You’ve just woken up from last night's festive furore and you’ve got a head full of regrets and enough nausea to keep you sick until Monday morning.
Old wives' tales and traditional wisdom would have us reaching for cold pizza, hot, sugary tea and bacon sarnies to help relieve these sickening symptoms. However, research would in fact suggest that it could be the very food and drinks we repeatedly seek solace in as one of the main reasons our hangovers stick around for so long.
With the party season well and truly upon us, we needed some symptom saviours stat and got in touch with GTG expert and Nutritional Therapist, Petronella Ravenshear , to see which foods should be well and truly avoided, like that shot of tequila last night.
So, in order of importance, here at the top five food and drink options to stay clear of come the dreaded morning of hangover hell.
A Greasy Fry-Up
The classic English fry up at your local greasy spoon might seem like the breakfast of champions and could be tempting because it can make us feel a bit better in the short-term by stabilising blood sugar. Ultimately however, a large plate of bacon, sausage and fried eggs will in fact prolong the duration of a hangover by slowing the detoxification processes and not give the body the nutrients it really needs. As an alternative opt for hard-boiled or poached eggs instead as they contain cysteine, a substance that can help break down acetaldehyde, a toxin associated with alcohol metabolism and hangovers.
Hair of the Dog
Having another drink could seem like a good idea but is in fact a rather risky one. The only reason it might make us feel better (temporarily) is because it may simply be delaying the appearance of symptoms by getting us sloshed again! So, stick to coconut water, the ultimate re-hydrator, and drink plenty of it.
The liver’s main jobs are to break down toxins including drugs, alcohol and dietary fats, but it’s also galvanised into action when food needs to be digested. So, instead of eating, even if it’s something liver-friendly like eggs, take the pressure off the liver by having a whey protein smoothie. Whey acts as an antioxidant by boosting levels of glutathione and it provides perfect protein to fuel liver detoxification.
Sugar and Refined Carbs
Alcohol plays havoc with our blood sugar and low blood sugar is one of the horrible hallmarks of a hangover. Eating sugar or carbs, which break down fast to increase blood sugar, results in another blood sugar roller coaster which ultimately leaves us feeling worse and craving more sugar. Add berries and a teaspoon of maple syrup to your whey smoothie if you’re craving something sweet to eat.
This is controversial. One of the bad effects of too much alcohol is dehydration and coffee is a diuretic, meaning it amplifies dehydration. However, caffeine also acts to dilate the blood vessels, which can reduce headaches. The best thing though would be to drink green tea because it does contain a small amount of caffeine but is also packed with antioxidants, making it a more gentle alternative for your tummy.