It’s all very well living a healthy lifestyle but once we enter the often-boozy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year period a lot of our good intentions often go out of the window – no matter how hard we try. And, more often than not that means that we will be more likely to suffer with hangovers (or “seasonal overload” as we’ve heard it being referred to in rather euphemistic terms recently) than at any other time of the year.
Dr. Jason Burke, who is the world’s first hangover specialist and who has treated over 25,000 hangovers at his specialised clinic in Las Vegas, tells Lumity his fail-proof tips on how to cure the horrendous effects of the morning after drinking alcohol.
The expert, who A-list stars including Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have on speed dial to get them fighting fit after a night on the tiles in the party capital of the world, warns that it’s women in their thirties, forties and fifties who are more likely to suffer from bad hangovers than any other group.
That’s right – that group of frat boys making their way down the Vegas strip are less likely to be holed up in bed yelping with a sore head the morning after drinking than you are if you’re a woman in your forties:
“One of the problems of getting older is that our bodies are less able to deal with the after effects of alcohol,” Jason tells Lumity. “Often it’s people in their thirties and forties or even fifties who suffer the worst. They usually go for long periods without drinking then when they do go out they drink like they did when they were in their twenties. The next day they feel like death; they’ll be dehydrated, with a throbbing headache and perhaps even throwing up.”
Prevention is better than cure and Jason advises that if you are going to go out or to a festive party, invest time in doing a pre-tox, as well as stocking up on the ingredients needed for the next day’s hangover-banishing brunch menu:
“Have a couple of multi-vitamin packed freshly squeezed juices before your big night and eat a nice juicy beef steak, because they’re packed with protein and B vitamins, plus a helping of vitamin-packed green vegetables like spinach and some slow-burning carbs to line your stomach,” says Jason.
“Then when you are out, stick to vodka or gin with mixers like club soda or fruit juice. Energy drinks can be bad as mixers because they cause you to stay awake longer, which can cause you to drink more.
“Avoid champagne and whisky which produce the WORST hangovers. The darker the alcohol, the worse the hangover.”
The next day, if you’re suffering, take an anti-inflammatory like Advil or Ibuprofen, rather than anything which has paracetamol in it — which stresses an already over-loaded liver.
Jason says: “There’s research which shows that hangovers are caused by inflammation — which is why your head throbs when you wake up, your brain is slightly swollen. That is where an anti-inflammatory, rather than paracetamol, will help. Sip water slowly to rehydrate from the moment you wake up, give your body time to adjust and process any left over alcohol. Then once you are ready to eat, a freshly squeezed juice is better than caffeine, which could give you jitters, while a fresh juice will give you all the vitamins and nourishment that the alcohol depleted from your system the night before. Eat a cheese omelette for breakfast because it’s a double blast of protein and some much-needed vitamin B12.”
Here’s our favourite hangover-banishing smoothie recipe:
One banana (vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, potassium, biotin, and copper.)
Fresh or a couple of cubes of frozen spinach (source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein and choline.)
Fresh oranges (packed with vitamin C. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber. In addition, oranges are a good source of B vitamins including vitamin B1, pantothenic acid and folate as well as vitamin A, calcium, copper and potassium.)
A dash of spirulina (for an extra dose of Vitamin B-12 – vitamins B-1(thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3(nicotinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin E. It is also a source of potassium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium … need we go on?)
1 tablespoon of organic raw bee pollen (which helps the body detox and is rich in protein free amino acids and vitamins, including the B-complex, and folic acid)
Turmeric (brilliant for fighting inflammation)
Whizz together in a blender with some ice and you’ll start to feel better in less than 15 minutes.
The ONE thing you should NOT do when you’re hungover? As well as not taking paracetamol, avoid the hair of the dog. Jason believes, “that’s just kicking the can down the road” rather than dealing with the problem, and that if you’re drinking in the mornings to cure a hangover it might be time to re-evaluate your drinking habits.
So that morning Bloody Mary or two is to be avoided, no matter how tempting. Above all, have fun and, if you can, ensure your night out, or big party, is on a Friday because that way you have two days to rest and recover before you’re back at work on a Monday.
One final tip? As much as refined sugar and junk food might seem tempting it will probably upset your stomach even more as well as dehydrating you, so try to focus on nourishing and hydrating your body the morning after the night before if you can.
Life’s all about balance after all.
What are your favourite hangover cures? Let us know in the comments below…