We’ll all been there. At some point over the Christmas and New Year, the fever comes over us and we party too hard, we stay up too late, we eat junk food and we drink too much. Then along comes the dreaded hangover! We wake with a dry mouth, pounding headache and feeling like our digestive system is tied up in knots. Not to mention the feeling of regret and guilt, but don’t worry. We are here to help. We understand that everyone needs a blowout now and again and more importantly, exactly what to do to bring you back to life.
Dealing with the Headache
Your headache has likely come about due to dehydration. Alcohol causes you to lose fluids as it is a diuretic. You need to get liquids back into your body along with electrolytes to replenish the natural balance, not to mention bodily function. You can drink coconut water, an isotonic sports drinks or even something savoury which will have sodium in it; like a consume. You can even make your own isotonic drink by adding a pinch on salt into a litre of water or squash. Some people find tomato juice works really well. You can also eat some fruit like watermelon which should really help as it is high in potassium and really refreshing. Any fruit should help and is easy on your digestive system as well.
Sort out your Stomach
Food is probably the last thing you are thinking about, but the sooner you get something into you, the better you will feel. Again, that might mean starting with a fruit juice like pineapple or a mint tea which really settles your stomach and helps nausea. Add a slice of ginger which is an amazing tummy settler. If you like you can move onto something more substantial, you could try some soup. Chicken soup would be great if you can handle it. The chicken contains B Complex vitamin which will help your liver detoxify and give you some strength. Other foods high in B vitamins are other animal proteins, cereals like wheat or porridge or dairy sources.
Detoxifying your system
This is just about helping your body to clear up the mess and make you function and feel better! Let’s have a look at some foods to help
Asparagus is king here! That’s according to research carried out in 2009 from Korea. Scientists found that extracts taken from the leaves and shoots of asparagus boosted levels of important enzymes that break down alcohol after heavy drinking. A researcher involved with the study says eating asparagus the next day can help tame hangovers as well. Any leafy green salad will really help push nutrients where they are needed and are very easy on your digestive tract.
As above, fruit are very high in water to hydrate, vitamins and minerals which will help replenish lost nutrients like potassium and sodium which can really help muscle function. They will also really help detoxify your body because of the very high antioxidant levels. Berries pack the biggest punch here.
Get your strength back and eat some eggs. Eggs provide protein to help stabilize blood sugar, while the cystine in protein may help break down toxins accumulated in the liver.
The sugar in honey is mostly fructose, and research has shown that the digestion of fructose competes with that of alcohol, forcing your body to rid itself of the remaining alcohol faster. As well as that, it helps your body cope with the hypoglycaemia caused by excessive alcohol.
Your blood sugar and energy levels will be very low. So start with some toast and see how you feel. Any carbohydrates will really help here as they will produce a boost in serotonin which impacts mood.
Lift your Mood with Food
A huge part of that horrible hangover feeling, is the actual feeling! People beat themselves up because they let loose. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself a few nights out. Make a decision about when you will start again and stick to it. Enjoy the rest of your day, even if that means it’s on the couch in your pyjamas. Here are some foods that will lift your mood and have a guilt free rest!
Bananas – I seriously recommend having them chopped and frozen and adding a tbsp. of peanut butter. You will have a glorious healthy ice-cream which is dairy and guilt free.
Beans and Legumes – These guys have been shown to help with depression and support gut health by providing prebiotics, which feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Hot Chocolate – I know, great news! Chocolate is very high in a powerful group of antioxidants called polyphenols. Darker chocolate contains more polyphenols and in a recent study people who drank hot chocolate with the highest polyphenol count experienced the greatest boost in mood, feeling calmer and more content.
Take Home Message
Do beat yourself up. Start by rehydrating and move slowly from liquids to solids. Definitely think about having something isotonic to replace those essential minerals.
Eat foods which help your own body eliminate waste and detoxify from excess. These are foods like fruits and berries as well as leafy greens.
Boost energy levels with something containing sugar or carbohydrates -this will also lift your mood because serotonin will be produced in the brain which helps life our mood.
Rest and recuperate to slowly come back to the land of the living. Of course, if you really want to supercharge your recovery, you can hit the gym and sweat it out. A fantastic way to get back to normal fast. Follow these simple guidelines above and you will be ready to head out for another night on the town. Just remember -you don’t want to wake up feeling the same way again and if you do, you’ll at least have a plan. Happy Christmas!