A few tips to save you from the excesses of a hangover at Christmas.
– For breakfast, make a smoothie with beetroot, banana, celery, carrot and ginger (blend one bulb of cooked beetroot with one banana, three stems of celery and an inch of ginger. Add bottled water or milk to thin out). It’s gentle on your system, the banana will help to replace lost potassium and the ginger will help a dicky tummy or nausea. If you can’t drink the lot in one go keep it in a sealed beaker in the fridge and drink it during the day. You’ll find cooked beetroot in most supermarkets in the chilled cabinet and you can add a spoon or two of probiotic yogurt too if you like.
– Sleep lots! Take the morning off if you can and lie in. Don’t be tempted to take the ‘hair of the dog’. You’ll feel better when you do but only for a short time but you’ll just have a worse hangover tomorrow! You’ll have to stop and get rid of it sometime so you can start all over again.
– Rehydrate: we don’t mean two glasses of water, we mean litres. It may not be polite but it works – buy a litre bottle of flat water, drink it from the bottle, then refill it from the cold tap and drink it again. You take more in from the bottle than you do from a glass, and you don’t have to lift your bottom from the couch or the bed to refill.
How to avoid getting a hangover in the first place
– If it’s going to be a hard long night always eat well before you go out even if you are going for dinner. At larger events, you may not get food for a long time.
– Hydration is key, before, during and after you drink alcohol. That dry musty tongue you get the morning after is not just from shouting and singing too much, it’s because you are dehydrated. Drink a glass of water in between every drink. It really works. It also saves you from drinking too much and you will never be without a glass in your hand.
– Drink more water before you go to bed and keep a pint of it next to you during the night. The next day carry a half litre bottle with you everywhere, and drink it! Then fill it up again and drink that.
– Skip the shots or the glass of Zambuca, Limoncello or Ouzo that you are offered after a meal – they are a killer. If you are at a dinner party and someone says the words ‘I have a bottle of something I brought back from holiday last year, let’s try it’ make a beeline for the front door – you’ll thank us the next day.
NEXT DAY’S HANGOVER CURE
– It’s tempting to eat a big fat fry-up or load up on carbs but the best thing you can do for your hangover is to drink lots of water, fruit juice, black tea and even a sports drink (though eating a piece of toast and drinking an orange juice is as good as it does the same thing and raises the sugar level).
– A bowl of Chinese congee would be restorative and gentle on your tummy. Place a handful of rice in a litre of water or stock, add a pinch of salt and some chopped ginger, bring to the boil, turn the heat down low and cook for an hour or two. Add some finely chopped spring onion and a splash of soy sauce. Ladle into a bowl and eat.
– Eat gentle foods: sweetcorn and chicken soup, a cup of marmite or some tinned fruit in juice over plain yogurt.
– The healthy magazine Better Nutrition suggests that taking activated charcoal before or after a meal or a heavy night out could not only reduce gas and bloating but may also reduce a hangover.
– Should you take a vitamin C tablet or a multi-vitamin to replace lost the minerals like sodium, magnesium and potassium? No need, the water you dissolve the vitamin C table in is the thing that does you more good and eating a banana will help with potassium levels. Save your money!
– Do detox cures work? No. There is no such thing as a detox, your liver is highly efficient and will do the work for you. All you need is lots of liquid, gentle food that is easy to digest, food, sleep and time.
MORE CHRISTMAS FEATURES AND RECIPES
How to Buy a Turkey
How to Cook a Turkey
Turkey Roasting Chart
How to Roast a Goose
How to Make Madeira and Mustard Turkey Gravy
How to cook Brussels Sprouts
Honey-glazed brussels sprouts
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta or Bacon
New Ways to Cook Brussels Sprouts
Grand Marnier Mulled Wine
Leek and Potato Soup with Smoked Haddock
Traditional mincemeat recipe
Cranberry Sauce Shrub