According to the NHS, many of the symptoms of a hangover are caused by the diuretic effects of alcohol. They recommend fighting off alcohol-induced dehydration by replacing lost fluids with plain, easily digestible drinks such as water or soda water. Researchers at Sun-Yat-Sen University in China actually found that fizzy lemon and lime is another drink that works extremely well to fight off hangovers, as they are able to break down acetaldehyde, which is the compound in alcohol that makes you feel nauseous. This is one of the few times you’ll want to avoid herbal teas though, as the researchers found that these otherwise healthy drinks can increase the effects of acetaldehyde on the body.
Prickly pear extract
What is prickly pear you ask? It is in fact a form of cactus that houses a potent hangover cure. You’ll find prickly pear extract capsules in health shops, and they could be just what you’ve been looking for to end your hangover woes. In a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine researchers found that prickly pear extract was effective in reducing nausea, dry mouth and loss of appetite, and halved the risk of suffering from a severe hangover. All you need to do is take two capsules of prickly pear extract in the afternoon before your party. After that its anti-inflammatory effects will help lessen the severity of your hangover in the morning.
Ever wondered why greasy food is such a popular hangover cure? Rather than the high levels of grease and fat, it’s actually protein that’s doing all the good work. The body breaks proteins down into amino acids, which are responsible for detoxifying your liver and kick-starting the recovery process, and according to a study conducted at Newcastle University they’re one of the best hangover cures out there. Instead of getting protein in the form of unhealthy foods, you’ll find much more of it in a healthy portion of salmon.
Dry toast might not sound too appealing when you’re suffering from the hangover to end all hangovers, but it could be the perfect snack to steer you onto the road to recovery. When you’ve been drinking your liver is preoccupied with trying to metabolise all the alcohol you’ve added to your system, meaning it’s not able to do its usual job of regulating your blood sugar levels. That’s why experts from the Mayo Clinic recommend topping up on easily digestible carbohydrates to increase your blood sugar levels. You can add a festive twist by topping your toast with turkey, which is a great source of protein.
When you’re hung over and don’t have any plans of leaving your bed until at least 4pm, heading out for a run in the brisk winter air is most likely very low on your to do list. However, if you bite the bullet and head out for some post-drink exercise it’ll do you the world of good. Exercise physiologist Giles Webster explains that light exercise ‘raises the metabolic rate’ and helps to ‘dispose of the poisons’ alcohol brings into your body. Remember though, your body is in recovery mode so it’s important that you don’t push it too hard. Stick to mild cardio, and make sure you keep hydrated throughout your session.