Hangover Help | Living North

Hangover Help

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The party season means plenty of festive cheer but here’s how to avoid the after-effects

Living North are not in the business of promoting drinking to excess, but if the morning after is a cocktail of headache and nausea, whether you have downed one glass or several, there are ways and means of avoiding that crushing hangover. 

• Your first line of defence is attack. By controlling your blood sugars you have a better chance of feeling better. Alcohol can ruin glucose regulation which in turn leaves you with low blood sugar. By deliberately upping your intake of complex carbohydrates at lunchtime you are already helping avoid post-party purgatory. The antioxidants in fruit and vegetables are also important for your liver function, and for a belt and braces approach, supplement these with a Vitamin B complex.

• Women tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to the the after-effects of a night out. The fact that we naturally produce less of the antioxidant glutathione, which helps the liver detox, combined with a smaller body mass and higher fat to water ratio means we are slower to metabolise alcohol, but careful preparation can help you avoid the hangover from hell.

• Officially, ‘healthy drinking’ is wine in moderation (one or two glasses during a meal) but do slow down your alcohol intake by interspersing wine with water, or sip a non-alcoholic drink throughout the evening.

• If you are out to dinner, place your water glass on your right, if you are right-handed, and your wine glass on your left so you automatically reach for the water first. Trust us, it works.

• Alcohol absorption is noticeably slowed by food digestion. As soon as you take your first sip, the alcohol travels almost immediately to your stomach where something approaching 20 percent will be absorbed into the blood stream. The old adage about ‘lining your stomach’ is a good one. But rather than wolfing down toast or pasta, try eating some lean protein before you head out. This will slow down glucose production from the sugary alcohol so slowing down alcohol absorption.

• Alcohol, as it hits your blood stream, begins to alter your brain chemicals; serotonin and dopamine responsible for the feeling of relaxation often associated with a first drink. But after a while it will affect your judgement, inhibition and self-control which makes saying ‘no’ to the next drink even harder. As the evening wears on try to avoid the cocktails – spirits can cause the cruellest of hangovers as they contain far greater amounts of ethanol in a smaller volume of liquid.

• Before going to bed make a concerted effort to replace lost fluid. As you sip a pint of water you may want to take a painkiller as a preventative measure. Ibuprofen is best, although aspirin and paracetamol are also fine but be aware – the combination of paracetamol, caffeine and alcohol can be dangerous, especially if you have been drinking heavily over several days.

• When you can face food try a combination of slow-release carbohydrates to balance blood sugar, antioxidants to help detox and electrolytes to rehydrate. Eggs are good, as are oats. Combat nausea with salty Vitamin B rich foods such as Marmite – the Vitamin B relieves anxiety while the salt will help settle an upset stomach.

• Rather than lounging about feeling sorry for yourself try to exercise – it will increase the amount of oxygen in your system, boosting energy and blood flow, speeding up the detox process.

• Rescue remedies for the morning after the night before... Neal’s Yard organic Detox Tea, £2.99 has naturally purifying ingredients to cleanse you from the inside out. Sleep off the worst of the after effects with the fabulous Love After Dark Pillow Mist, £40 from award-winning Kiss The Moon. Win the battle of the eye bags with this clever cooling roll on treatment with yeast extract to de-puff and brighten the eye area. No Puffery, £24 Origins. Finally, give your liver a helping hand with this tonic designed to aid rapid repair. Liver & Kidney Drops, £11.50 The Organic Pharmacy

Published in: December 2016

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