While drinking can be a relaxing way to unwind, many of us have had that ‘one glass too many’ and paid the ultimate price for it: the hangover from hell! A throbbing headache, nausea, muscle aches, dizziness, fatigue, vertigo, anxiety, irritability and depression are some of the unpleasant side effects that can affect us after a binge.
The main cause of a hangover is the dehydration that comes about due to the diuretic (something that makes you pee more frequently) properties of alcohol. The increase in peeing while drinking also drains us of key vitamins and minerals that are key to allwoing us to function normally. Darker drinks such as red wine, brandy, whisky, tequila tend to also have a higher concentration of congeners which are by-products of fermentation of some alcohol. These congeners have been strongly linked with more troubling hangovers.
Unfortunately, time is the only real cure for a hangover. Miracle cures such as the infamous ‘hair of the dog’, black coffee and greasy fry-ups usually only help to delay the inevitable. There are, however, a few tips and tricks that will help you to feel a little more human:
- Drink plenty of water
- Try a rehydration sachet to replace the lost minerals and salts
- Eat bananas/kiwi fruit or drink a sports drink. Both have a high concentration of potassium which is an important mineral to regain
- Eat Bouillon soup, a thin vegetable-based broth. It’s a good source of vitamins and minerals
- If necessary, try over-the counter pain-killers such as Paracetomol. Paracetomol is preferred to Ibuprofen and aspirin as both can further irritate the lining of the stomach.
- Eat eggs. Eggs contain cysteine which helps break down the toxic by-products of ethanol.
- Try fruit juices that contain fructose. Fructose helps to provide energy and also speed up the rate in which we process toxins.
- Take a multivitamin. Replenishing C and B vitamins in particular can help get rid of the rest of the toxins.
The remedies above are last-ditch attempts to restore the ailing body. Remember, prevention is better than cure! Try and drink sensibly.