I’m sure many of you have experienced that yucky, dehydrated, painful experience of waking up the morning after a night of binge drinking. You may feel dizzy, sore or just plain horrible due to copious amounts of alcohol entering your system. Luckily there are a few coping mechanisms to help you feel better and get your energy back, so you don’t have to spend the whole day in bed. You should also familiarise yourself with the foods to avoid after a big night.
Lots and lots of water
First things first. Water should be your best friend during your big night, at the end of your night and first thing in the morning. Water will help to eliminate the alcohol from your body, so ideally should be taken in between every alcoholic drink you consume. However, if this doesn’t happen you should definitely chug some back before you go to bed to help minimise the typical hangover symptoms in the morning. Otherwise, it’s also beneficial to consume a hearty amount first thing in the morning. Try to aim for around eight glasses of water before you feel like your usual self, as hydrating is the best way to regain balance and get your body fluids back on track.
Load up on electrolyte beverages
Excess alcohol works by depleting your body of liquids and causes dehydration, which is why you don’t feel your prime self the morning after. While Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade are high in electrolytes, coconut water is preferable as it is more natural, lower in sugar, higher in potassium and has more electrolytes.
Sip herbal tea
Make sure to always keep a stash of herbal tea nearby for when you do feel a little under the weather. Ginger tea has been proven to reduce nausea and motion sickness, while peppermint tea and green tea are excellent for easing stomach pains and reducing nausea.
Eat a wholesome breakfast
In order to get your energy levels back, you not only need to replenish your body with water, but you also need extra vitamins and nutrients to suppress that hangover thirst. Eggs are an excellent breakfast option as they are full of the amino acids cysteine and taurine. Taurine boosts liver function, which is especially important after your liver has had to break down all the toxins from the alcohol. Cysteine breaks down acetaldehyde, the chemical that leaves behind the terrible headache after the liver has broken down ethanol. You could also make a smoothie with bananas, dates and leafy greens for a good dose of potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte that is often depleted after a night on the town, and is essential in helping nutrients move into cells and move waste products out of cells. Porridge is always a good option as oats contains many essential nutrients such as B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and iron, which will give you that kick start you need.
Have some miso
While you may not be feeling like sushi the morning after, miso soup is an excellent Japanese food option. The broth from the soup rehydrates and tops up sodium levels while the fermented miso aids with digestion. This can be purchased from a grocery store if there aren’t any sushi places nearby.
Ease on the grease
Although many may wake up craving a greasy burger or fries, a large, fatty meal is much more beneficial before drinking than the morning after. This is because when fatty foods are comsumed in advance it helps to line the stomach, slowing down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. This is why it’s never a good idea to go drinking on an empty stomach as there’s nothing in your stomach to cushion the blow from alcohol, and you will feel the effects a lot faster.
Beware of Hair of the Dog
Although it is the last thing you feel like doing, you may have heard that continuing the booze the morning after will help you deal with your hangover. However, this is not the solution as although you may feel better initially, it will end up further dehydrating you and make you feel even worse later on.
Don’t overdo the caffeine
While you may wake up craving a good coffee to get that initial energy boost, it could actually worsen your headache. However, if you drink coffee daily it is best to stick to your habit as you will then have to deal with alcohol and coffee withdrawal which will end up worsening your hangover. In saying that, be mindful not to ingest too much caffeine as you will end up feeling dehydrated, as coffee is a mild diuretic.