If you’re of legal drinking age, you’ve probably had a hangover.
It’s that nasty feeling that you get the day after drinking where you may experience any (or all) of the following:
– Increased or decreased appetite
– General fogginess
For some people, these symptoms last a few hours, for others (ME) a hangover can last all day and completely ruin any plans you may have. Although I don’t often drink anymore, if I do drink my hangovers are awful. I am the type of person who will suffer all day if I’m not careful. Because of this I have mastered the art of preventing, or if you’re not that responsible, nursing a hangover.
We all know that a hangover is caused by dehydration, yes? If not, go read an article on what alcohol does to your body so you can be more aware of what you’re putting your body through when you decide to drink a bunch.
Everyone always says “one cup of water for every drink,” but if you’ve ever gone out you know this is a lofty goal. Instead, I would suggest trying to get at least one glass in every few drinks. Really, any water that you can force your drunk self to drink when you go out is a win. However, what I really consider to be essential to hangover prevention is post-going-out hydration.
Every time you drink no matter what you do or where you are– drink two glasses of water before you go to bed.
And then as soon as you wake up, drink two more (with Advil/Ibuprofen) and then lay back down for another hour.
Obviously you can’t always lay back down for an hour before you have to get up, so if you plan to drink, set your alarm for 30 minutes early so you can hydrate and lay down while the pain meds kick in. This is the most important thing you can do for yourself if you wake up after a night of drinking and immediately know you will have a hangover.
Another beverage I really recommend for rehydrating is coconut water. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it does an excellent job of rehydrating you and making sure your body is retaining that hydration. The potassium also helps you to feel better, faster.
Aside from the obvious hydration, my absolute go-to hangover prevention method is to drink a big cup of detox tea before I go to bed. I know this sounds like the ultimate drunk responsibility moment, but if you don’t want to be miserable and you want to completely avoid a hangover: do this.
I make myself a cup of detox tea as soon as I get home, or as soon as I start getting ready for bed. Here are my favorite teas for this:
(The Yogi one also comes in a bunch of flavors if you’re not a plain tea drinker).
Don’t make the tea too hot, because then it will take too long to cool and by that time your drunk self will have fallen asleep.
Put the tea next to wherever you plan on sleeping and sip it. If you fall asleep and happen to wake up in the night, keep drinking it.
This method sounds strange, but it is literally science. The herbs in the tea (burdock , dandelion, juniper) help digestion and cleanse the liver. What is affected when we drink? The liver. Seriously guys, try this and you will never go back.
A lot of the time when we’re hungover, movement is the last thing we want to do. HOWEVER, stretching for 5-10 minutes and getting your blood flowing can really help you recover from a hangover.
I’m not one of those people who swears by intense exercise to “sweat it out,” but stretching definitely does help. Also– stay tuned for my go-to 10-minute stretch coming soon! In the meantime, try these out:
– Uttanasana: Bend down and touch your toes, relax your neck and shoulders, and just hang there for a minute or so. When you roll back up, do it very slowly.
– Urdhva Hastasana: Stand up super tall, interlace your fingers above your head and stretch your sides, straightening your arms to do so.
– Sukhasana: Sit down crisscross applesauce and walk your hands forward to the ground. Hold this for a minute or so, and then switch which leg is on top.
Fruits and Veggies
I know that people often define “hangover food” as greasy, heavy foods. It’s okay to do some of that if that’s what makes you feel better and comforts you, but you also NEED to be getting vitamins, and what better way to do that than with fruits and veggies?
Fruits and and veggies are packed with antioxidants, vitamins that are amazing for your skin, and water. Remember that when you’re hungover, your body is basically screaming at you to rehydrate. Eating fruits and veggies will help you do this without chugging a ton of water and giving yourself a headache/drowning from too many fluids, too fast.
The last thing I highly recommend is taking a hot shower or bath. The heat and humidity from the water can help to open up your pores and release any junk from your skin. It also helps to get rid of that congestion that sometimes occurs due to a hangover.
One note: If you plan to take a bath, try to avoid products with strong scents– this can irritate your skin, and potentially give you a headache. If you’re taking a bath, make sure you have fluids to sip on while you’re hanging out in there.
So there you have them. my hangover cures! I know there’s nothing revolutionary in this post (aside from maybe the Detox tea– that’s one that people don’t think of), but sometimes when we’re suffering from a hangover we cannot be bothered to take care of ourselves. The key to getting over a hangover is taking care of your body and listening to it. All of these things will help you to avoid the hangover, or recover from it, but the most important step is listening to what your body needs.