Choose your drinks wisely
Whilst all alcohol is dehydrating (which is responsible for a fair few of classic hangover symptoms such as headaches and nausea, and causes minor levels of inflammation), not all alcohol is created equal. Some alcoholic drinks contain more toxic byproducts which are produced during the fermentation process. Clear spirits like vodka and gin are better
, the drinks at the worst end of the spectrum include wine and beer.
Rather than having to go for plain water, go for coconut water or low-sugar sports drinks as they help you replace fluids and electrolytes (like potassium and sodium) which are lost with alcohol, contributing to hangover symptoms. They can also provide a short-term boost to your blood sugar levels, which can take a tumble after drinking alcohol making you feel worse.
Avoid greasy foods
Greasy foods are great to line your stomach before drinking and help slow the absorption of alcohol, which can help prevent hangover symptoms. However, after drinking, they can irritate your stomach and therefore make you feel worse. Whilst a fry-up might sound tempting, something a bit gentler and healthier is likely to be more helpful.
Go for good carbs
Whole grains, fruit and vegetables are a better option than refined sugars and (white) carbohydrates. Your blood sugar levels drop after the consumption of alcohol and can contribute to your hangover the next day. Rather than raising them quickly again with white carbohydrates only to have them crash a little while later, go for whole grains and other complex carbohydrates like fruit and vegetables which release energy slowly and are less likely to cause you to feel rubbish again later on.
Additionally, whole grains contain B vitamins which are important for detoxification processes in your body, helping you metabolise and get rid of alcohol. If you’re in need of a quicker fix, don’t overlook honey and fruits - apart from their high sugar content they’re very nutritious and can aid your recovery.
Add in protein to help detoxificationProtein is surprisingly important for detoxification
(a set of biological reactions which helps you to process alcohol and other toxins and remove it from your body), and will also help to stabilize your blood sugar levels, as it slows the breakdown and release of sugars from food, leaving you feeling a little less unwell.
Don’t forget (healthy) fats
Healthy fats like avocado and nuts can provide you with healthful nutrients including B vitamins and vitamin E and fibre which are all important for detoxification. They can also help your cells to function, making you feel a little less worse-for-wear.
Beat nausea naturally
Nausea and sickness can be a very unpleasant side effect of excessive alcohol consumption. Ginger
has widely been reported to help combat nausea and sickness (consider ginger ale made with real ginger, or ginger tea), and peppermint tea
is also an excellent stomach settler. Fennel
(either tea, or as the vegetable, or in food) can help ease digestive discomfort.