While we all enjoy a footloose and fancy-free night on the town from time to time, the day after drinking is usually awash with the unpleasant symptoms which construe a hangover.
Headaches, nausea, aches and pains, varying degrees of dehydration, general malaise and more can all plague us the day after a weekend sesh. While it may be tempting to load up on a greasy burger and salty fries, you can do much better to get your mind and body back on track after loading your body with booze.
Here are some of the healthy options you can choose to alleviate hangover symptoms.
Hangovers are made worse by dehydration. It results from the alcohol itself and increased urination (aka breaking the seal) without replenishing fluids. The excess sugar found in booze can overwhelm your body and make you feel much rougher the following day. Coconut water is full of potassium and other essential electrolytes.
If you’re in a pinch, low-sugar sports drinks or fresh fruit juices will also do the trick. And above all, drink plenty of water to help restore the balance of fluids in your body. You can also plan ahead and drink a pint or two of water before hitting the sack – it may seem like a hassle, but you’ll thank yourself the next day.
Note: Try to avoid sports drinks that are high in sugar as they can lead to diarrhea and further dehydration.
Catch Some ZZZs
Drinking alcohol negatively affects the quality of our sleep. Recent studies have found that drinking alcohol prior to climbing into bed at night reduces the time spent in the all-important REM cycle. The result? The next day you might feel a bit worse for wear and possibly experience a brain fog. Try and carve out an hour or so on a hangover day for a nap.
Ease Your Stomach
Alcohol can irritate your stomach lining. If you’re prone to a queasy stomach post-Friday night out, a cup of ginger tea will help to settle it. You can also chew on a piece of fresh ginger root or sprinkle powdered ginger or ginger juice into a smoothie for maximum results.
Anyone who experiences a sensitive stomach, be sure to avoid fatty, rich, greasy dishes. Instead, opt for simple foods like whole grain toast, crackers, eggs, or oatmeal.
Be Kind to Your Liver
Suffering from a beating hangover headache? Skip the Tylenol.
The main ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol). Like alcohol, acetaminophen is processed through the liver, and popping a few pills of the stuff can cause liver damage in the long run. If you need something stronger to take the bite out of your headache, try ibuprofen and other NSAIDs instead.
Note: Alcohol used in conjunction with NSAIDs repeatedly can increase the risk of stomach ulcers. However, if used occasionally, they are fine.
The Unbeatable Cure
This is probably the thing people hate to hear most when stricken with a brutal hangover: the best cure for a hangover is time. But eating the right foods and drinking plenty of water, will go a long way towards easing some of the more discomforting symptoms of drinking alcohol in excess.