Most of us can admit to having had one or two nights we regret over the festive season. Christmas parties can often start a little awkwardly yet, one or two cocktails later, everyone seems exceptionally witty and good fun, and you are roaring with laughter.
It would be fine if we stopped there, hopped in a taxi and headed home to snuggle in bed. Yet, the next moment, you’re knocking back Sambuca shots and dancing on tables…
Of course, when the alarm goes off the next morning, it feels as if someone is hitting you on the head with a hammer. This is when you vow to never touch another drink…’til the next time, that is!
While I do not advocate excessive drinking, I do advocate having fun, letting go and enjoying life! Instead of sitting at home watching old TV re-runs and avoiding parties like the plague, there are more natural ways to deal with hangovers.
Want some help? Read on for my tips to get you through the holidays or any hangover situation.
Have something to eat before you go. Having something in your belly can slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol, as well as protecting against vomiting.
Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of pure water to slow down your drinking and fend off dehydration, which can lead to headaches and nausea. When you get home, you should also have good drink of water (and first thing the next morning) to avoid a pounding headache.
To avoid a hangover cocktail of assorted additives, stick with one type of alcohol, and keep away from shots.
Avoid sugary drinks, which can speed up the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Drink clear liquors such as vodka, gin or white rum. Darker alcohols like bourbon, brandy, whiskey or red wine can all cause hangovers due to higher concentrates of congeners (a substance produced during fermentation).
Your liver is amazing at its job so give it a helping hand by having cleansing foods and what I call my ‘detox warriors’ - beetroot, carrot, leeks, garlic, onions, eggs, broccoli, watercress, ginger and (breath freshening) parsley.
Avoid the classic fry-up - eating heavy foods can irritate your stomach further. Hot porridge will fill you up and energise, while oats are rich in B vitamins to nourish your nervous system. Eggs contain an amino acid called cysteine, that helps breakdown acetaldehyde in the liver, which is linked to you feeling terrible after a heavy night out.
Eating fruit such as pineapples, cleansing apples, or potassium and vitamin C-rich bananas, which can help increase energy and replace lost vitamins and nutrients.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing you to lose more fluid than normal. Drink enough water and get munching on some potassium and magnesium-rich foods like banana, spinach, coconut, avocado, beans, lentils, leafy greens, nuts and seeds. Kefir, bone broth and coconut water can be helpful too, and may even help the dreaded headache.
Alcohol can lower blood sugar which leads to irritability, fatigue, light headedness and have you reaching for the nearest pack of sweets. Let’s avoid this by following my blood sugar balancing tips.
Feeling nauseous? Steep some fresh ginger in freshly-boiled water and drink as a tea. Ginger has antiemetic (anti-nausea) properties to calm that sick feeling, try an Immune Booster Tonic – it works a treat.
The sofa may be looking mighty comfy right now, but a bit of movement will do you good. Think a long walk in fresh air, or a little yoga. If you are feeling faint, you have a free pass on this one.
If you have any other tips and tricks of your own, comment and share below!
Have a fun, happy, healthy, and safe festive season.