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The hangover is unavoidable.
You know it’s going to happen—you’ve got a big night planned for a mate’s birthday, a wedding or some other occasion—you’ll be drinking and having stupid amounts of fun.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be unbearable or disrupt your entire next day!
Here are a few simple tips to both prevent your hangover’s strength as well as treat it:
Preventing the intensity:
Now of course I could say don’t drink as much, but I know you’re not going to do that, and where’s the fun in that anyway? Here are some simple strategies to follow on the day of the party:
1. Drink plenty of water during the night.
Scientists are still not sure why hangovers occur in the first place, although we all know that more dehydrated we are, the more we feel like crap. Alcohol consumption dehydrates us, so an effective strategy is to drink water between beverages throughout the night.
After all is said and done for the night, take the opportunity to rehydrate yourself as much as you can before you pass out.
As we’re likely to be in the same position for the next eight hours (if you do happen to get up to go to the toilet during the night, then take that opportunity to drinks lots of water too), the more water we add to our system, the better off we’ll be the following day.
2. Eat a wholesome meal prior to drinking.
Food absorbs the alcohol that is consumed as well as prevents the alcohol from impacting us too much. Make sure you’ve got plenty of low-sugar foods in your tummy before heading out for the night to ensure the best possible foundation.
3. Consume beverages with cleaner contents.
I love beer and wine as much as the next person, but I’ve found that drinking a spirit with soda water and lemon/lime eases the impacts of consuming all that liquid. There are fewer additives, less sugar and more water content.
My hangovers have been no where near as intense since I started this strategy.
Treating the intensity:
Treating a hangover is tricky business. Unfortunately, there are no scientifically proven cures for hangovers; however, there are some simple tricks you can do to mitigate the intensity.
1. The most important trick is to drink plenty of water.
We’re 70 percent water, so it’s easy to understand why drinking it will help us to heal.
It is likely that over the course of the previous night we made more trips to the bathroom than normal and therefore we have probably lost many salts and electrolytes. Consuming exercise and sports drinks designed to replace these ingredients are therefore an effective choice.
2. Replace some of your lost nutrients.
Multi-vitamin supplements are another way to replenish our systems. Although they may or may not have noticeable impacts taking them will be a good choice in the long run.
3. Dissolve a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda into a glass of water.
Our bodies have healthy pH levels that need to be maintained. Generally, we consume a lot of acidic foods, so having a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda (the aluminium-free version) is good for balancing out pH levels. It does this because it is an alkaloid.
I know, I know, this may seem too much of a big ask, but let me assure you: going for a light run, swimming in the ocean or doing a workout at the gym will release a tonne of great chemicals into your system and therefore lift your mood. Make sure you’ve rehydrated properly first though.
5. Eat wholesome and sugar-free foods.
The tradition of eating a big, greasy breakfast is a myth! We may feel better temporarily, but then all that crap we just ate requires lots of energy to be properly digested, effectively making us feel more lethargic.
Don’t worry, a protein-rich bacon and eggs brekky is still a winner, as well is good portions of alkaline fruits.
6. If you’ve got the choice, sleep it off.
This isn’t always an option, but if it is, take it. Even if it is just a half an hour kip on the lounge or an hour meditation session, the body is a natural healer so switching our noisy minds off for a while will speed up the efficiency of the healing process.
7. Do an activity to keep your mind off of the pain of your hangover.
The less we think about it, the less impact it has. Go down the beach, get some sun, have sex, read an enthralling book, watch some epic blockbusters, go for a bushwalk or clean the house.
No matter what you choose or where your passions lie, just go and do it.
The hangover will be a distant memory in no time.
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Author: Phil Watt
Editor: Emma Ruffin
Photo: Mike Licht/Flickr