We’ve all been there. We had too much fun. The morning after (usually the day you’ve got to be at your niece's 2nd birthday or move house) you might experience a hangover. Which is another word for, “I’m never drinking again.”
How to Relieve Your Hangover Naturally
In case you’ve never experienced a hangover (that would be considered un-Australian, right?) Symptoms include:
- a pounding headache
- muscle pain
- an upset stomach
- you’ll become a generally unpleasant person to be around
Most people respond to this general ‘grossness’ by not moving all day. Other responses include; finding the greasiest plate of bacon and eggs, or worse yet, drinking more. None of these things are going to help your situation, in fact they’re likely to make it worse in the long run.
Here’s the science behind your hangover and a few pointers for treating it naturally.
What Causes A Hangover?
Science has uncovered several causes as to why we experience these nasty reminders of our bad choices and it starts with inflammation. Firstly, a hangover makes you dehydrated, which causes headaches and dry mouth.
Alcohol also directly affects the stomach and digestive tract, or the areas that are responsible for making you vomit and experience intense stomach pain. Finally, the loss of electrolytes and fluids causes sweating vomiting, and diarrhoea associated with heavy drinking.
Alcohol consumption disrupts sleep as well as diverts liver activity away from glucose production, which is why you feel light-headed and fatigued after a night of drinking.
Although it’s true that the more you drink, the bigger hangover you will experience, people with a history of alcoholism may have an increased vulnerability to experiencing hangovers.
Curing Your Hangover Naturally
Put down the fries, tip out the bloody mary you just ordered with brunch (how is this even a thing?) and heal your body naturally with these tips to cure your hangover.
Hangover symptoms usually last 8 to 24 hours. But there’s no reason to be miserable while waiting for time to do its thing.
First and foremost, you need to rehydrate and replenish the storage of nutrients that your body had before you depleted it. Specifically, alcohol drinkers need to restock their levels of vitamins A, C, and E, the B vitamins, carotenes, and the minerals selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.
As your stomach is already irritated, consider sipping some cold pressed juice. Forget the Powerade / Gatorade. You need real nutrients. Find a green recipe with a three day shelf life from a boutique juice bar. A supermarket orange juice won't cut it.
Look for a recipe with parsley, ginger and / or lemon. Parsley is a diuretic, which will help move toxins through your urinary tract. Ginger has been shown to inhibit inflammatory causing compounds as well as act as an anti-nausea agent. Two great things for hangover sufferers! Lemon is also a great detoxifier. It contains citric acid, which helps produce digestive juices and aids in the process of digestion. Lemon may also help increase the nutrient levels in the digestive tract. Meaning that it can help you absorb those much-needed nutrients from your cold pressed juice after a night of irritating and inflaming the digestive tract from excessive alcohol use.
Finally, coconut water is a great way to replace lost electrolytes.
Tips for Your Next Big Night Out
Before you make the same mistake twice, here are a few tips to keep in mind for your next big night or day:
- Be sure to eat before you go out. A full stomach slows down the absorption of alcohol and gives the body longer to process and get rid of toxins.
- Drink slowly. I know. Duh, right? Just remember that the body breaks down alcohol at a consistent rate, so small amounts of alcohol are cleared easier than large amounts.
- If you anticipate a night of drinking ahead of you, make a cold pressed juice before you go out and enjoy it the next day. Or go to the expensive juice bar and stock up. You'll thank yourself.
- Similarly, you can pre-make our detox smoothie and have it in the fridge ready to go!
- Be sure to drink water in between each drink to prevent dehydration.
- Consider an activated charcoal elixir to help flush out the nasties when you wake up.
What's your top tip for curing a hangover naturally?