How to prevent a hangover
30th December, 20130 Comments
Written by: Kevin Shore BSc (Hons) Public Health Nutrition
New Year’s Eve is a time when many of us are likely to drink alcohol in excess of recommended daily guidelines. Drinking heavily may help us to unwind and enjoy ourselves, only to be left with a banging headache and a hangover the next day. Healthy eating can actually help to prevent a hangover.
When we drink heavily, our blood sugar levels decline, we can become dehydrated, our levels of B vitamins and vitamin C decline, and our acid base balance is disrupted. Eating a healthy balanced diet can help restore and maintain these measurements close to an optimal level after drinking and therefore reduce the symptoms of a hangover.
If you are intending to overindulge slightly on the alcohol, I would recommend that you have a meal before you go out drinking that is rich in complex carbohydrate in order to help maintain your blood sugar levels. Include at least two portions of veg with the meal, which could also include basmati rice or sweet potatoes for example. You could have shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes and two portions of veg. Don’t forget to drink a pint of water with your meal as making sure you are well hydrated before drinking alcohol will reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated. Additionally, you could have a glass of fruit juice to keep your vitamin C levels topped up.
The next day, always have breakfast. A whole-grain breakfast cereal such as shredded wheat, porridge, ready-brek or Weetabix is best because they are a rich source of complex carbohydrate, B vitamins and will provide some potassium. With your breakfast, you could include a banana, which will provide you with more potassium and therefore restoring your acid base balance and a glass of fruit juice to top up your vitamin C.
Remember to have fun on New Year’s Eve, but do drink sensibly.
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