The time of year is upon us when we find ourselves at Christmas parties, lunches and dinners, wonderfully social opportunities to relax with colleagues and friends. The best hangover cure is to not drink too much in the first place but even with the noblest of intentions it is easy to overdo it.
The 3 main causes of hangover symptoms are:
- dehydration – alcohol is a diuretic making you pee more, taking water from the organs including the brain which slightly contracts, resulting in a headache.
- alcohol metabolism toxins (e.g. acetaldehyde) circulating in your blood
- impurities (e.g. zinc and other metals) that have been added during fermentation; there’s more in red wine and champagne, less in white wine, vodka has the least.
It’s true, women suffer more than men because a higher percentage of a man’s body weight is water so there is more water to dilute the alcohol. It’s also true that as you get older, the more you feel the affects of alcohol. This is because the liver produces less of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks the alcohol down into harmless substances.
Apparently sleeping on your right side can help as it encourages your stomach to drain, moving things along and relieving nausea.
Having a strong black coffee as a remedy, is a bit of a myth. It may perk you up due to the caffeine but in the end could make your dehydration even worse.
Obviously you could always reach for a headache pill, but these often inflame an already sore stomach and give the liver some more to deal with. So here are some all natural hangover cures I’ve come across and even used from time to time.
Before bedtime drink:
- a large glass of water with a pinch of sea salt added.
- a fruit juice, rich in vitamins and other antioxidants is a good way to provide the brain with nutrients.
- a few drops of milk thistle tincture in water, or take a powdered superfood mix containing milk thistle and turmeric (from Indigo Herbs) stirred into water. These do wonders in protecting and supporting the liver.
Then ‘the morning after’ more water and I find a detoxifying and rehydrating fresh vegetable/fruit juice very effective at rehydrating and supplying a large hit of ‘easy to absorb’ nutrients. Add fresh ginger to your juices as it calms and soothes the stomach, reducing nausea.
Here are some great combinations:
- 2 Carrots 1 apple 2 sticks celery, and a large handful of spinach all juiced together.
- 1 Beetroot, 3 carrots and 2 oranges
- A citrus juice of 1 grapefruit, 2 oranges and 1/2 lemon
Finally honey and banana can also help settle the stomach and re-stabilize the blood sugar levels, so you have more energy and feel less weak. They both help you to get hydrated again by adding some extra potassium to the body, increasing your electrolytes.
Combine these natural ingredients and ta dah! A green hangover cure smoothie:
- 1 banana
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 tsp honey
- small piece of fresh ginger
- ½ cup water
Wishing you a great Christmas!