31 December, 2009

Hangover “Cures” from the Hangover Queen

31 December, 2009

Have a little too much fun on NYE last night?

I have a very long and gruesome history of hangovers… More than anyone else I know seem to suffer from hangovers of such epic proportions as to render whole days of my life absolutely useless – glued to the couch, unable to do anything but groan and order takeout. For some reason, brief periods of behaving sensibly are interspersed with those evenings that I decide even though my alcohol-processing tolerance is so much less than any of my friends, I’ll just throw caution to the wind, mix my drinks with careless abandon and stay out far past my bedtime. With the party season in full swing, I wanted to share some of my hard-learned real life hangover cures!

1. Advil is by FAR the most effective pain-killer for hangovers. Get friends to bring for you in bulk from the US, and dose yourself with two early in the morning before your headache even kicks in. It’s all about prevention in the early stages.
2. Give yourself a blast of freezing cold water at the end of your shower. This is a harsh wakeup, but gives an instantly more awake feeling than anything else you can do – ideal if you actually need to accomplish something (like going to work) that day.
3. In the movies people always drink strong black coffee to cure drunkenness and hangovers, and there’s actually a medical reason behind this as caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, acting to shrink the enlarged blood vessels in the brain that cause a pounding headache. Make sure to drink lots of non-caffeinated fluids (gatorade and lucozade which are sugary are good) to counteract the diuretic effect of caffeine which will otherwise leave you even more dehydrated.
4. Indulge your greasy food cravings (take full advantage of McDonalds delivery!), but be careful not to eat too much. Your body needs to replenish its salt and sugar levels, so by all means, pigging out will initially make you feel great, but you will notice that too much of what you fancy will leave you feeling bloated and depressed.
5. Sleeping as long as possible is the only real solution to a terrible hangover. Give yourself permission (if your schedule allows) to have a lie-in and indulge yourself!
6. Fresh air and a walk outside will do wonders, and also tire you out so that you’re more easily able to nap or sleep later. Don’t overdo the exercise though, or try to “sweat out” all the toxins, which just puts pressure on an already overloaded system and heart and can be bad for your health.

In short, there unfortunately is no magic solution, but a combination of the above I’ve found to be the most helpful, and as many of my friends will tell you, I am truly the hangover queen, so the tips above have all been thoroughly tried and tested (plus any of the more quirky “cures” you will ever hear about)!

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