We're all guilty of having a few too many drinks and feeling the horrendous effects the day after. Sometimes it's self-inflicted, however, many times our bodies reject alcohol and over time, the hangovers feel worse, or our bodies cannot keep up with even the smallest consumption of alcohol. In these cases, it's best to relax, rest and eat well throughout the day.
Many people assume the best hangover fix is a greasy meal filled with preservatives, colours, flavours and high amounts of fat and processed sugars. However, consuming all that plus drinks like Powerade and Gaterade, may not be the best for an already fragile body and mind. These natural remedies have been known to assist with a nasty hangover.
Banana Smoothie. Photo by Justingun Via Freedigitalphotos.net
Alcohol can literally absorb and take away much of your potassium, therefore, consuming bananas or making a banana smoothie the morning after is a great way to regain some of those lost nutrients. They also assist with nervous system function, and a hangover has been said to create symptoms of anxiety, mood swings and even depressive states. If you already suffer from any of these, alcohol can exacerbate these irritable feelings.
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Probably one of the most common hangover cures, coffee assists with alleviating headache symptoms. It's best to consume a black cup of coffee without dairy, as dairy can irritate your gastrointestinal tract, particularly after a heavy night of drinking when your stomach is quite sensitive. Over-consumption of coffee can disrupt your sleep cycle if you're already sleep deprived after a big night out, so stick to 1-2 cups throughout the day.
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According to research, the herb thyme is one of the best hangover remedies for nausea. It's recommended to make thyme tea, by placing five or six thyme leaves into warm water to create a herbal infusion. Thyme is renowned for its anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-rheumatic, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal properties, making it a perfect detoxing herb.
Research states that thyme is one of many liver detox foods, as it's a great immune system booster that encourages white blood cell formation while increasing resistance to foreign organisms.
4. Lemon and Ginger
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It has been said that lemon and ginger can assist with a hangover, and can settle the stomach. Ginger is renowned for its nausea relieving properties, and lemon is packed with vitamin C and citric acid - both help the body get back on track.
Add both ingredients to warm water, and add honey if desired. Lemon and ginger will help with the nausea associated with drinking, dehydration and low blood sugar. Similarly, lemon juice can relieve symptoms of headaches and migraines by making the body more alkaline.
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As mentioned earlier, try and stay away from greasy take-away food; although it's been the staple hangover cure for many, intense fatty foods can irritate the stomach. Instead, fry up some scrambled eggs or poached eggs with a piece of toast. If grains aren't your thing, add some fresh veggies to an omelette as a way of absorbing more nutritional ingredients. Eggs are filled with beneficial amino acids like cysteine and taurine. Taurine boosts liver function and may help prevent liver disease.
6. Coconut Water
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Coconut water is great for many reasons, including its refreshing taste, and in particular its bountiful essential electrolytes like potassium and sodium. Similarly, research states that this superfood elixir contains up to 1,500 milligrams of potassium per litre, compared to 300 milligrams per litre for Powerade and Gatorade. That's a vast difference. Coconut water also has many other beneficial properties:
– Encourages bowel movements
– Boosts immune function
– Prevents bacterial and viral infections
– Keeps the body cool while maintaining adequate temperature
7. Oats or Muesli
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Mixing oats with honey, peanut butter and a fresh banana is a fantastic hangover cure for many reasons. The first is due to the honey or maple syrup being a natural sugar replacement that assists with low blood sugar upon waking. The peanut butter is great for its high dose of natural healthy fats and protein levels, and of course, the banana as mentioned above is beneficial for its potassium and magnesium content. You can also substitute these ingredients for fresh berries, muesli, soy milk and almond milk.
A simple oat recipe is as follows:
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup water or 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
1 sliced banana
Sprinkle of cinnamon (to taste)
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
8. A Kale Salad
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Dark leafy greens are undoubtedly good for you, regardless of a hangover. Kale is rich in vitamin E, which has been said to hydrate the skin, nails and hair. Similarly, vitamin E has also been noted to counteract the damage that drinking does to your cells.
Alcohol poisons our bodies, hence why we feel so bad a day or even a few days later, sometimes ending up with a flu; our bodies are compromised and our immune systems are weakened. Kale has been known to ward off immune system infections from outside pathogens like viruses.
By consuming kale, you can slowly repair some of the damage done by drinking. Add it to a smoothie, make kale chips or a salad filled with fresh seasonal ingredients.
Hangovers are horrible for many reasons, particularly if you have a special occasion the next day, work or an early flight. For this reason, it's also best to stay hydrated throughout the evening when you are drinking, making sure you have eaten properly also. Rest is a significant factor, and sleep deprivation may make your hangover feel worse.