Pounding headache? Fatigue? Stomach troubles? Keep those nasty hangovers at bay this holiday season with these natural fixes from Dr. Aisling Lanigan.
The first step to curing a hangover? Prevention! Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you start drinking:
- Keep a 1:1 ratio: Have one glass of water with each alcoholic drink. This prevents dehydration (which causes the hangover headache) and slows down your rate of drinking. For even more benefits, add a squeeze of lemon to help stimulate the liver to better process the toxic by-products of alcohol.
- Avoid sugary mixers: Too much sugar causes our blood sugar to spike, which feels great for a few minutes…until you crash! Once hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar) kicks in, our bodies are tricked into thinking we’re hungry so then we start chowing down on the cheese plate or the dessert table. The vicious cycle continues! The best mixers are water or carbonated water with a squeeze of lemon juice, not tonic water, pop or juice.
- Try a wine spritzer: Love wine? Why not opt for a spritzer? It’ll help you to stay hydrated and slow down your alcohol consumption.
- Eat smart before you drink: A pre-party meal filled with complex carbohydrates and healthy fats will help to line the digestive track and slow down alcohol absorption. Some key foods that fit the bill are sweet potatoes, quinoa, and avocado.
- Pop a B vitamin: B vitamins are a co-factor needed to breakdown and eliminate alcohol from the body. They’re a water soluble vitamin, so they are further depleted when you get dehydrated. Take a good quality B-complex vitamin before a night out (and again the next morning!), and make sure to always take them with food.
Didn’t quite succeed in catching your hangover before it started? Try one of these three easy DIY natural hangover cures:
- DIY Halting the Hangover Tea: Combine 3-4 slices of ginger root (ginger is an anti-emetic which helps combat nausea and vomiting), 1 bag of milk thistle tea (Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, supports liver detoxification and the metabolism of alcohol) and 1-2 cups of boiling water.
- DIY Hangover Hater Smoothie: Combine 3/4 cup coconut water, 1 banana, 1-2 tbsp almond butter, 1 inch peeled ginger root, 1 tbsp honey, and a handful of spinach.
- Hydrotherapy home treatment: Shower 1 minute in hot water, followed by 30 seconds in cold water. This process widens your blood vessels and then constricts them again, and after 3 cycles of this temperature swap, your body will be buzzing as it detoxifies!
And before you go around spreading a few popular hangover myths, let’s bust a couple of the most common ones:
- Is “hair of the dog” the best strategy? No, not quite. A lot of hangover symptoms are really just your body going through withdrawal, so by having some alcohol the day after, it eases withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately this also places a lot of burden on an already backed-up liver, so it’s still not the best choice.
- Is “beer before liquor, never been sicker” true? No! Your hangover is dependent on the total amount of alcohol consumed, although people who mix different types of drinks tend to drink more, and therefore experience more hangover symptoms.
- Can coffee help you sober up? No! Caffeine is just another thing that your liver has to process, when it’s already trying to deal with an overabundance of alcohol.
Want some more hangover busting tips? Watch the video below:
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