Big Weekend? Tips To Nurse You Back To Health From A Hangover
We’ve all been there. You let your hair down like Rapunzel on the weekend (albeit a little less Disney) and now you feel like you might not make it to the end of the day, let alone the end of the week. Here’s some tips to make you feel shiny and new in no time.
For anyone who has muttered the words ‘I am never drinking again’ before finding themselves with a wine in hand within hours, you’ll know the trials and tribulations of what seems to be a common state of affliction – the hangover.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Given how awful it feels, it’s surprising that we still fall into the hangover trap on such a regular basis. If you asked for answers on why we drink, you’d find any or all of the following: to relax, have fun, feel confident and bond with our fellow man or wo-man. It’s a big part of our culture, and an even bigger part of our youth, but many would attest to alcohol making our lives worse.
So given that we know that one of the only sureties of a big night out is feeling like A-grade crap the following day, why do we still ‘brave’ serious dangers to our health and safety by binge drinking?
Alcohol affects the part of the brain that allows us to make good decisions (known all too well by people who’ve woken up with a tattoo they never wanted). It makes sense then that after a few, we’re less capable of knowing when to stop. We often overdo it, and ergo, end up with a hangover.
If you’re going to have a tipple, Drinkwise Australia says both men and women should be aiming for no more than four standard drinks in a sitting. However, if you get a little too festive and need a helping hand to bounce back, listen closely.
We’re all a little too familiar with the pounding headache, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue and sweating, along with the desire to eat everything in sight (or nothing at all) that comes with being hungover.
Excessive alcohol consumption causes dehydration, loss of electrolytes and low blood glucose levels. The drug itself is a diuretic, which makes you need to pee (a lot) causing thirst, headaches and dizziness. It’s a trifecta of pain, to say the least.
But can you cure a hangover?
This is a #truthbomb that you’ve probably already worked out for yourself. No, you can’t ‘cure’ a hangover. But you can ride it out.
“The only remedy for a hangover is fluids, Panadol and time for your body to metabolise the alcohol,” says Dr William Begg, an Emergency Medicine Registrar. “If you can’t hold down fluids from nausea and vomiting then you might need to see a doctor, otherwise time and fluids are the only way forward.” This means ‘hair of the dog’ or ‘getting back on the horse’ will only delay your symptoms.
Even the trendy Hangover Clinics seem to agree that hydration and time is the only combo that’ll efficiently transition you out of a hangover. Max from the hangover.clinic says hangovers are serious business: “all of our treatments are administered by fully qualified and insured doctors.” At their clinics, doctors use “an IV mix of vitamins and medications with liquids to rehydrate people and treat them, depending on how they’re faring.”
If you haven’t quite managed to kick the hangover inducing habit just yet, here are some tips that could help you recover after a night of celebration.
Drown your sorrows in H20, and drink the good liquid like it’s going out of style. You practiced on the weekend with other liquids, so you know what to do. Start by throwing some cleansing lemon juice in a cup of hot water, so your liver and kidneys can get a little head start.
Sunday night, Monday night and Tuesday night are now dedicated to catching up on those precious hours of sleep you missed. If anybody asks, you’re washing your hair that night, and the next night, and the next night too.
As much as you’d like to pump yourself full of oily, salty takeaway, try to keep fuelling yourself with nutrient rich goodness – leafy vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are best. Indulge if you need to though and drop the guilt – you’ve had enough of that already.
Take away the pain by giggling your way through the stories with your mates. Lie on your bed, close the door, and laugh until you cry. As they say, laughter is the best medicine.
#5 Play house
Put on some cranking tunes and sort your life out – there’s nothing quite like getting into a made bed with fresh sheets. Write out a list of things to get through once you’re back to full brain capacity and get the wheels in motion. You’ve robbed yourself of a day or two so best make the others count.
Even if it’s a gentle walk, get back into sweatsville ASAP to get the villain out of your system and start getting those feel-good hormones pumping again. Here’s some extra motivation if you need it.
Casey is an established health journalist, health coach and co-founder of Paper Tiger Wellness. She is also a Barre instructor, as well as a health educator for FreshEd – a health education program for teens in Australia.