How to overcome a hangover

Well, you partied from sunset to sunrise, and now you’re paying the price.

C66BOi1WcAAeUnvYou’ve got the pounding headache, the queasiness, the dizziness, the sensitivity to light and sound, the muscle aches and the irritability that comes from overconsumption of alcoholic beverages. How quickly last night’s fun turns into next morning’s nightmare when you have a hangover!

Those all too familiar symptoms can hit hard! Most of them arise from dehydration and depleted minerals and water-soluble nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin C.

So here is some advice:

Yes to Ice 

Put an ice compress on your aching head; place crushed ice in a plastic bag, wrap in a dry towel and apply it to where it hurts. Or just rinse a washcloth under cold water; place it on your forehead and rest. Yeah, it feels good!

No to smoking

Science has proven what we’ve all known to be true through our own anecdotal evidence: smoking cigarettes during a night of drinking will take your hangover from “my head hurts” to “somebody kill me.” Think twice, before you pick up a cigarette.

Aspirin or ibuprofen – careful with pain relievers 

If you know me you know I am a NO NO to pills! Some people who drink also take an Aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug before bed, though some experts warn taking the pills may increase the risk of stomach bleeding and liver damage.

No to Sauna

Think you can “sweat out” the alcohol and other toxins you may have consumed during a night of partying? Think again. A sauna can cause potentially dangerous blood vessel and blood flow changes in your body. The last thing you need is to disrupt the normal blood flow patterns by extreme heat! If you’re already somewhat dehydrated, excessive sweating can be harmful, and even deadly. So best to Skip it!

Exercise 

A gentle workout might help you feel better, if you can manage it. (That’s a big if.) Remember: You are most probably dehydrated, you could be metabolically behind on your nutrition, and exercise is going to require hydration and nutrition and therefore strenuous exercise is not recommended. Well in my case exercise helps, especially if I push myself before the first painful symptoms show (then I feel like a winner, beating the hangover ). I go for a run or kite surfing in the cold sea and burn of all the alcohol. I usually have my rescue foods with me: banana and coconut water!

Get enough Rest / Sleep 

People sleep poorly after a night of drinking. Alcohol will put you to sleep quickly, but when it begins to wear off several hours later, the withdrawal your body feels can disrupt sleep and jolt you awake. While sleep deprivation won’t by itself cause a hangover, it can definitely make the symptoms worse.

Mineral water and coconut water

Drink plenty of water and rehydrate yourself. Alcohol causes dehydration of your body cells. It would also be wise to consume some coconut water to replenish electrolytes (vital for maintaining water balance and the functioning of every cell) and lost sodium. Drinking plenty of water before you go to bed, and again when you get up in the morning after may help relieve discomfort caused by dehydration. Fresh fruit juice also contains fructose – sugar that helps the body burn alcohol faster.

Alkalizing salts, magnesium & sodium bicarbonate

You can also add a spoon of Alkalizing salts to your water. All varieties contain sodium bicarbonate, which will help settle a queasy belly by neutralizing stomach acid. Many people use this product in everyday life to neutralize the toxic acidity in their body and rediscover their body’s true potential. For a headache, taking 400 milligrams of magnesium may help relieve the pressure and the pain. If you regularly drink alcohol or have diabetes, you may have a magnesium deficiency. In that case, before going to bed, take 400 milligrams of magnesium and then when you awake, another dose to prevent a headache from occurring.

Recommended foods/recipes:

  • Eggs are helpful because they’re rich in N-acetyl-cysteine, an antioxidant that will help clear the liver of toxins.
  • Bananas – are your best friend! Eating a banana bursting with potassium will give you some giddy-up and go.
  • Ginger – has long been used to treat nausea and seasickness. And, since having a hangover is much like being seasick, this easy remedy works wonders. If you’re really green, the best bet is to drink ginger ale (no preparation required). If you can remain vertical for 10 minutes, brew some ginger tea, see below.
  • Honey and lemon – The classic hot toddy (non-alcoholic, of course) is honey, lemon and hot water. Easy to swallow, this beverage replenishes fluids and sugars lost to a hangover. It is vital, however, to use honey instead of white sugar. Honey contains fructose, which as we know, helps the metabolism of alcohol.
  • Magnesium – increase intake of green leafy vegetables, they are the best sources of this vital mineral.
  • B vitamins – the B vitamins are water-soluble and can be depleted easily when we drink a lot of alcohol because our urinary output goes up, leaving us lethargic and fuzzyheaded.
  • Bone Broth – for an upset stomach and to help restore electrolyte balances, sipping on bone broth can help to relieve hangover symptoms. A bonus is that it contains minerals that are easy to absorb. Select a high-quality bone broth from grass-fed beef or make your own in the days before you know you may overindulge on alcohol.
  • Milk Thistle. Used for thousands of years because of its ability to draw out toxins and support of liver health, milk thistle can relieve common symptoms including indigestion and digestive distress while supporting healthy liver function.
  • Siberian Ginseng. For nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and tiredness, take 500 milligrams of Siberian ginseng.

No to greasy breakfast! There’s no scientific evidence that a generous helping of bacon and eggs will ease hangover anguish, although many people swear by it. As your liver will already be busy with processing alcohol, adding fat to your hangover meal will just put additional stress on your body as fat is also processed in the liver. So what would be the outcome? Fat will sit in your stomach until the liver has dealt with the alcohol!

RECIPES: 

Wake-up juice 

  • 1 large raw beetroot (well known blood cleaner)
  • 2 golden apples
  • 1cm piece of fresh root ginger

Process all the ingredients in a juicer and drink immediately.

Ginger drink

Cut 10 to 12 slices of fresh ginger root and combine with 4 cups of water. Boil for 10 minutes. Strain and add the juice of one orange, the juice of half a lemon, and 1-2 tsp honey. Drink to your relief.

Honey and lemon drink

Honey contains fructose, which as we know, competes for the metabolism of alcohol. To make a toddy, boil 1 cup water and mix in honey and lemon juice to taste.

Spinach, tomato and shiitake mushrooms on toast 

This is great when you fancy something really tasty but can’t be bothered to slave away in the kitchen for ages. You will need:

•Frying oil

•1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

•6-7 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

•4-5 cherry tomatoes, halved

•Handful of baby spinach

•1 slice of multigrain granary bread

•Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Heat a little olive oil over a medium heat in a large pan, add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes, until softened.
  2. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, then add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened. Add the spinach and cook for a minute or two longer, until it has wilted.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the bread. Top with the mushroom mixture and serve immediately. Enjoy!