We are already getting emails about how to kick January into touch, discovering ‘a new you’ and making this year our best year yet, but if there is one thing we want to all get better at, it’s hangovers. The New Years Day one can be particularly viscous, and for those that suffer during the year, it’s bye bye productivity, energy and mental agility and hello carbs, coffee and Netflix.
Many reported hangover cures rely on being punishingly self-disciplined. We all know that drinking less, sleeping more and working out more are the answers but this is hardly conducive with a NYE party. So if you don’t want to leave the party early tomorrow night, drink watered down wine or refuse deep fried canapés, here are five tricks to help you through the resultant horror you’re quite often faced with the next day…
These fail-safe tricks are tried and tested, not only by the scientists, but by us! Who knows, it maybe useful throughout the year too!)
A night on the sauce can leave you feel parched, and it’s essential to rehydrate as it ensures the liver can effectively clear out toxins. Drinking water is great, but electrolytes and sugar can help to improve hydration speed. It’s also good to drink warm water as supposed to cold and as this should help warm up the body to get you awake and alert.
The best thing to drink is hot water with a big slice of fresh lemon, grated fresh ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Lemon and ginger are both ideal for nausea so this is perfect the next morning. The zing of citrus and ginger also triggers the liver and digestive system, helping to rid you of the harmful waste products produced when we consume alcohol - getting rid of these is essential for shaking off a hangover. Though it is spicy which seems odd first thing, the addition of cayenne is also great for detoxification, digestion and metabolism, and also reducing inflammation which can often be an issue following alcohol consumption.
Eat Eggs for Breakfast
Once you’ve done steps one as above you may feel ready to eat something – try not to leave it too long, ideally within two hours of having woken up. The right type of food is key for shaking off a hangover, and there is a real science to this. Firstly it’s essential to get a good combination of wholegrain/complex carbs, protein and healthy fats, which will deliver sustained energy to prevent the peaks and troughs that often accompany a hangover. You also want foods that deliver nutrients to boost detox and energy whilst replenishing salts and electrolytes.
The breakfast that does all of this is smashed avocado on toast with eggs. Whether it’s poached, boiled or fried (in coconut oil), protein and B-vitamin rich eggs support detox and balance blood sugar whilst containing cysteine – an amino acid that breaks down acetyl-aldehyde, a toxic by product produced when alcohol is broken down in the body. Pair this with nutrient dense, comforting avocado alongside cracked with salt and pepper and some dried chilli flakes (if you can handle it) whereupon and a multitude of sins may begin to be washed away.
Many convenience cafés (M&S, Pret, Pod, Benugo, Eat, Itsu, Vital Ingredient, Pure etc) now sell eggs, often with avocado or smoked salmon so you should be able to pick it up on the way to work.
Not only is alcohol an anti-nutrient, but detoxifying it uses up our vitamins and minerals, whilst also creating harmful free radicals. The result of this is low energy, poor immunity, headaches and bad skin. Taking a good quality supplement can help to give the body an easy boost, so if you plan to drink more than usual this weekend, or any other, adding one into your regimes is a must.
It’s key to find something that supports detoxification whilst delivering an array of essential nutrients, antioxidants and energising botanicals. We also like probiotics as these help to support digestion and prevent further toxicity whilst reducing inflammation, a major cause of headaches, mood swings and skin issues.
For an easy solution that delivers all of this, look no further than Equi’s Fundamental (if we do say so ourselves ;). Containing powerful and targeted ingredients that help to support detoxification, it gives the liver the nutrients it needs to break alcohol down ahead of drinking, whilst also delivering milk thistle which has been shown to support liver cells and reverse damage done to the liver from toxic substances such as alcohol. Given its also great for energy, concentration and immunity whilst also giving digestive support, Fundamental is also perfect the next day if you have a sore head! Have x1 scoop in water after breakfast.
Break A Sweat
Sweat is an easy way for the body to excrete things it wants to get rid of, which is why you may notice being more sweaty when you drink alcohol or feel hungover. Though it may not be particularly pleasant, this is totally natural and helps to clear the body of unwanted compounds that can ease a hangover.
Exercise is the obvious way to get a sweat on, but even just going for a 5 minute walk outside can help get things moving as well as stimulating the lymph to prevent sluggishness. Oxygenating the body with fresh air is an added bonus, helping to blow out the cobwebs and relieve nausea.. perfect on a slow and relaxed New Years day to get you out of the house. If you can’t get outside then try having spicy food at lunch, which also acts a diaphoretic to get blood flowing and metabolism moving.
Remember to re-hydrate with plenty of water or herbal teas over the course of the day.
Just because you have to drink water and green juices doesn’t mean caffeine is totally off limits. In fact, it can boost energy, rid a headache and sharpen your reflexes. Though one cup a day of each is fine, don’t overdo coffee and black tea as this can contribute to energy fluctuations and make you feel wired.
Instead drink good quality green tea, white tea or jasmine. These contain caffeine alongside a burst of antioxidants and brain boosting compounds such as EGCG which are famed for their health giving properties. These also help to get your brain power back and can support memory (great until you start getting worrying flashbacks from last night).
If you can get it, matcha powder is a great solution as it contains a hit of caffeine alongside a high dose of many hangover-relieving compounds. Try a matcha latte (many high street cafés now sell these) rather than hot chocolate or chai lattes and you may well feel more ‘with it’ within moments!
Disclaimer: Certain supplements are used for different reasons and a one-size-fits-all approach shouldn’t be adopted. In addition, pregnant women and anyone on medication should always consult a doctor before embarking on a supplements programme.