So you’ve had a heavy weekend, and boy do you know it! When you’ve pushed your body to the limit, the standard hangover cure advice of a greasy fry up doesn’t go a long way towards actually repairing the damage caused.
Sadly, there’s no way to avoid the fact that alcohol is a poison. That bottle of wine may have been enjoyable at the time, but it does take a serious toll on your health. Feeling guilty yet?
Don’t worry! Follow these 4 tips to speed up your recovery and get yourself back on top form ASAP:
1. Hydrate, and Then Hydrate Some More
Guzzling a glass of water before bed is good (in fact, it’s a must), but it doesn’t really address the extensive dehydration excessive drinking can cause. You’ll want to make sure that you have some type of hydrating drink near you throughout the day following your heavy session. When it comes to fluids, simple is best. Water, herbal tea, or even sugar free squash are all good choices.
Avoid sugary fruit juices or sports drinks as they put unnecessary strain on your already-suffering liver! Ideally, you want to get through at least 64 ounces of fluid over the course of the day, so try to keep track if you can.
If you’re having a hard time taking in lots of fluids, you can also eat hydrating foods such as fruit (especially melon, berries, or citrus), and vegetables (cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes).
Now, you may not like this part, and it’s not your typical recommended hangover cure, but a great way to make sure you expel every last bit of alcohol from your system is to sweat it out! You don’t have to run a half marathon, just a 20-minute uphill walk should be enough to purge any remaining alcohol.
Top tip – Not many people realise it, but sweating in this way can actually prevent ‘alcoholic body odour’. You know how you can usually smell someone who has a hangover? That’s because their body is still processing the alcohol. Prompting your body to sweat it out before your morning shower is a good way to avoid that whole situation – particularly handy if you have to face your boss first thing!
We know. You were out cold for eight, nine, maybe even ten hours last night. Here’s the thing though: there is a huge difference between “being passed out” and getting actual, recuperative rest.
That terrible exhaustion comes about because alcohol disrupts your natural sleep function. A healthy night’s sleep includes light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep, all of which follow a natural pattern so that you wake up feeling rested and recharged. Alcohol throws a wrench right into that whole process, and even though technically you may have been asleep for a long time, your body did not undergo its usual rest cycle.
So, your job for the next day is to prioritize sleep. If you have to drag yourself to work on Monday morning, be sure to fit in a good night’s sleep straight after.
Bring your bedtime forwards by at least one full hour, and hit the sheets in a dark, quiet, restful environment. Your body will get the sleep it needs, and you’ll feel much better the following day.
4. Stick to simple, healthy food
The most commonly known hangover cure is probably a huge cooked breakfast, laden with grease, but it’s certainly not the best for your body.
After a serious binge-drinking session, your body will be screaming out for some healthy nourishment, so bypass the fatty bacon, and stick to some healthy staples for the next day or so. Dry toast, bananas, applesauce, chicken broth and rice tend to be gentle on your stomach and digestive system.
Once you have some healthy food in your system, keep up the good work. Resist the urge to go for a greasy burger the moment your appetite comes back (and it will, with a vengeance). Instead, set yourself up for success.
Make yourself a big sandwich with low-fat meat or cheese piled high with vegetables, or a fresh salad with cottage cheese. Perhaps even a baked chicken breast with steamed veggies. All of these will help your body on it’s road to recovery much better than a pile of chips will!
When alcohol attacks, fight back!
Lastly, remember to go easy on yourself. Sure you overindulged, but now you’re ready to get yourself back on track. Just remember to keep your body hydrated and filled with healthy foods, get an appropriate amount of light exercise, and hit the hay earlier than usual. You’ll be feeling like yourself again in no time at all.