alcohol, and forgetting to rehydrate ourselves. For every glass of alcohol consumed, reciprocate this with a glass of water. Our tissues around the brain are made mostly of water, and dehydration shrinks these tissues so you can understand why “a pounding headache” can happen the next day if you don’t keep hydrated. Having some rehydration formula on hand is also a great, sensible option – especially on those really hot days!
Make sure to eat as well as drink! Just because alcohol contains calories, doesn’t mean it counts as a meal replacement. Drinking on an empty stomach will allow alcohol to absorb faster, so try getting a good meal in with plenty of healthy carbs before starting on the alcohol. Some research also suggests that a full stomach will also help keep blood alcohol levels lower.
Keep it light – darker drinks like bourbon or red wine produce more substances during fermentation, which may contribute to the cause of a hangover. Skip the whisky in favour of a nice crisp white wine, or vodka instead!
Stay classy – the more expensive liquors are usually distilled more times, so contain fewer substances from fermentation – therefore fewer chemicals for a potential hangover.
Take a multi-vitamin – drinking depletes nutrients in the body, including B12 and folate. A Berocca the morning after a party night might help replenish what nutrients you lost the night before.
Skip the bubbles – opt out of carbonated beverages – research shows that the bubbles may cause alcohol to be absorbed more quickly (yes we’ve all tried drinking beer through a straw to get the party happening faster!) – hence the New Year’s Day hangover.
Try some meditation or a gentle walk – deep breathing and meditation-type exercises can get oxygen flowing and blood pumping to help relieve stress. A gentle walk or some gentle meditation the next day might help you feel a little more relaxed and in control.
Grab some potassium – when dehydrated, we not only lose water but electrolytes. Gain them back by snacking on potassium-rich foods like bananas and spinach, or make sure to have a rehydration formula on hand to sip during the day.
Get into the eggs! Eggs contain taurine, which has been shown to reverse liver damage caused by a night of heavy boozing. Scrambled, fried, poached it doesn’t matter – add some spinach and veg for extra antioxidant power!
Take some ginger – hangovers will often cause an upset stomach. Having some ginger tablets, fresh ginger or ginger tea on hand can certainly help settle things down.
Get some fresh air – oxygen increases the rate that alcohol toxins are broken down, so slip, slop and slap and get outdoors! It may even release some endorphins to boost that post-hangover mood (don’t forget to keep hydrated).
Be the D.D. – the only 100% proven way to prevent a hangover is to not drink! If waking up to a pounding headache doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, then play designated driver for the night, and cheerfully enjoy helping your mates stay safe and recover the next day.
Things to have on hand during the holiday season:
- rehydration formula
- Berocca or a multivitamin
- Ginger tablets or ginger tea
- Fresh food – fruit, veg, eggs
- Hats and sunglasses
- Aloe Vera Gel (sometimes we find our sunscreen efforts a little lacking)
- Eye drops for red eyes
Enjoy the social events that the holiday season brings, but always remember to be sensible and safe.
Other products you might also like to keep in the medicine cupboard…
- Travacalm Ginger Tablets
- Caruso’s liver detox
- Hydralyte formula and icy poles
- Blackmores Coconut Water
- Amcal Paracetamol
- Visine Red Eyes Relief
- Glucodin Tablets – for a fast glucose boost