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Over 90% of the pain and suffering of a hangover comes from dehydration.
(The other 10% comes from remembering all the bad decisions you made last night…)
A bunch of other hangover articles will tell you that you should have pre-hydrated by drinking a bunch of water last night, or that the only way to prevent a hangover is to moderate your alcohol consumption.
They’re not wrong… but we already knew that! So let’s get into some helpful tips that you can apply ON NEW YEARS DAY that are proven, effective and simple!
1. Hydralyte (electrolyte replacement)
Drinking water while consuming alcohol is THE best way to prevent a hangover… but it’s 2017 already so that’s not helpful now, is it?
So here’s how to wind back the dehydration clock.
Hydralyte (or Pedialyte if you’re in the USA) is made to replace key electrolytes lost due to sickness like vomiting, diarrhoea or excess alcohol consumption.
The solution consists of salts, water, and sugar, in scientifically proven proportions, which replenish fluids and electrolytes that have been lost from the body.
Importantly to note, it also helps the intestines absorb water to prevent further dehydration.
Often times when we are dehydrated, drinking water alone will NOT hydrate us as our intestines need these dissolved salts to actually be able to absorb the water out of the gut.
You should always have this in your medicine cabinet. Trust me on this one.
2. Eat a High-Fat, High Protein Breakfast – ASAP!!
There’s a reason bacon and eggs always seems to go down so well the morning after a heavy drinking sesh.
When we eat protein, it gets broken down into amino acids which travel in our blood.
Inside the liver cells there are sophisticated mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years to break down toxic substances. Every drug (like alcohol), artificial chemical, pesticide and hormone, is broken down (metabolised) by enzyme pathways inside the liver cells.
For efficient phase two detoxification, the liver cells require sulphur-containing amino acids such as taurine and cysteine. The nutrients glycine, glutamine, choline and inositol are also required for efficient phase two detoxification.
Luckily, bacon and in particular eggs, contain high levels of these particular amino acids.
Now the fats don’t actually help us detox… but they are important for 2 reasons:
- Firstly, there’s something innately satisfying about eating something greasy the morning after. Part of the battle of defeating a hangover is beating it mentally! Don’t underestimate the power of feeling good to help you push through.
- Secondly, fats take a longer time to digest and help stabilise our blood sugar, keeping us feeling fuller for longer. You’re going to be cranky enough with a hangover, let alone being hungry too!
3. Coffee + The Right Painkillers
A study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia found that a combination of caffeine and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s) – like ibuprofen and aspirin – is highly effective in relieving a headache caused by a build-up of acetate; one of the bi-products created in the breakdown of alcohol in our bodies.
STAY AWAY FROM PARACETAMOL! Although it relieves the symptoms of headaches, it creates a much greater load on our livers processing it; and your liver is already having enough trouble trying to breakdown all those espresso martinis you smashed last night.
Important to note:
- Caffeine does have a dehydrating effect on the body. So it will ONLY help you if you follow the other steps, and drink plenty of water
- Ibuprofen and aspirin are very harsh on an empty stomach. Wait until brekky is ready before you take them, or stomach ulcers might ruin day 1 of the new year!
These are the 3 steps you should take that are proven to work. There are plenty of other gimmicky hangover cures that have also been “proven” in questionable studies (e.g. pear juice, sprite, milk thistle). While these can and do work for some people, we wanted to outline the most important and effective steps that you can easily take.
Feel free to try any other remedies out there, but start with our three tips first!
Happy New Year everyone; hope the rest of the recovery is smooth sailing and let’s dominate 2017!