We’ve all been there. Parched mouth, aching head, heavy limbs, vowing to never, ever drink again. We’ve also all been there, cursing our go-to hangover cures for failing us once again.

To find a better solution, it might be useful to look at the causes. There are typically two schools of thought about what actually brings on a hangover and determines its severity. Some experts believe that overindulging in alcohol causes a disruption in your biological rhythms. Others blame alcohol withdrawals. There’s even some research that suggests it may be the impurities that are produced when the alcohol is distilled that leave you feeling nauseous. 

So, what’s that headache all about? Well, it turns out that alcohol is also a diuretic, which means it’s likely that you’re dehydrated. On top of that, your body is being forced to adjust to the rapidly dropping blood alcohol levels since you’ve stopped drinking. Jeez, that’s a lot to take in. Well, aside from the greatest healer of all, time, there are some failsafe ways to alleviate the symptoms just a little. And with Christmas parties beginning to bear down on us all thick and fast, this might be the most useful article you’ll read today; our 5 IDEAL party season hangover cures.

REPLENISH & REHYDRATE

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of waking up with a severe hangover when you’re partying is to alternate water and alcohol during the night. This will help you avoid dehydration and slow down your alcohol consumption at the same time. And that old ‘down a pint when I get home’ isn’t a bad shout either. 

You need electrolytes as well, so go hard on things like coconut water or sports drinks that have salt and potassium, and if you really want to bounce back fast, IV therapy will rehydrate and replenish important vitamins and trace minerals quickly. IV therapy works faster and more efficiently than simply drinking fluids because it bypasses the digestive system completely, with the fluids and nutrients going directly into your bloodstream where they can do the most good.

A look at the current market introduced us to The ‘All-Nighter’, an NYC vitamin IV drip that contains all the fluids your body needs for recovery. It also has essential B vitamins to provide energy and improve focus. This type of IV hydration therapy is becoming increasingly popular for those needing to feel sharp the morning after the night before, who don’t have to luxury of taking the day off to recover.

GET SOME CALORIES IN YOU

As rough as the prospect may feel to your stomach, a hearty breakfast can cure all. It helps by replenishing the nutrients you lost while you were partying. Getting some calories in you will also help get your energy levels back up to where they need to be. Don’t overdo it though. This isn’t the time for a big, greasy breakfast. In fact, the best hangover foods are far removed from a Full English. Instead, they are easy to digest, like a smoothie, oatmeal, or some toast with marmite.

And perhaps give the coffee a swerve. It’s also a diuretic, and can leave you more dehydrated than before you decided on a save-the-day cup of Joe. Instead, go for a fizzy drink, which helps replenish sugars and to us, is one of the best hangover pick-me-ups around.

SUPPLEMENT SAVIOURS

While there is no true cure for a hangover, certain supplements may ease your hangover symptoms markedly. Here are a few supplements that have research to back up their ability to reduce the symptoms of a hangover:

  • Ginger: Ginger is a traditional remedy that has been used to reduce nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach for centuries. Try popping a couple of ginger capsules, nibbling on some crystallized ginger, or sipping on some ginger tea to settle your stomach. Or, go for the jugular, and just take a big bite of the stuff straight off the shelf.
  • Red Ginseng: Research shows that red ginseng can reduce the level of alcohol in the blood and reduce the severity of the hangover. The plant is tough to find in the UK, but your high street health food shop will more than likely stock it in supplement form.
  • Prickly Pear: Prickly pear also shows some promise for relieving hangovers. One study showed that it can decrease their symptoms and severity by half.
  • Eleuthero: Eleuthero, also called Siberian ginseng, has also been shown to relieve hangover symptoms.

CHOOSE YOUR DRINK WISELY

Prevention is better than cure, as many a wise person has declared over the years. So, drink choice is vital in keeping the hungover wolf from the door. Of course, the best way to avoid a hangover is simply not drink any alcohol, or stick to the alcohol stuff, of which the market has seen a marked improvement recently; check out our article on 5 IDEAL non or low alcoholic drinks for the festive season over here.

Alternatively, you could be discerning about which alcoholic drink you enjoy. Try to avoid those with deep, dark shades, as the byproduct of fermentation which causes these colours, called congeners, is thought to worsen hangovers significantly. So, that’s brandy, whiskey and red wine given a swerve, then. Also, drinks with loads of sugar in their mixer can exacerbate your bad head the next day. Mulled wine, which contains both red wine and plenty of sweet stuff, should be strictly avoided, then. 

Instead, lighter spirits like vodka and gin (on moderation of course) combined with lower in glucose mixers like unsweetened tonic water (the flatter the better) are the way forward.

SLEEP IT OFF

Chances are you didn’t get enough sleep if you were out partying half the night, and even if you did, alcohol causes a disrupted, unfulfilling night if ever there was one. Although lack of sleep isn’t a direct cause of your hangover, it can definitely make you feel worse. If there’s any way you can manage it, once you’ve hydrated, eaten something, and taken whatever steps you can to get some relief, go back to bed and sleep it off. It’s the best way to help your body heal itself.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.