Those 8 pints, 6 vodkas, 2 Sambucas and 5 Jagermeisters seemed a really good idea at the time, didn’t they? But if you’re now suffering the consequences and your hangover has kicked in good and proper you need an effective strategy to help get rid of it and once again feel like a human being. Here’s our guide to some of the common hangover cures…
Sweat It Out
You’d think that exercise would be a good hangover cure, but in reality, it could actually make your hangover worse. The theory is that going for a run or a workout in the gym helps you process the alcohol in your body quicker, thus getting it out of your system and making you feel better. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Exercising without being properly hydrated could actually worsen your hangover, and if you do feel a little bit better following a workout, this is more likely to do with the usual post workout endorphin rush rather than your hangover going away.
Sleep It Off
Time is a great healer for a broken heart they say… and it can be for a hangover. With alcohol metabolized at roughly a rate of one drink per hour, sleeping for as long as you can lets your body deal with the alcohol without you having to face up to those awful hangover feelings. A good lie-in lets you sleep through the worst of the hangover. To make this hangover cure even more effective, drink some water and hydrate yourself before you go to bed, and have a glass handy when you wake up.
Hair of the Dog
Controversial, but actually a hangover cure that does work to some degree. With a hangover, your body is going through withdrawal symptoms, and by taking in some more alcohol you are just delaying the inevitable. However, in the short term, it can make you feel better, and combined with rehydrating yourself and sleeping, it can be quite effective. However, you should exercise caution, as using the hair of the dog can be a slippery slope towards alcoholism.
Coffee isn’t going to make you any more sober, but it will perk you up and make your hangover better, right? Well maybe… It’s a tough one to call because it just depends on how coffee affects you. The temporary rush from the caffeine in coffee may give you a burst of energy and help perk you up, but chances are you will crash later. You may also start to have a caffeine withdrawal headache a while after the coffee which is the last thing you need when already hung-over. Best keep the coffee back until you’ve had an hour or so to wake up properly and hydrate yourself with a couple of glasses of water.
Hydrating yourself will help your hangover; it’s one of the most effective ways of killing a hangover off. Water is great for this, but sports drinks can be even better, because, as well as replacing fluids, they also have electrolytes in them (chloride, potassium and chloride), which help hydrate you quicker. The sugar in the drinks also give you a sugar boost, as blood sugar levels can be rather low as part of a hangover. There is a also natural version to try – coconut milk. This too contains electrolytes and is non-fat and has much less sugar and calories than comparable sports drinks.
The Good Old Fry-Up
Some people swear by the fry-up as an effective hangover cure. Sure there’s a comfort factor and having a full belly might make you feel a bit better, but where the fry-up is most effective is before you go out drinking. Eating a meal like this that has fat and is high in protein can help slow the absorption of alcohol, and can prevent you getting too drunk and then suffering the inevitable terrible hangover after.
The Best Cure…. Prevention
Yes, we know we sound a bit boring here, but it really is the best way of stopping yourself getting a great big hangover from hell. If being the designated driver really isn’t for you, try having the occasional glass of water whilst out which will keep you hydrated and slow down the effects of the alcohol. You’ll be glad of it in the morning…