Friday, 2 April 2010

The morning after the night before ...

Today feels like an appropriate day for me to talk about hangovers ;-). Also, given it's the first day in a four day bank holiday weekend I imagine it may be topical for some readers!

Some lucky people experience no ill effects the day after drinking alcohol, but most of us, to differing degrees, will experience a foggy head, headache, lack of energy, inability to concentrate and sense of humour failure!

Patrick Holford (the most high profile UK nutritional therapist and founder of ION where I studied) once said that the best cure for a hangover was not to drink in the first place! Whilst this is undoubtedly true, most us do enjoy an alcoholic drink every now and then and so more helpful advice is on damage limitation!

On the day:
- Alternating your alcoholic drinks with water tends to mean you drink less, and also keeps you hydrated, mitigating the diuretic effects of alcohol and helping the liver detoxify. Also have a large glass of water before bed.
- Having your alcohol with sugary mixers anecdotally seems to reduce hangovers. I am always recommending people avoid sugar, but if minimizing your hangover is your goal then having some lemonade between drinks, or a sweetened cocktail or lager top may be worth a try.
- Take the supplements mentioned below before you go out and/or before you go to bed as a preventative measure.

The morning after:
- Drink plenty of water to rehydrate.
- Vitamin C is a great help, hence why orange juice is such a popular hangover cure, so fresh fruit or vegetable juices can be helpful along with a vitamin C supplement.
- Dandelion coffee is a great detoxifier, either buy instant (Symingtons) or boil up the root (Cotswolds from and drink all day until you feel better.
- Milk thistle, either drops or capsules, help the liver detoxify.
- B vitamins are washed out the body by alcohol. They are also used in energy production, hence why you usually feel tired the day after drinking. Caffeine also leaches B vitamins and is a diuretic, exacerbating dehydration, so avoid regular tea and coffee and instead take a B vitamin supplement and have some herbal tea.

Happy Easter! Enjoy your easter eggs and the long weekend.


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