Christmas is almost upon us again. It’s a special time of year, when everyone is encouraged to eat and be merry.
But, as most will attest, sometimes being merry can get a little out of hand. One drink becomes two, becomes three, becomes four. Pretty soon it’s 2AM and work starts at eight.
Hangovers happen to us all, but there are a few ways to lessen the effects of a night on the tiles around this time of year.
As Charlie Turner, Founder of Neat Nutrition explains, “There are two key causes of a hangover: dehydration and toxins (those in the booze and the ones produced by the body as your liver works overtime to get rid of the booze).
“The best thing would be to avoid or moderate your intake, but with 57% of Brits drinking on a regular basis we need to be realistic”. Thankfully, the experts at Neat Nutrition reckon they have cracked it with a list of seven fool-proof hangover cures that will make that early start the next day a tiny but more manageable.
The Black Mary
Meet the cousin of the Bloody Mary. Warning, this legendary drink is only for the bravest of hungover souls. After brewing your morning cup of coffee with tonic water instead of regular water, use orange juice in replace of milk and drip honey instead of sugar into your cup. The Black Mary is a combination of all of the popular post-party fixes: coffee, carbonation and fruit juice. If the previous night ended later than you’d planned, the Black Mary could be worth a shot.
Yes, it sounds dire, but if you can hold your nose and just down it, this is a widely accepted hangover cure. The vinegar, water and sodium super combo is the ultimate ‘pick-me-up’, combating dehydration and boosting energy. It’s worth adding some honey, not only to sweeten up the salty concoction but also to restore blood glucose levels.
Sweat it out
The benefits of hitting the gym on a hangover have been long debated, but getting the body moving in some capacity is a good idea. Keep it light and low intensity: gentle weight training, a steady jog or a refreshing swim. Some communities in America believed that licking sweat off your own body after exercise cured a hangover. Even if this is true, we suggest sticking to drinking plenty of water…
Top up your protein levels
Believe it or not, what your body needs when you’re hungover isn’t greasy junk food, it’s protein. Proteins are broken down into individual amino acids which helps detoxify your liver. Alcohol depletes these amino acids, so replenishing your stock is essential. When a hangover strikes, simple is best, which means throwing ingredients into a blender with minimal prep. Try one cup of coconut water (loaded with sodium and other electrolytes and sugars that alcohol destroys) a large handful of spinach, half a small banana (packed full of potassium which helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions), one cup frozen mango and one scoop of vanilla protein.
The Prairie Oyster
This is actually a 19th-century “hangover cure”, so you can blame our ancestors for this cocktail of tomato juice, a whole raw egg, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar and a dash of Tabasco sauce. This works by replenishing the water, salts and electrolytes that alcohol has depleted. In processing booze, the body also creates other toxic chemicals, thought to be responsible for many of those horrible hangover feelings. By introducing new toxins into your body (such as capsaicin in Tabasco sauce), your body temporarily turns away from alcohol processing, delaying or eliminating a lot of your symptoms.
Yes, it sounds like hell when you’re battling the nausea, but bear with us. This is a common remedy in Peru and Japan, and is served as a ceviche-style soup. It includes lime juice, lemon juice, fish stock, fish scraps, garlic and ginger. This combination of ingredients is said to be a great stomach-settler, as well as rehydrating and restocking sodium levels. Garlic contains vitamin B1, known to help disassemble alcohol. Exactly what you need when making your way to work on three hours’ sleep. Just make sure to wash your mouth out afterwards…
We know the ‘drink water’ message is predictable, but there’s a reason for this – it’s vital to the battle of the booze. Make it your business to replenish throughout the night. A rule of thumb: for every alcoholic drink, down a glass of water. Drink one to two pints (of water!) before you go to bed, and add a squeeze of lemon as this alkalises your drink, which will help detoxify your liver and kidneys. It won’t cure your hangover, but will help to reduce the dehydration that alcohol leaves you with, which can only help.
For more information or for further details on Neat Nutrition products, visit www.neat-nutrition.com. The Neat Nutrition Café is situated in Lululemon Regent Street.
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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.