With Christmas parties in full swing and mulled wine on tap, we spoke to the experts at Nosh Detox to get their tips on how to prevent and cure a hangover
DON’T DRINK ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
Drinking on an empty stomach means that the rate alcohol is absorbed into the blood is equivalent to receiving the same amount intravenously. Protein-rich foods are the safest option as they take longer to digest, which then slows down how fast your blood alcohol level increases.
AVOID DRINKS WITH CONGENERS
Some alcoholic drinks have a higher concentration of congeners which is a byproduct of fermentation. The biggest culprits include red wine and dark liquors such as bourbon, brandy, whiskey and tequila. Drinks containing a higher amount of these toxins increase the intensity of hangovers. Colourless spirits are low in congener and typically leave a less severe hangover. Where possible, go for white wine and clear drinks such as a vodka tonic and a G&T.
SKIP THE BUBBLES
It’s been scientifically proven that the bubbles in a drink actually accelerate the absorption of alcohol, hence the saying ‘the bubbles have gone to my head’. Consuming bubbly alcoholic drinks will result in you getting more drunk more quickly which may lead to you drinking more in an evening. Champagne in particular is a recipe for disaster so go easy if you’ve got a lot on the next day.
Your body uses essential vitamins and minerals when digesting and metabolising alcohol so the more you drink, the greater the depletion and the worse the hangover. Before a heavy night, help your liver out by taking a vitamin supplement. Vitamins B and C are particularly helpful.
AVOID DIET MIXERS
Since diet mixers contain no calories and no sugar, the alcohol they are paired with often enters more quickly and directly into the bloodstream. Juices are a better alternative as they are not carbonated and decrease the speed of alcohol absorption.
Dehydration is the main cause of a hangover so drinking a large glass of water before you go to sleep and once you’ve woken up will help you to feel better in the morning. A rehydration sachet is a clever trick to help you replenish your lost electrolytes.
Just as it is wise to take vitamin supplements before a night of drinking, you should also take supplements the day after. This will help replenish any vitamins that were used during the metabolism of alcohol the night before.
EGGS ARE YOUR FRIEND
Whether scrambled, poached or fried, eggs are full of amino acids which boost liver function and help break down acetaldehyde which is a headache-causing chemical that is left over after the liver breaks down ethanol. Proof full English really is the ultimate hangover cure!
You may be desperate for a caffeine boost but do not make the mistake of overloading your body with it. Too much caffeine will mess around with your hydration levels and leave you feeling worse for wear.
Studies show that peppermint tea is an effective cure of morning sickness with pregnant ladies and may be the trick when it comes to ridding yourself of stomach pains and nausea. Ginger and green tea also work wonders for settling an upset stomach and banishing headaches.
About Geeta Sidhu-Robb
Geeta Sidhu-Robb is a qualified nutritionist, raw chef, life coach and holistic health specialist. She is also the founder and CEO of Nosh Detox – the UK’s first home delivery service of non-pasteurised juice diets and meal plans, with an esteemed clientele featuring the likes of Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow.