I’VE been asking a few experts about hangover cures – what to eat and drink and what to avoid. The trick, it seems isto restock your body with fluids and essential nutrients like fructose, vitamins, animo acids and minerals. They can help break down toxins and reduce the body’s negative reaction to the chemicals in booze.
Drinks that could cure a hangover
Water: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it forces water out of your body (in the usual way!) from anywhere it can find it – including the brain. Hence the headache.
My tip to prevent a hangover is drink one glass of water for every glass of alcohol as you go along. Pour more in before you go to bed and when you get up.
Sports drinks: They’re packed with sugar so normally I’d avoid them. But sports drinks contain the electrolytes your body needs to help rehydrate you when you wake up with that dreaded hangover.
Peppermint tea: Pregnant women know that peppermint tea is good for morning sickness – and it works for dodgy bellies and a hangover after a big night, too.
Sailors swear by ginger for seasickness, so ginger tea, or at the very least a ginger nut biscuit, might do the trick.
Fruit juice: The fructose in apple or cranberry juice gives you a bit of instant energy and may help fight the toxins. Juice also contains vitamins and water to get you rehydrated.
Food that can help give you a boost
Bananas, kiwi, and spinach: They’re all stuffed with potassium, an important electrolyte that often runs low because of alcohol’s diuretic effect. Trying popping all three in the blender with some yoghurt for a smoothie.
Eggs: Packed with amino acids like cysteine and taurine, which both boost your liver after it’s taken a pounding.
Toast and honey: Bread is a simple carb that raises your blood sugar and gives you energy without upsetting a delicate stomach. Honey is full of fructose which helps burn off alcohol quickly.
Porridge: Natural oats, not the sugar-packed processed variety, have essential nutrients like B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Oats can help neutralise acids and raise blood sugar levels.
Tomato juice: Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the body and fructose and vitamin C to help the liver recover.
Here’s what you should avoid
A big fry-up: A full English is better at preventing a hangover than curing one because it lines the stomach, slowing down the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.
But greasy food the morning after can irritate the stomach and make nausea worse.
Hair of the dog: Having a couple of shots to wake you up in the morning simply dehydrates the body even more and once the alcohol wears off your hangover will invariably feel even worse.
Black coffee: The traditional remedy for a pounding head. But the caffeine in coffee is as much of a diuretic as alcohol so it will deplete your water levels, not replace them.
Caffeine also causes the blood vessels to shrink, raising your blood pressure and making that pounding hangover head feel even worse.
Orange juice: Contains citric acid which is guaranteed to irritate your sensitive stomach at the very time it needs soothing.