5 Hangover cures

While not condoning excessive drinking, Moneybags’ Jessica Wood looks at five hangover cures you can try if you over indulge over the festive season.

Desi Horsman, a nutritionist and wellness specialist, notes that it is easy to overindulge, and that this may result in headaches, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth and fatigue the following morning. “Dehydration, blood sugar drop, alcohol toxicity in the liver and depletion of Vitamins A, B and C are key culprits to these hangover symptoms.”

Horsman offers the below hangover cures:

  1. Stay hydrated

It is important to remain hydrated while drinking. Horsman notes: “Drink water through the evening as much as possible and at least two to three glasses of water at bedtime to try prevent hangover symptoms or in the least ease them.”

Juice and rehydration formulas are very valuable in the morning but coffee should be avoided. “Caffeine not only dehydrates you further but narrows your blood vessels and boosts your blood pressure worsening symptoms. Certain sport drinks that are high in electrolytes can be of value here too.”

  1. Eat breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this stays true after a night of inebriation. Horsman explains that the minerals and nutrients in food help to replenish a dehydrated system.

However, you need to choose your meal wisely. “While many believe a greasy meal is ideal (it may help having it before drinking), a hangover needs foods that are easy to digest and calming to the stomach. Normally when blood sugar levels dip, your liver responds by breaking down stores to release glucose. But if your liver is busy metabolising the alcohol your blood sugar levels remain low, and you can feel tired, irritable and light headed. Have toast with a protein and a banana or apple,” advises Horsman.

  1. Don’t forget vitamins C and B

Vitamins and minerals form part of a healthy diet, yet Horsman reveals that they also play a role in helping to combat the effects of consuming alcohol. “Vitamin C stimulates the liver to break down the alcohol and its antioxidant qualities with get rid of the free radicals form during the detox process.”

Horsman advises using a buffered vitamin C drink to ensure that it doesn’t aggravate your stomach, and take it first thing in the morning, with a maximum strength vitamin B complex (50-75mg). The use of vitamin B will help the alcohol metabolising process and improve your energy levels.

  1. Detoxifying juice

Mix up a detoxification juice consisting of ginger, pineapple, lemon and honey. According to Horsman, this will help ease nausea, as well as reduce inflammation in the stomach, while the honey will raise blood sugar levels.

  1. Milk thistle

Milk thistle protects liver cells from alcohol and helps the detoxification process, explains Horsman. It is recommended that you take this before you go out, at bedtime, and three times the next day. There are a number of milk thistle supplements available at Clicks, starting at R79.99 for 60 tablets.

Prevention is better than cure

It is always better to prevent the malady rather than treat the symptoms. According to Horsman, taking activated charcoal while you are drinking can help alleviate some of the side effects and symptoms of intoxication you may experience.

She says: “Take one to two tablets of activated charcoal per drink while you are drinking. The charcoal absorbs the impurities in the alcohol which are a major cause of the hangover. And have four tabs at bedtime. This is not a license to drink daily because it absorbs other nutrients too.”

Remember to drinking responsibly, and to not drink and drive. There are a number of take-me-home services available, with several insurance companies and banks offering this to their clients. Some of these services require pre-booking, so remember to plan ahead.

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