Check out these hangover cures to deal with – or even avoid – a terrible hangover after New Years Eve.
Yesterday I posted some recipes for New Years Eve champagne cocktails, and if you’re taking advantage of them (or anything else, for that matter), you’re probably going to be hurting a little tomorrow.
While I love writing about food, my income-earning alter ego is a health and nutrition writer, so take advantage of my medical background and save yourself from feeling like roadkill on New Years Day. Reading up on hangover cures can save you a ton of pain, or maybe help you avoid it altogether.
An ounce of prevention…
Yeah yeah yeah, we’ve all heard it before. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” While no one’s expecting you to cut out the drinking altogether (except maybe your AA sponsor), there are a few ways to lessen the explosive physical load of a morning after drinking. If you can avoid dealing with hangover cures by preventing the hangover altogether, why not give it a try?
For the love of god, eat before hand!
It’s a busy party night, and I know it’s tough to make time to eat when you’ve got a lot planned. Try to take the time to eat before you go out, though, as your body will use up a lot of its nutrient reserves while the liquor’s flowing. Once you’ve started drinking, all of that alcohol will need to be processed, and you’ll probably be running amuck like a crazy person. What do these two things have in common? They all require energy. You know, that stuff you get from food?
Try to stay away from foods that are high in sugar or sodium, as these will dehydrate you and you’ll feel worse tomorrow. Also, alcohol converts to sugar in your system, so stay away from extra fat if you’re concerned about your waistline. Eat a hearty, nutrient-rich dinner like a chicken caesar salad or something with a good balance of grains and vegetables. Wheat bread? Good. Brown rice? Better.
Edited to add a tip from a commenter, Alchemist George:
“Don’t forget that when you drink on a full stomach that the alcohol is absorbed more slowly, so count your drinks – don’t rely on how drunk you feel – its all still in your belly, and its all still going to wind up in your bloodstream, eventually. If you are drinking alcoholic eggnog all night, you might still be drunk when you wake up the next morning.” Very, very true.
The best hangover cure: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Probably the easiest and most effective thing you can do to prevent a monumental hangover is to keep hydrated the night before. This means two things:
- If you’re going to be drinking in the evening, drink a lot of water earlier in the day.
- For every alcoholic beverage you drink, have a full 8oz glass of water. Come on, that’s less than the size of a can of Coke.
This will help flush your liver and kidneys of toxic compounds, as well as keep your tissues and membranes happy and lubed up. Seriously: if you do one thing for your physical health tonight, drink as much water as you can.
It’s not generally a good idea to eat right before you go to bed, but if you’ve been drinking, considering throwing your body a bone and give it a quick calorie injection before you turn in.
- Eat a banana, an apple, or other piece of fruit before you pass out. Fruit is high in nutritional content and easy to digest – which means you won’t wake up feeling like someone socked you in the gut.
- Take a fast-absorbing vitamin supplement, such as Airborne or Emergen-c. Your body will use it while rebuilding in the night.
- Drink 16oz, or two cups, of water. Keep a glass of water by the bed in case you wake up dying of thirst.
- I swear Zod, drinking Perrier or other fizzy mineral water will save you a ton of pain in the morning. The minerals will replenish your electrolytes and the carbonation will help settle an upset stomach. This stuff really is gold in a bottle – drink one right before bed, and another first thing in the morning. Just make sure it’s sweetener-free.
Once the glasses are empty, take care of yourself with a few smart hangover cures.
(Photo credit: Lovehannahan)
Post New Years Eve Hangover Cures
So you didn’t pay attention to the hangover prevention guidelines, and now you feel like ass. Or, you did indeed follow my advice but drank so much that you’ve pickled your liver anyways. Once you’re able to peel yourself way from the porcelain throne, here’s what can you do for damage control.
Tried and true hangover cures for the morning after:
- Drink some water, preferably Perrier or other mineral water. Don’t chug it, lest you upset your stomach further. Sip slowly.
- Eat something mellow. The BRAT diet goes a long way here – bananas, rice, applesauce and toast will get something in your stomach without making you puke all over the place. Again.
- Once you’ve eaten something, take an Airborne or Emergen-c to help restock your lost stores.
- Try not to drink coffee. It may temporarily ease your headache, but it will upset the lining of your stomach and fry your kidneys.
- If all else fails, have another cocktail. Sure it’s just feeding your detox symptoms and delaying the inevitable, but the hair of the dog that bit you will ease your suffering for the moment. You may regret it tomorrow, though, so I recommend you just suck it up and take care of yourself.
A few ideas for morning-after fare:
- A green smoothie will help restore your body to working order. If you can’t handle the sound of the blender, ask mommy to make it for you.
- A light veggie hummus will give your body a nutrient shot without explosive digestive upset (easy on the garlic, yo!).
Regardless of how you feel the morning after, I hope you have a fabulous New Years Eve. Try to make it home in one piece, ok?