How to avoid a hangover, plus how to recover naturally if you can't.
Pounding head, shivers, shakes, nausea, dizziness and a gasping thirst. No, it’s not the flu. It’s your roaring hangover. And it sucks.
Don’t worry. We’ve all been there.
Welcome to the festive season – the time of year when parties, fun and frivolities are rife. And so are the hangovers. To help, we’ve pulled together our top tips on how to avoid one followed by ways to recover naturally if this fails.
What’s the science?
Alcohol is a diuretic which means it removes fluid from the body, causing dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance. It also constricts blood cells, reducing the flow of oxygen to the brain A.K.A why we get those wincing headaches the next day.
Plus, alcohol irritates the stomach and intestine, causing inflammation and increasing the build up of acid in our body. This, coupled with the body trying to flush itself of toxins, is what makes us feel like we might throw up. Not cool.
– how best to avoid
Line your stomach with a proper meal
Eating a balanced meal of healthy carbs and fats prior to drinking will fill you up and slow down your body’s absorption of alcohol. Be smart – don’t be the one to peak too early.
Drink water throughout the night
Match every alcoholic drink with a glass of water. It’ll keep you hydrated and on top of how much you’re drinking. Try to have a pint of water before you go to sleep too. Your head will thank you the next day.
Avoid drinks with congeners
Congeners are chemicals found in alcohol. Drinks containing higher amounts are said to worsen the effects of a hangover; whiskey, cognac and tequila are high in congeners whereas vodka, gin and rum are low. Choose your tipple carefully. All in moderation…
Skip the bubbles and keep it light
Champagne, prosecco and carbonated beverages absorb alcohol quicker. As with (3) clear spirits are the way to go. Choose light, low-sugar mixers like soda water, tonic or coconut water for added taste (and a boost of potassium).
Choose higher quality spirits
It pays to invest in pricier alcohol. Why? These tend to be distilled more than cheaper varieties and so contain fewer toxic congeners. Treat yourself to something top-shelf this Christmas.
Okay, so it happened
– no judgement. Here’s how to recover from a hangover naturally
Alcohol impairs sleep. If you can, try and lie-in a bit the next day. If you can’t, go to bed early the following night. Your body needs the time to repair and recover. Don’t admonish yourself either – just get some rest.
Sip ginger tea
Ginger is thought to reduce nausea so if your stomach’s feeling sensitive when you wake up, try sipping ginger tea throughout the day. It could even aid the digestion of alcohol. Winner.
Drink coconut water
Your body is depleted of electrolytes and antioxidants, which your body needs to restore itself. Coconut water contains both and is more potassium rich than a banana. Buy an unpasteurised version to avoid compromise to the nutrient value.
Get fresh air
Oxygen increases the breakdown of alcohol toxins so go for a walk and inhale that fresh air. Even better, sweat it out. Exercise helps to excrete toxins from your body and will boost your endorphin count too.
Nourish your body with good food
Drinking depletes nutrients in the body so restore yours with vitamin and nutrient dense foods such as leafy greens, wholegrains, eggs and poultry. Food be thy medicine
, so nourish your body with wholesome foods to get you on the mend.
Overindulged? Rebel against your hangover with Rebel Kitchen’s 100% organic raw coconut water this party season. Delicious, hydrating, packed with antioxidants and electrolytes, it’s exactly what your hangover needs.
Find Rebel Kitchen Coconut Water on special offer in Waitrose across the whole of December and January.