4 natural hangover remedies to help a sore head
Looking for natural remedies for your hangover? Take comfort in the fact that you’re probably not alone. Research from Drinkaware reveals that almost two-thirds (61%) of drinkers in the UK overindulge with alcohol over the festive season. Many of us feel the pressure to have an extra glass (or two) at this time of year!
Drinking a glass of water in between each drink and making sure that you’ve eaten a hearty meal before you hit the booze can all help you enjoy the celebrations without feeling rough the next day. However, particularly around the festive period, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the season’s merriment and underestimate how much alcohol we’re actually consuming.
To help you on your road to recovery, here are four natural hangover remedies that can help you feel a little brighter the next day.
What happens to our body during a hangover?
A lot of us are familiar with what a hangover is, but what we don’t know is why they make us feel so awful. According to Drinkaware, the primary cause of a hangover is the effect of ethanol – the alcohol in your drinks.
Ethanol is metabolised in the stomach and the liver, where it then turns into acetaldehyde. This is what causes hangover symptoms such as a sore head, muscle weakness, and nausea. Acetaldehyde is eventually excreted from the body as acetic acid, but it’s worth knowing that acetaldehyde is also a carcinogen and a build-up of it in the stomach and liver can contribute to cancer development.
To avoid hangovers (and drinking too much in general), Drinkaware recommends keeping track of what you’re drinking and staying within the low-risk drinking guidelines by not regularly drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week.
There are other ways you can limit your consumption of booze, such as swapping your evening tipple for one of these non-alcoholic drinks, or by taking part in Dry January, which can be a great way to help you cut back on the booze.
4 natural hangover remedies
If consuming too much drink and rich food has given you an upset tummy, then eating ginger is a great way to soothe nausea. In fact, this spicy herb has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, which include aiding digestion, supporting the immune system and reducing the impact of nausea.
This, in part, is why ginger should be on top of your hangover-remedy list. Research shows that ginger can increase the responsiveness of the digestive system, which leads to reduced feelings of nausea.
There are a number of different ways you can incorporate ginger into your diet. Drink ginger tea, add raw ginger to stir-fries and soups, and even blitz it up in a smoothie.
Serve up some eggs
It might not seem the most obvious choice to help you with a hangover, but eggs are full of essential vitamins and nutrients.
They contain a high amount of the essential amino acid, cysteine. This can help break down acetaldehyde, a derivate of ethanol that contributes to the symptoms of a hangover.
Eggs also contain vitamins A, B12, and D. These all have antioxidant properties to help the body combat inflammation caused by too much booze.
Have a banana
It’s no secret that drinking alcohol can increase the frequency of your toilet trips, but what you probably don’t know is that alcohol causes us to lose a lot of important nutrients during urination, such as magnesium and potassium.
Replenishing our levels of potassium can help us feel less weak and fatigued following a heavy night of drinking. If you can stomach something to eat, then it’s a good idea to chow down on a banana (or two).
You can also opt for potatoes, carrots, spinach, lentils or oranges, which are all great sources of potassium.
Many of us already know that rehydrating with water can help replenish lost fluids after a hangover, but water isn’t the only fluid that can help us recover from a sore head.
Coconut water is naturally isotonic, meaning that it’s absorbed faster and more efficiently than non-isotonic liquids. It also contains magnesium and potassium. As we mentioned earlier, these often need to be replenished after a boozy session.