You know the story: you’re out with your friends but you’ve got work in the morning. You’ve told yourself and your mates that you’re only staying for one drink. But as soon as that Pinot hits your lips you’re like a shark with a taste for blood and before you know it you’re at a sweaty nightclub with your heels in hand, telling the cute guy next to you that you’ve got to be up in 4 hours for the hundredth time.
So when the inevitable dawn rolls round, your 9am meeting is less than an hour away and you’re still dry-heaving over the toilet, I bet you’re wandering how best to exorcise this demon of a hangover? Well, we asked Ella Allred from Nutricentre what she thought of the most popular hangover cures, and then we tried them out for ourselves. And I'm sorry to say, it's not looking good.
1. Fry up
Ella says: "Having a decent breakfast will help to replace some of the lost nutrients that your body used to detoxify the alcohol. Eggs contain sulphur which may aid the livers detoxification process, and carbohydrate rich foods such as whole grain toast and hash browns may replace some of you blood sugar. It is however better to avoid bacon and sausages. The nitrites in them will only add to the toxic burden on your body. Although a fry up may help, there are healthier options such as poached egg on toast."
Our verdict: A big plate of eggs, bacon, hash browns, mushrooms, beans and sausage all tossed in a healthy serving of grease sounds like a dream hangover cure on paper, but once the half masticated hash brown has slid down your gullet and into the pit of your already temperamental stomach, you realise that it might have been a mistake. Greasy food is a huge craving that many of us share on hangover day but it should remain just that, and not a reality, because as soon as you’re sick not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES on a fry up, it’ll ruin them for you forever.
Ella says: "The B vitamins will help to replace the many B vitamins that are required to process alcohol. The minerals will help with hydration and provide relief and the vitamin C will help your body recover from the ingested toxins. Other vitamin and mineral complexes will have the same affect!"
Our verdict: Oh Berocca, you make our pee fluorescent but not our souls. Berocca is a great short term solution to a hangover - say, if you’ve got to go visit your in-laws for the morning - but is not a permanent fix for the night before.
3. Go for a run
Ella says: "The movement will get your blood circulating and will help speed up detoxification, while the sweating will help you excrete the toxins. It will however add to you dehydration. Ensure that you drink plenty of hydrating fluids before, during and after your run."
Our verdict: URGH. If there’s one thing that makes us cry more than having to get up with a hangover for work, it’s getting up voluntarily to go for a run. It sounds crazy to think that the perfect cure for a hangover would be moving around at a swift pace and letting all the fragile contents of your stomach get thrown about. BUT. I know this isn’t what you want to hear: running is actually pretty good at making you feel better after a night on the sauce. Sure, you might need to do a little chunder in the bushes, but for your mental and physical wellbeing after a night out, it’s kind of perfect. Sorry!
4. 'Hair of the dog'
Ella says: "Drinking more alcohol will not help! It may initially take the edge off the pain, however will in the long run will only make it hurt more and last longer. It will dehydrate you further and give your liver more toxins to handle. Not a good idea!"
Our verdict: In theory, curing your hangover with another heavy drinking sesh sounds like a fantastic idea, but that's probably because you're still a little bit drunk from the night before. It works for some, but personally has always been a big no-no. That's not to say I haven't tried it many times before. Speaking from experience, wine doesn't taste so fresh when you're letting it slosh onto tastebuds that are still recovering from last night's binge, and you’ll be lucky if it doesn’t give you intense, cringe-inducing flashbacks to the night before. And after that glass, you’re going to feel TERRIBLE. Seriously. Take Ella's sage advice and avoid the booze for a good 48 hours.
5. Fresh air
Ella says: "This is nice. The fresh air may help to relax you. But it doesn’t really solve any of the biological issue you caused the night before!"
Our verdict: Something your mum always tells you to do as a child is to go outside and get some fresh air but does that work as an adult with severe ‘buca sweats? Not really. Walking round aimlessly trying to forget about your hangover just makes you think of your hangover more. All the time you’ll have to concentrate on your hangover will only induce a crippling case of booze paranoia. You might as well go home, stick on a DVD, and forget about your boozy night and all its troubles.
6. Lots and lots of water
Ella says: "Considering what a hangover is, water seems like the obvious cure, however not all water is equal. The control of hydration is the hands of electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals found in water. For your best chance of beating that hangover, choose mineral rich water or add in some extra electrolytes. They are designed for athletes and sports people. The water will also help to flush out the toxins, speeding up the detoxification process. Drink a large glass of mineral rich water before bed, take another glass to bed and be sure to drink plenty in the morning."
Our verdict: Those of us that have woken up smacking our tongues loudly and desperately in search of moisture in the sandbox that is our mouths, will know that water is a necessity when it comes to the day after the night before. But is it a surefire hangover cure in the morning? Well, we're in Camp No. It’s all too easy to upset the balance: not enough water and you’ll feel like death by dry mouth is imminent, but too much water will leave you crouched over the toilet, eyes rolling to the back of your head, clear liquid that burns like hell gushing from your mouth, whilst you cry “it was only water!” I honestly don’t know which one out of those two is worse, and they have both happened to me. Several times.
7. Eat before you go to bed
Ella says: "Having something nourishing to eat before going to bed will help give you the nutrition that your body needs to detoxify. Getting drunk is taxing so something healthy will go a long way to support your recovery."
Our verdict: Like we need another excuse to shove as many chicken strips from a boneless banquet into our drunken pie holes. Does eating the night before really work? From personal experience, no. Does it depend on what you eat? Perhaps. Maybe you can try and devour something healthy after a night out and let us know. But I’m tellin’ ya, donner kebabs does not a fresh ‘morrow make.
Have you got any other hangover cures? Pleeeaase tell us! @sofeminineUK
You might also like...