Best Hangover Cures

It’s that time of year again – Christmas parties, office parties, drinks by the pool….but no one enjoys a hangover the next day. Many of us have a tried and true way to get over a hangover – fry up? Hair of the dog? But what really works and what doesn’t?

“Substituting every second alcoholic drink for a non-alcoholic one and not drinking on an empty stomach can make a big difference to how you feel the next day and to your long term wellbeing,” recommends Dr Christine Bennett, Chief Medical Officer of Bupa Australia.

“Since the main causes of a hangover are most likely to be dehydration and lack of sleep it is recommended that drinking plenty of water, preferably before going to sleep and then again when waking, as well as rest, may help.”

What works and what doesn’t:

· Mild analgesic: A couple of paracetamol either before going to bed or on waking may help the headache. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining so analgesics that irritate the stomach such as aspirin or ibuprofen are not recommended.

· Multi-vitamins: While dehydration may mean that your body is low on vitamin B and C, there is minimal evidence to show that supplements such as vitamin B will help.

· A fried breakfast: While eggs and other typical breakfast foods such as sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes may provide salts and vitamins that have been lost, make sure it is isn’t a high fat fry-up.

· Coffee: While the caffeine in tea and coffee may make you feel more awake, too much caffeine will dehydrate you further.

· Exercise: For the brave, exercise will actually speed up the detoxification process and take your mind off feeling terrible. It is important that you drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising, and don’t exercise if you’re feeling too groggy, as it may increase your risk of an accident.

Tips to help minimise the impact of alcohol:

· Never drink on an empty stomach – eat a substantial meal before you go out.

· Have at least two alcohol free days each week.

· Do not drink alcohol if you are taking medications (especially those that may enhance the effects of alcohol) such as antibiotics, anti-anxiety medications, barbiturates and sedatives.

· Do not drink alcohol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

· For every alcoholic drink, have a non-alcoholic one, and don’t mix different types of alcoholic drinks.

· Drink plenty of water before you go out and when you get home.

· Organise a designated driver before you go out, and never drink and drive.