I'm a doctor and these are the 10 things that will cure your hangover this Christmas – it’s all about carbs and sleep
BRITS will collectively drink almost six billion units of alcohol between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.
That's a lot of sore heads over the course of the week…
And while some of you might be lucky enough to have some time off of work over the festive period, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in bed trying to nurse a rotten hangover.
While there's no instant miracle cure just yet, there are few things you can do to alleviate those horrendous hangover symptoms.
We spoke to Dr Carol Cooper, a medical journalist, to get her advice for curing a hangover this Christmas.
Carol explained: “Typical hangover symptoms are primarily due to dehydration, stomach irritation and low blood sugar levels.
“Dehydration is the main reason for dry mouth and headache, while nausea and pain are down to stomach irritation.
“Low blood sugar levels contribute to tiredness and light-headedness.
“There’s no hangover cure as such, only relief for some of the symptoms.”
If you fancy a Bailey’s or two (or more) this festive season, here are Carol’s top tips for dealing with a hangover.
It’s important when drinking alcohol to ensure that you drink lots of clear fluids.
Carol said: “Water is effective and cheaper than isotonic drinks.
“The sooner you start fighting dehydration, the faster your head will stop throbbing.
“Even better, take fluids on board before symptoms set in.”
It might sound obvious, but once many of us start downing the prosecco, it becomes quite easy to forget about water, but it’s vital to make sure you’ve got a big jug of it on the table this Christmas.
If you haven’t got any painkillers in your medicine box, make sure you head out before the big day to get some if you’re planning on knocking the booze back.
Carol explained: “There’s evidence that alcohol also causes inflammation inside your head, so, if your stomach can take it, consider anti-inflammatory tablets like ibuprofen.
“Paracetamol can work but it’s more toxic to the liver.
“Make sure you have a bite to eat with your ibuprofen.”
Many of us tend to avoid carbs, but here’s your excuse (if you need one), get tucking into the roasties this Christmas to avoid the damage to your head the following day.
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Carol said: “A carb-based snack like honey on toast or a bacon roll boosts blood sugar levels.
“Some people swear by a huge fry-up, but it’s a bit greasy for a delicate stomach and can trigger heartburn.
“Just choose something bland that’s easy to prepare and easy to keep down.”
Have clear soup
If you’ve got veggies left over from your Christmas dinner, instead of throwing them away, you might want to make them into a soup to cure your hangover.
Carol claims: “A thin vegetable (or beef-based) broth helps top up lost vitamins and minerals.
“It’s light on the stomach and comforting to sip.”
If ibuprofen doesn’t cure your hangover, you might be surprised that Rennies can help cure a sore head.
Carol said: “If you have heartburn or feel queasy, a simple antacid can help.
“Rennies is just one brand of the many available.
“You can also buy over-the-counter remedies like PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) which give more lasting relief.
“Ask your pharmacist for advice.”
Sleep it off
Christmas Day is often a big one for many and while you might have exciting Boxing Day plans, staying in bed is always a good shout to stop your head from pounding.
Carol advised: “Take a nap if you can.
“Once you wake up, you may be over the worst of your hangover.”
Eat food rich in zinc and B vitamins
As much as you might want to tuck into leftover turkey and stuffing on Boxing Day, if you want to cure your banging headache, a healthier lunch might just be the answer.
Carol suggested: “The science isn’t conclusive, but research suggests that being low in zinc and B vitamins makes hangover symptoms worse.
“Foods rich in zinc and B vitamins include lentils, chickpeas and seafood.”
Get fresh air
For those just wanting to spend the whole day in bed to nurse the hangover, you might want to have a re-think.
Carol stressed the importance of fresh air for nursing a headache and said: “It’ll help clear your head and make you feel a bit more normal again.”
Do some exercise
While many of us will be full to the brim with Christmas pudding and mince pies and might not fancy moving very far, if you want to feel a bit more festive, exercise is a good start.
Carol recommends: “A walk outside helps stretch the muscles, but be careful if you’re light-headed.
“And don’t drive the morning after a heavy session as you may be over the limit.”
Prevention is key
Although Christmas is a time of fun and joy, remember to pace yourself – you’ll still have a great time AND you won’t regret it the next day.
Carol said: “The best way to deal with a hangover is to avoid it in the first place by drinking less booze.
“Pace yourself by alternating alcoholic beverages with non-fizzy soft drinks.
“Heavily coloured drinks like brandy, red wine, and dark rum contain ingredients known as congeners which are as toxic to the body as alcohol itself.”
Meanwhile, woman shares genius hack for cutting wrapping paper this Christmas & you DON’T need scissors.
Also, the most stressful things about Christmas revealed – including buying gifts, pleasing people and lack of exercise.
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