There are loads of great hangover cures out there, but also loads of terrible ones (hair of the dog, we’re looking at you). It’s hard to know which ones to actually try the morning after a night of partying. One thing that’s always important is nourishing yourself with the right foods, even if that’s the last thing you feel like doing.
The foods you eat when you have a hangover can either really help or really hurt you – there’s kinda no in between. In order to make the right choices it’s important to know the effects that alcohol actually has on your body. It dehydrates you, stops your body from being able to absorb B-vitamins that are essential to almost every facet of your biology, and can even cause long term health issues. It’s clear that if you’re going to drink, you have to balance it out by replenishing what your body has lost.
We always think about the hangover breakfast, but what many of us forget about is the meal directly before. Prior to going out drinking, it’s important that you have a hearty meal with a good balance of carbs, fats and proteins. A well balanced meal will give you a good variety of vitamins and minerals, and you’ll get those all important B-vitamins that your body won’t be able to absorb after you begin drinking. Fats and proteins are essential as they serve to slow down alcohol absorption into your bloodstream, making you less likely to get sick.
Of course, most of us know that dehydration is a huge part of a hangover. It’s a good idea to drink at least one glass of water for every drink you have when you’re out to make sure that your body is properly quenched.
And finally, here are some things that will actually help you if you went a little too hard.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Veggies like kale, spinach and rocket can be life savers when you’re hungover. They contain vitamin C which helps repair the tissues in your body among other things, as well as iron and fibre. Fry or steam them to release their antioxidants – adding some to an omelette is a great idea that will also get you loads of protein. Alternatively, opt for a green smoothie.
Potassium, in conjunction with sodium, is an essential electrolyte that will replenish fluids in your body and maintain their balance. Considering alcohol is so dehydrating, it’s obvious how potassium rich foods could be helpful. Try eating bananas, avocados and some skin-on potatoes. Tomato pasta with some protein in it is also a great idea due to the high potassium content of tomato paste. Also try drinking some ultra-hydrating coconut water or a sports drink like Lucozade.
Amino acids, which make up protein, are said to be the “building blocks of all life”. Quite the prestigious title, and well deserved – why wouldn’t they be able to help you when you’re feeling less than put together? Proteins will make you feel full and replenish many vitamins that you will have lost. Opt for protein rich salmon, nuts and meats. If you prefer veggies, beans and legumes are great sources of plant-based protein and have the added benefit of magnesium. Pair it with some fibre like quinoa to make your meal extra helpful.
Water, water, water! We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Drinking a few glasses isn’t the only way to rehydrate, though. There are plenty of foods with high water content such as cucumber, melon, tomatoes and bell peppers.
By now you know that when you have alcohol in your system, your body can’t absorb the essential B-vitamins that support your metabolism and provide you with energy. There are 3 different types of B-vitamins to be found in all different foods. You can get B12 from cereals and greek yoghurt. Folate is found in dark leafy veggies, fruits, nuts and beans. Finally, B6 comes from chickpeas, liver, tuna, salmon and chicken. You’ve got a lot of options, so make sure to choose at least one!
This one may come as a surprise. Some studies suggest that the high fructose content of honey helps the body rid itself of alcohol more quickly. Though more research is needed, it won’t hurt to swallow a spoonful or stir some into your tea.
What’s your go to hangover cure rubies?