Soften the fall after a hard day’s night.
You’ve had a long night out with clients. As fun as it may have been, the inevitable morning after awaits. Alcohol may assist in merrymaking, but it leaves an egregious trail in its wake. Among the effects: dehydration, nausea, low blood sugar, an over- acidiﬁed and irritated stomach, headaches brought on by dilated blood vessels, a messed-up sleep cycle, a lack of mental and physical focus, and a general feeling of awfulness.
Scientists have yet to fully unpick all the complicated physiological mayhem underlying the above, and no research has so far found a drug that consistently and predictably “cures” a hangover. However, some foods have properties which can help you shake it off.
Laden with easily digested protein – and easy to cook even under a hangover haze – eggs supply your body with amino acids for self-repair and maintenance. One of these, cysteine, helps your liver to clean up toxic by- products of alcohol breakdown.
Replenishes ﬂuid and electrolytes, and is more ﬂavourful than plain water, but far lower in calories and sugars than juices or sodas. Freshly tapped from a coconut is ideal – and helps you imagine you’re on a beach, instead of prone on the couch – but packaged 100 per cent-pure coconut water is ﬁne too.
A natural anti-nausea agent that rapidly quells queasiness and settles the stomach. Grated or juiced fresh ginger is the most potent and has the peppiest aroma, but ground dry ginger or ginger tea mixes will do too.
A hangover remedy in folk wisdom. The juiciness rehydrates, while its antioxidants, vitamin C and other nutrients ease your way towards recovery.
Alcohol – which is technically a poison – sparks an inﬂammatory response from your immune system, which recent research suggests is the culprit behind much of your hangover malaise. Beat it with turmeric, a powerful anti-inﬂammatory ingredient. Ground turmeric is ﬁne, but the fresh root is best – simply grate or slice it, then steep it for tea.
Many cultures tout chilli-hot dishes as folk remedies for a hangover. While little in the ﬁery pods seems to address hangover symptoms directly, the molecules which carry their burn do stimulate your brain to release pain-blocking and pleasure-inducing neurochemicals. The resulting “chilli high” distracts you from your hangover.
Fuss-free to eat and easy to digest, these handy energy sources restore depleted potassium levels. Very ripe bananas are slightly alkaline, which can counteract an over-acidic stomach.
Another traditional post-hangover food, rich in electrolytes and minerals, though avoid very acidic and very salty types. Naturally fermented pickles such as kimchi and sauerkraut may contain probiotics that will soothe the digestive system.