Well, hopefully some of these hangover cures will help take the edge off after our first night out in a LONG time when the pubs reopen 4 July.
We scoured the internet and asked our friends and family for their hangover cures, then ran them past Dr Deborah Lee, of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy who clarified whether these really are the real deal.
Some could actually make a difference, and some are just a load of old baloney. So be sure to read this thoroughly before your next drinking sesh. Your hangover will thank you for it.
Before your night out...
1. Take milk thistle to avoid a hangover
Milk thistle is supposed to help protect your liver from the toxic effects of alcohol breakdown products, so a lot of people recommend taking a milk thistle tablet before you start drinking, and also the next day too. But, unfortunately there's a not a whole lot of medical proof to it, so maybe take this with a pinch of salt. Not literally, mind you…
2. Don't go out on an empty stomach
This is a no-brainer, but eating beforehand can help you avoid a hangover. According to the NHS website, have a meal that includes carbohydrates (such as pasta or rice) or fats as this will help to slow down your body's absorption of alcohol.
During your night out...
3. Avoid drinks with congeners to avoid a hangover
Congeners are toxic chemical by-products, which are formed in small amounts when alcohol is made. A number of studies have shown that the more congeners in a drink, the worse your hangover will be. So, it’s worth keeping in mind that vodka, gin and rum are low in congeners (vodka contains hardly any). While tequila, whiskey and cognac are all high in congeners, with bourbon containing the highest amount.
4. Choose non-fizzy drinks to avoid a hangover
The bubbles in fizzy drinks can speed up the absorption of alcohol into your body, so if you want to limit your drunkenness, and potential hangover, it might be worth switching tonic water and Coke for orange juice or cranberry juice. Same goes for fizzy booze like Prosecco and Champagne. Soz.
5. Drink plenty of water to avoid a hangover
Many hangover symptoms are due to your body being dehydrated, so it’s best to top up your water intake as much as possible – not only the morning after, but also during your booze sesh, too. Every so often, switch out an alcoholic drink for a pint of water.
After all, it’s mostly the dehydration making you feel dizzy, tired and thirsty during a hangover. Plus, it’s what has given you a headache that feels like your brain has tripled in size but your cranium hasn’t.
The morning after the night before...
6. Eat a big breakfast to avoid a hangover
Some of the main symptoms of a hangover are nausea, weakness and simply being damn tired. These can all be attributed your low blood sugar. A good way to increase your blood sugar is by having a big ol’ plate of food when you finally manage to unpeel your dry eyelids from your dry eyeballs.
"Having too much alcohol on board also upsets the balance of the good and bad bacteria in your intestines," according to Dr Deborah Lee. "It really is true that alcohol can cause a ‘leaky gut’. Get on and put some healthy nourishing food inside you!"
7. Say no to caffeine to avoid a hangover
This might sound crazy, seeing as one of the worst things about being hungover is the outrageous tiredness, but avoiding caffeine will help you kick your hangover to the curb.
Yes, an enormous 50-shot coffee will momentarily make you feel better, but you have to remember that caffeine is a dehydrator, so you’ll basically just end up back at square one.
Maybe try a different hot drink instead...
8. Have a cup of ginger tea to avoid a hangover
For years, ginger has been used in Chinese medicine as an anti-nausea treatment. And a 2016 study concluded that the plant is “an effective and inexpensive treatment for nausea”.
So, a cup of ginger tea is just the thing if you’re struggling to keep your Coco Pops down the morning after the night before.
9. Rehydration sachets to cure a hangover
If simply drinking water isn’t hitting the spot, you can always try a rehydration sachet. These are usually taken when someone is dehydrated because of diarrhoea and/or sickness to get the salts you lose back in your system. When mixed with water, they can go a long way to replace lost fluids. Sports drinks like Lucozade also work in the same way.
"Don’t underestimate the importance of being adequately hydrated," says Dr Lee. "Severe dehydration can lead to more serious illnesses in the long run."
10. Drink fruit juice to cure a hangover
As well as drinking plenty of water to get your hydration levels back up, it’s also a good idea to drink fresh fruit juice or smoothies. These will give you back the vitamins you so desperately need to recover.
11. Take painkillers to avoid a hangover
Painkillers can help with headaches and muscle cramps gained from a hangover, says the NHS.
Paracetamol is your best bet, especially a soluble one as it will get into your bloodstream quicker, and we all know that speed is key in times of need like this.
But avoid taking aspirin and ibuprofen together as these can irritate an already sensitive stomach.
12. Try antacids to avoid a hangover
If you’re suffering from a funky belly as well as a splitting headache, give antacids a go. The likes of Rennie or Alka-Seltzer will help settle your stomach.
13. Sleep to avoid a hangover
The reason you feel so knackered after a night out is that, even though you think you got enough sleep, you didn’t.
There’s a good chance you went to bed late, and even the sleep you got will have been disturbed because of the alcohol in your system.
So, if you can, try and take a nap. If you’re at work, you may have to hide in the cleaner’s cupboard and do it, but trust us, it’s worth it.
14. Do some exercise to cure a hangover
Look, no one wants to hear this, but doing some light exercise will really help if you’re feeling less-than-fresh.
Seeing as alcohol can depress your mood, exercise will bring back some of those endorphins; helping to automatically improve how you feel.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK:
Hair of the dog does not cure a hangover
Drinking more booze will not get rid of your hangover, it will simply postpone it. Yes, you may momentarily feel better while drinking that Bloody Mary, but it won’t last long.
Keri Peterson, M.D, said: “The infamous 'hair of the dog that bit you' cocktail doesn’t cure a hangover — It merely postpones it until later in the day.
“That's because hangovers set in when blood-alcohol levels start to fall. The worst symptoms begin when the levels drop to zero.
“If you keep drinking, it may buy you some time and help you make it through brunch, but once you stop, it's going to hit you hard. Now you're hungover from both a night and morning of drinking.”
Sadly, Dr Lee adds, "Despite extensive research, there is still no cure for a hangover! The only salient advice - sadly - is to limit alcohol intake."
As always, it's always important to be Drinkaware. Excessively drinking alcohol comes with a number of health risks. If you're a regular drinker it's important to remember:
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