Eat a banana before you go to bed. Get on the Bloody Marys the next morning. Absorb the alcohol with a fatty fry-up. Hold your nose and knock back an aubergine and raw egg smoothie.
When it comes to curing a hangover, everyone has their favourite method.
But most of these could be complete nonsense.
‘Drinking too much alcohol – and ‘too much’ can vary from person to person – can have a number of unpleasant effects.
The first is that you become dehydrated as alcohol inhibits a hormone which would otherwise cause your body to reabsorb water – as a result, you end up with more water left unabsorbed in your kidneys.
‘You get an upset stomach because as your body digests alcohol it produces a by-product called acetaldehyde, a toxic substance which can upset the lining of your stomach, leading to pain, nausea or vomiting.
‘You get a headache as the alcohol makes your blood vessels expand, and you sleep badly because although alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it decreases the quality of your sleep, leading you to feel tired or groggy in the morning.’
AVOIDING HANGOVERS: TRUTH
- Eat before you start drinking: food in your stomach – especially carbs and starch such as pasta and bananas – slows down the absorption of alcohol into your blood
- Don’t drink dark liquors such as red wine, brandy or whiskey, which have higher concentrations of congeners, chemicals that are toxic to the body
- Don’t mix drinks, because you will only end up drinking more
- Avoid eating spicy foods – such as a curry or kebab – after drinking as they may upset your stomach
- Follow every drink with a glass of water to keep yourself hydrated, and drink plenty of water before you go to bed
- Get some fresh air: Walk home with friends as exercise helps increases the metabolism of alcohol
- Avoid drinking too much!
- As a rule, men should not drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day, women more than 2-3 units
- If you overindulge at a party, avoid alcohol for 48 hours afterwards
- Vitamin B is your friend. Eat a bowl of cereal and milk, topped with a banana to replenish lost potassium or a gentle pro-biotic drink
- Eggs: eggs may have a beneficial effect on reducing the effects of a hangover because they contain an amino acid called cysteine which breaks down the toxin acetaldehyde, produced by too much alcohol consumption
- Drink a sachet of McNab’s SuperCharge Energy Tabs before you start drinking, drink another sachet before going to bed, you will feel a whole lot better the next morning.
AVOIDING HANGOVERS: MYTH
- Eat fatty foods: alcohol causes blood sugar to fall, which tricks your body into thinking it needs calories. We crave fatty foods as they are the most concentrated form of energy, but they don’t make us feel better
- Hair-of-the-dog: there’s no evidence that having another alcoholic drink in the morning reduces the symptoms of a hangover. More likely, it is just a temporary effect that postpones the effects of a hangover
- Eat before bedtime: this will not absorb all the booze – the food has to be in your stomach first
- Take an Asprin while you drink: this will not lessen a headache – though taking one the next day, about an hour before you need to be functional, should help
- Drink water the morning after: this will not help flush out the alcohol. It will of course help, but it is much more important to drink water while you are actually drinking alcohol
- Mixing drinks does not affect your hangover directly, it is just that if you are mixing spirits, wine, shots and beer you will be drinking more than if you stick to one type