A guide for surviving Christmas hangover-free!
With Christmas fast approaching, the season of office parties and family gatherings is well and truly upon us. An integral part of these festive celebrations is, of course, the bubbles and mulled wine. What if, however, you would like to wake up hangover-free this Christmas or New Years Day? Fortunately, there are some simple guidelines to help alleviate the incessant headaches and feelings of nausea that would otherwise prevent you from enjoying the merriment and festivities. Here are my top tips for avoiding a hangover:
1. Eat a decent meal before going out
While this may sound like classic maternal advice, there is a great amount of truth in it. Eating before you drink allows the alcohol to drip into your body’s systems rather than flooding it. Before going out, try to avoid refined processed foods that could cause an imbalance in your blood sugar levels; instead, try to have a meal containing a good source of protein, fats, and slow releasing carbohydrates, such as unprocessed meats, whole-grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils.
2. Stick to single shots
As tempting as it is to double up your shots of spirits, this will only intensify that unwanted hangover! Instead, try and discipline yourself, and stick to single shots.
3. Drink plenty of water
This may be difficult advice to remember while you are out and having fun, but try to drink a glass of water after every drink consumed. If this fails, at least drink a large glass of water before you go to bed – your head will thank you in the morning!
4. Milk thistle
Milk thistle is a herb that helps detoxify the liver, and so it could be taken before or after a night out.
5. Coping with a hangover
If, however, you haven’t had much success with these preventative measures and you are still suffering with a sore head, then these next steps should, hopefully, bid farewell to that unwanted hangover.
6. Get hydrated
One of the most important things to do when dealing with a hangover is to remain hydrated. Coconut water is especially excellent for assisting with this since it contains naturally occurring electrolytes and replaces the minerals lost during drinking.
7. Avoid caffeine
As much as you may feel caffeine will help you survive the day, this will only dehydrate you further and exacerbate your hangover. If you do need to a hot drink throughout the day, then opt for herbal teas instead. Ginger tea is great for any feelings of nausea and will settle your stomach.
8. Avoid that greasy spoon café!
We’ve all experienced cravings for an enormous fry-up after a night of drinking, but this will not do your hangover any favours. The high sugar and salt content, along with the immense greasiness, will upset your stomach further, cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate, and leave you feeling tired and bloated.
9. Get back those nutrients
To replenish your lost minerals and vitamins, it is important to eat a nutrient-dense meal the day after a night of heavy drinking. Eggs are not only a great source of protein, but they also contain the amino acids taurine and cysteine. Cysteine breaks down acetaldehyde, the chemical found in ethanol, and taurine is involved with liver function. Poached or scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast would be an excellent food choice to help you bounce back into action.
10. Eat bananas
Bananas are a great source of potassium, which is often lost when you become dehydrated.
Try to get as much sleep as you can; sleeping off a hangover will make you feel significantly better.
My hangover smoothie is designed to help you feel half-human again. Enjoy!
Ingredients (serves 1):
250ml coconut water
Handful of berries
1 scoop super greens powder
1 tsp honey
Bunch of spinach or kale
Add 2.5ml of an electrolyte drink (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for approximately 30 seconds.