There is no denying that a lot of Australians enjoy a good drink, and New Years Eve is no exception. The first couple of days of the New Year can often be a little fragile for most.
You may be reading this after your New Year's celebration, still carrying the burden of a hangover, or perhaps you're out partying and wondering how you can avoid the headaches, drowsiness and cramping that will inevitably shock your system tomorrow morning.
There are many biochemical factors as to why drinking alcohol makes us feel hopeless the next day. In a nutshell, we are dehydrated and have a lot of poisonous toxins running through our bodies, which need to be eradicated. Alcohol also leads to a drop in blood sugar, which can result in fatigue, irritability and even the shakes. Sound familiar?
Here are a few tips to help you recover from those cheeky 'silly season' nights over the holiday period.
The Burnt Toast and Ginger Cure
Ginger is a terrific hangover cure that can be eaten or brewed in a tea with fresh lemon. This potent substance helps to absorb nutrients, detoxify the blood, and aids in reducing the severity of a headache through its anti-inflammatory properties. Funnily enough, combining this with a slice of burnt toast (yum!), which contains high levels of carbon, strongly aids filtering impurities out of the body. Complex carbohydrates such as bread or pasta are great options to increase blood sugar levels.
Miso Soup is not only tasty but ultra hydrating, and helps restore salt and potassium in the body, which allows diffusion processes to occur within our cells. Another option is fruit juice as it contains high levels of fructose, which helps the body burn alcohol faster. A banana, watermelon and coconut water cocktail is high in natural hydrolytes and is incredibly soothing for a hangover.
Exercise and Protein
Exercise might seem impossible when you are suffering a hangover, but working up a sweat will increase cellular respiration and blood circulation, speeding up the detox process. Eating eggs and meats is also beneficial, as proteins are broken down into amino acids, the substance which helps detoxify your liver and get things back to normal.
Surprisingly, drinking lemonade is a highly effective hangover cure. It is successful at breaking down the pain-inducing chemicals produced in the liver when drinking. Other caffeinated drinks and herbal teas often contain concentrations of acetaldehyde and actually may increase the pain of a hangover.
The Pharmaceutical Approach
Take Vitamin B and C supplements as you wake up after a big night of drinking, as these are vital to your immune system and energy levels. Anti-inflammatory painkillers will relieve the pain of a hangover and reduce the expansion of blood vessels that cause headaches.
Hair of the Dog
This is not a cure…but damn it feels good to knock back a Bloody Mary or a glass of champagne with a big breakfast. Be warned . . . the more alcohol you consume, the more intense your hangover is eventually going to be.