Sometimes we can celebrate a little too enthusiastically during the Christmas season, I’m sure some of you will have suffered through a few hangovers before! Lucky for you, we’ve got some fantastic tips to share with you courtesy of A.Vogel. So while my main advice would be to avoid drinking in excess, it’s always good to know how to make yourself feel better when you do get a bit carried away!
An easy three-part guide for beating that hangover!
The dreaded hangover
We’ve all been there: a few quiet drinks with friends turns into a wild night out and before you know it you’re three shots down in a club you promised you’d never go back to after last time. The next day you’re totally exhausted with a pounding headache and a good dose of nausea – the dreaded hangover! Here at A.Vogel we like to promote a healthy lifestyle, so we generally don’t recommend drinking alcohol in excess. However, we’ve all accidentally had a bit too much to drink at some point in our lives, so rather than a lecture we thought we’d share some tips on how to boost your energy after a night out and banish that hangover.
So what can you do about your hangover?
You’ll find all kinds of claims of hangover cures online – from pickle juice to miso soup to yet more alcohol! However, a hangover is caused by a variety of factors, so there really isn’t one single thing that will magically cure you.
The biggest contributor to a hangover is dehydration, but lack of sleep plays a huge role too – you’d probably still feel horrible on just a couple of hours sleep regardless of if you’d been drinking or not! After a whole night of processing toxins, your liver is likely to be in need of some TLC too. So when it comes to refuelling after a night out, we always find a simple three-part system helps – rehydrate, boost your energy, and tend to your liver.
A huge part of your hangover comes from simple dehydration. Alcohol actually dehydrates you faster than not drinking anything at all! Figures vary from source to source, but what we do know is that for every glass, bottle or pint you have, you lose more than that in fluids; so one pint of beer will result in more than one pint of urine. This rapid loss of fluids is what results in your headache, fatigue and dry mouth the next day!
This diuretic effect not only strips water from the body, but it also causes a significant loss in electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium. These vital minerals help to balance your fluids, help muscles to relax and contract, and help electric impulses travel to and from the brain. This loss of minerals is why you tend to crave salty foods after a night out, and it also contributes to feelings of sluggishness, disorientation and fatigue.
Drinking water is obviously a great way to rehydrate. Downing a glass of cold water is likely to cause bloating and discomfort – not a good idea for an already-sensitive tum! Instead, fill up a big glass or bottle and take a sip every couple of minutes. Fruit juice may be a bit more appealing if you’re struggling to drink water.
But rehydration is not complete without electrolytes. To ensure your electrolyte levels are topped up, drink one sachet of our Balance Mineral Drink in a little water. It contains vital electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium with L+ lactic acid to encourage a healthy digestive system. Magnesium is vital for energy levels, so you should find that this drink not only rehydrates you, but give you a good boost in energy! This brings us to part 2.
Boost your energy
Hangovers are greatly exacerbated by a lack of sleep, which contributes to headaches and a general feeling of exhaustion and weakness. Even if you didn’t drink much last night, you might still feel rubbish just because you’ve had such little sleep! As well as rehydrating you to fix your hangover, the mineral-packed Balance Mineral Drink should give you a good boost in energy too. In fact, we also recommend this to long-distance cyclists and as a post-workout drink, so it really is a great way to refuel and recover!
Apart from this, try to get some extra sleep if you can. This might mean waking up for some food and water, and then going back to bed for an hour. When it comes to eating, make sure you have lots of energy-rich foods! This includes complex carbohydrates like oats or brown toast, as well as some fruit and a little protein. How about stirring some raspberries and almond butter into your porridge?
Tend to your liver
As you probably know, processing alcohol puts enormous pressure on your liver, and your body is probably still trying to process it and recover the morning after. Give yours a helping hand with herbs like milk thistle, artichoke, dandelion and peppermint. These herbs are famous for their liver-supporting properties, and their uses in digestion.
Prevention is better than a cure
Hopefully you’ll learn from this horrible hangover and remember not to drink quite so much next time! When you do go out drinking, make sure to include water on your bar tab, as this will not only help to keep you hydrated, but will slow down the rate at which you’re consuming alcohol. Most people recommend one glass of water for every alcoholic drink, but realistically, I can tell you probably won’t do that! Instead, I would suggest ordering a pint of water with your first drink and sipping on that alongside your alcoholic drinks. You’ll probably find that you can actually go through a couple of pints of water over the course of the evening without really noticing! When you get home, make sure to have another large glass of water before bed.
A word of caution
Please remember that excessive alcohol drinking is incredibly bad for you! It not only dehydrates you and damages your liver, but it can also destroy your gut bacteria – which are vital for digestion and the immune system – worsen inflammatory conditions like arthritis and IBS, and has even been linked to depression and anxiety. Long-term alcohol abuse can irreversibly damage the liver, heart, brain and digestive system.
While herbs can provide excellent support for the liver, they will not provide immunity from the effects of alcohol! Please don’t assume that taking a herbal remedy means you can drink as much as you like with no health effects.
The truth is that there is no miracle cure for a hangover and unfortunately, side-effects of some kind are an inevitable result of excessive drinking! But hopefully these tips will help reduce the severity of your hangover and get you back in tip-top condition that bit quicker.
So good luck!
Remember, staying hydrated and looking after your liver are useful tips even if it's not a hangover you're suffering from. The festive period can put a lot of pressure on our bodies, so whether it's too much food, too much alcohol or too much stress that's causing your slow morning, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at your water intake and liver care!