Party season has arrived! The time for excess, indulgence and celebrating with friends, family and colleagues. But sometimes that also means putting yourself at risk of the hangover from hell…
There’s a lot of science behind hangovers. When alcohol is broken down it produces acetaldehyde, a toxic substance formed by the body as it metabolises alcohol – made worse by cheaper wines, whiskey and darker spirits – as well as causing inflammation from prostaglandins. Additionally, alcohol has a diuretic effect on your body, depriving it of essential vitamins, altogether, leaving you with a headache, nausea and fatigue.
But fear not, despite ‘Can you die from a hangover?’ being one of the top Google searches on the subject, Erudus is here with some rescue recipes and remedies that will stabilize your blood sugars, and replenish electrolytes, vitamins and minerals lost during a big night of boozing.
It’s no secret that hydration is key to curing a hangover. Alcohol stops the body from creating the chemical vasopressin, which means your kidneys send water straight to your bladder instead of absorbing into the body, leading to dehydration. Make sure you replenish your body by drinking tons of water.
Top Tip: For an added boost in replenishing electrolytes and sodium lost from drinking opt for coconut water.
Herbs are great for enhancing the body’s natural detoxification process and helping to heal.
Ginger is renowned for reducing nausea and settling upset stomachs. Its warmth and spice stimulate the metabolism which enhances detoxification.
Turmeric is frequently branded a super spice, is celebrated for its anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits. It’s even been suggested turmeric has a direct effect on liver cells, encouraging their regeneration and repair.
Mint is well known for aiding digestion. Strong menthol oil helps to relieve nausea and improve clarity and concentration, boosting energy.
If you’re feeling anxious after your big night chamomile is great for calming and relaxing the mind and body.
Banana Breakfast Smoothie
Smoothies are jam packed with vitamins and minerals, and they take 5 minutes to whiz up in a blender. Oats are rich in B vitamins, which are life-savers for your liver – as well as neutralizing acidity levels is the body, absorbing toxins and levelling blood sugar levels. Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium which will help replenish your body’s energy stores, while honey helps the digestion of alcohol. Blend these ingredients together with dates, milk and yoghurt you’ve got yourself a sweet rescue remedy.
Egg, Salmon & Avocado Bagel
This is the perfect breakfast for a hangover: Eggs contain high levels of cysteine (an amino acid essential to the breakdown of acetaldehyde) and glutathione (an antioxidant) which flush the body of toxins that build up from drinking. Low levels of B vitamins intensify hangovers – Salmon is rich in B6 and B12 which will boost your energy levels and omega 3 fatty acids will help to fight inflammation caused by alcohol. The potassium and minerals in avocados help combat dizziness and weakness, and recently Japanese researchers found 5 compounds in avocados that protect against liver damage. Win, Win, Win.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Scramble
After drinking it’s important to consume unrefined carbohydrates to regulate your blood sugars – this is where sweet potato comes into play. Along with dietary fibre, potassium, beta carotene and B vitamins, sweet potato also contains Vitamin A – essential for fighting inflammation and calming your immune system. Make a delicious breakfast scramble by throwing some pre-boiled sweet potatoes, eggs, spinach and chorizo into a pan for 10 – 15 minutes and then reap the benefits.
Top Tip: If you want to make you scramble vegan swap the eggs for some veggies (mushrooms, onions, courgettes) and swap bacon for smoked tofu.
Traditional English Breakfast
As much as healthy food may help, sometimes what you need to help ease the aftermath of a hefty night out is a hearty full English. In fact, British Lion Eggs carried out a survey which found that 38% of Brits who chose to eat a fry up recovered from their hangover in less than 3 hours, and Chef Ben Ebbrell from SORTEDFood agrees that nothing beats the full works – beans, toast, sausage, eggs, beans, bacon and mushrooms. A fry up may not replace as many vitamins and minerals as other options, but it will replace fatty acids, and break down the remaining alcohol in your liver.
Not all heroes wear capes – some of them come in tablet form. These supplements are widely believed to help ease or eliminate hangovers. Time to stock up, we think…
Milk Thistle is well renowned for saving the liver from damage, as well as enhancing antioxidant activity. What’s more, it also helps to clear unwanted chemicals from the body.
Borage Oil works at a molecular level to block the production of inflammatory prostaglandin – a main culprit in causing hangovers.
Red Ginseng has been proven to lower plasma levels, and improve alcohol metabolism and relieve hangover symptoms.
Prickly Pear is a cactus, and it’s fruit has been found to reduce nausea, dizziness and headaches.