We are now in the last month of 2017 which means Christmas and New Year is just around the corner. This also means that there is going to be a lot of celebration, partying and possibly drinking as all three complement each other. While partying, celebrating and drinking indeed is a lot of fun, the next day hangovers are anything but. Whether it is one too many or a few too many, hangovers comes in the form of a desert-dry mouth, pounding headache, bloodshot eyes and perhaps a little queasiness. There is a well known saying: ‘Prevention is better than cure’; which translates to not drinking at all. But as not drinking is a distant possibility, let’s look at a few easily available hangover cures.
Water: This might be obvious, but is ignored by most drinkers. It may be helpful to have a large glass of water before starting with alcohol and between drinks. Tender coconut water is also ideal as it contains a great balance of electrolyte minerals.
Protein and healthy fat: Ensure whatever you eat contains protein as well as some healthy fats, as these are broken down more slowly than sugars or carbohydrates and stay in the stomach for longer. Healthy fats help coat the stomach and replenish levels of fatty acids that may be depleted through alcohol consumption. Good protein foods are meats, fish, eggs, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds. Healthy fats may include avocado, olive oil, cod liver oil capsules, butter and cheese.
Liver supporting food: Liver is responsible for processing and breaking down about 95 percent of the alcohol consumed. Therefore, it’s best to eat foods which promote liver function, both before and after drinking. Protein-rich foods are one of the food groups in this category. Eggs, onions, garlic and ‘cruciferous’ vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage might help.
Vitamins and minerals: Green leafy vegetables, lemons, broccoli and red cabbage are great sources of vitamin C and minerals including magnesium, which help support the liver. Whole grains are good sources of B vitamins, minerals and fibre to support elimination of toxins. You can also take a multivitamin to help restore your nutrient levels.
However, conservative management offers the best cures. Time is the most important component, because hangover symptoms will usually abate over 8 to 24 hours.