"Happy New Year!" - with as low a voice as possible considering many of you must be feeling sensitive to sound and light right now after last night's celebrations. Even worse is the pounding headache, fatigue and nausea, which you are likely trying to find a cure for. The miracle you’re hoping for is turning wine into water - or at least some of the wine you’ve drank last night, which is now torturing your body. What I mean by this, unfortunately, is that there is no magic remedy for hangovers. Although there are some things you can do to ease your symptoms and quicken your recovery.
If this wasn't the exact answer that you were looking for, then cheer up, as this time next year your recovery might only take an hour. IV Doctors, an American web-based company, offer IV treatments as a service to hangover sufferers in the comfort of their own homes, and is planning to go global next year.
There’s no miracle cure, the only difference is that intravenous delivery makes your body absorb the “good stuff” faster. Stuff on which you could save roughly $200 (the cost of the treatment), at least for another year, by following some of the advice laid out below for relatively quick, economic and efficient hangover symptom treatment. So let me help you get through and deal with the consequences of heavy drinking - dehydration, intoxication and sleep deprivation.
1) Drink, drink and drink more WATER.
Contrary to many myths, "Hair of the Dog" (or the belief that continuing to drink your way through a hangover will minimise the effects) is not a solution when you’re suffering from hangover. It will only delay the symptoms and put your liver through even tougher times than it is trying to recover from. So be kind to yourself and your system by sticking to water. Most symptoms of your hangover are actually caused by dehydration. Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body, especially if you’re vomiting (or have been during the course of the night) .
You could also try sports drinks, which contain sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. These play an important role in maintaining fluids in our bodies. Alternatively, you can buy dissolving tablets containing these minerals from chemists and health stores.
Sodium bicarbonate dissolved in water and ginger drinks are also known to help nausea, regulating acid and calming your stomach. If you’re desperate, you can also try aspirin or ibuprofen to aid baring the pain - but these would mainly help your headache and are not exactly liver-friendly substances.
Try to stay away from coffee and black tea - which are both diuretic beverages so they would achieve the direct opposite of your goal today.
During the night you have not only lost fluids, but nutrition, vitamins and minerals as well. You’ll need to find a way to replace these as fast as possible - without the help of your liver.
Number one thing to keep in mind, is that your liver is taking a vacation from its usual functions as its busy metabolising the alcohol. You’ll either be craving fatty foods, or unable to keep anything down. Despite the condition you’re in, your blood sugar level is down so you’ll need to bring it back to normal. The best way to do so is by eating crackers, biscuits and carbohydrates. These are not only easy to consume when you’re feeling sick, but they're also the quickest source of glucose.
All the other important things, such as vitamins and minerals you’ll get from foods such as potatoes, milk, bananas, lemons, etc.
To help your liver out, you can drink herbal teas. Thistle and nettle especially are known to cleanse your liver, helping you detox from the alcohol.
3) Exercise and take a nap
Try to get up early to start your metabolism. I know sleep deprivation is one of the factors why everything seems more awful than it really is, but getting your system into action will help you kick-start your recovery process. Your body will start self-cleaning, and by eating light foods and doing a bit of exercise, you will speed things up. Of course, you don’t need to overdo it, just go for a walk or a short jog to increase your blood flow. IF you can.
Later on the day, take a nap to make up for the lack of sleep. You’ll get very tired, so make sure that you have some time and space for a quick break. Many doctors recommend a caffeine nap, which is proven to be more efficient than caffeine or a nap alone. The caffeine takes effect 20 minutes after consumption, so use this 20 minutes to take a nap or just close your eyes and rest. You’ll wake up more refreshed than … ever? Maybe not, but it will definitely help eliminate extreme drowsiness.
Trust me, after you get through this day, there’s only a matter of time before your “I’m never going to drink again” New Year’s resolution will be long forgotten. So just relax, drink plenty of water and eat healthy. What a better way to start the New Year?!