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Guide to Surviving the New Year’s Day Morning

Tried-and-tested remedies to help you feel less miserable when you’ve had a bit too much to drink.

For most, New Year's Eve is synonymous with partying until the wee morning hours, chugging down pint after pint, occasionally managing to nibble on something. And then we find ourselves on the first day of 2019, already wishing we could rewind to the year before and put down that last shot of tequila—it happens to the best of us.

Ask any health expert about curing a hangover they’d just tell you to refrain from drinking alcohol altogether—a tough task. The next best thing is to drink in moderation. Another trick to avoid a nasty headache the next day is to stay hydrated. There are also drinking hacks that are said to:

*Drink one alcoholic beverage per hour, 
*Alternate drinks with water, soda or fresh juice (nothing alcoholic),
*Never drink on an empty stomach.

But mistakes happen. So to ensure that you waltz into the New Year headache-free, here are some tried-and-tested hangover cures. Be warned, there are no sure-shot ‘cures’ for a hangover, however, there are methods that work better for some than others in helping alleviate those brutal hangover symptoms. Find out which one works best for you:

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But First, Coffee
Sheryl*, a frequent partyer swears by coffee to limit the effects of alcohol. “Whenever I find myself waking up to a nasty headache, I first make myself a cup of black coffee; the stronger, the better,” she shares. Beyond anecdotal evidence, there have been studies highlighting the effectiveness of coffee. An online study published in the open access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science, PLoS One, concluded that sipping coffee about four hours after a boozy evening could do wonders as that’s when acetate levels, guilty of triggering headaches, begin to rise. And that’s when the healing properties of coffee come to the rescue. Caffeine, for instance, helps reduce inflammation, which in turn can bring immediate relief. And when combined with the use of painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, you could in no time feel better, as per WebMD.  

Also read: Food for thought: Wake up and smell that coffee


A King-Size Breakfast 
Feeling like crap may leave you waking up wanting to eat crap. The desire to reach out for all things greasy and oily is nothing but the effects of dehydration and low blood sugar. However, to bring your blood sugar back up to normal, all you need are some carbs, balanced out with the right amount of proteins or healthy fats. A heavy breakfast of eggs has long been a hangover staple for Albert Perreira, Head Mixologist at Autumn Bar and Bistro, and there is actually some scientific evidence behind why and how this works. According to an online study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, US, cysteine, an amino acid found in eggs, helps to break down the effects of the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde, thereby playing substitute for your long-suffering liver. Certain studies also suggest eating toast with your breakfast as carbohydrates help balance your body’s blood sugar levels. And in case you are a vegetarian, the good news is that cysteine is also found in oats and yogurt.

Also read: Hacks for perfect poached eggs

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Water All Day
Rohan Rege, Assistant Manager of Beverages, JW Marriott Hotel Pune says, “Hangovers can best be prevented by keeping oneself well hydrated.” Alcohol is known to have a dehydrating effect on the body and can deplete it of essential minerals, water could actually come in handy. And this always works for Vivian*. Be it in terms of some freshly-squeezed juices, oral rehydration solution (ORS) such as Electoral or even plain water – he swears by them all, as they time and again act as his after-party survival kit. Fresh juices help restore lost sugar in the body and speed up the body’s recovery process after a night of binge drinking. Besides, the American National Headache Foundation recommends tomato juice to help the body process alcohol faster.

Apart from these, you could even turn to coconut water to help facilitate rehydration, something that Perreria sticks to as well. Rich in electrolytes (potassium and sodium), coconut water could help restore the body’s electrolyte balance caused by dehydration or vomiting. Additionally, coconut water also has an alkalizing effect which can help balance the body’s pH levels, restoring lost energy. As effective as energy drinks, minus the excessive sugar, a glass of coconut water makes for a natural way to nurse a hangover, found a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, US.

Bananas Never Disappoint
After a bout of heavy drinking, the body tends to lose out on a lot of electrolytes, especially potassium.   Eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas, have proven to work for many. According to the WebMD, bananas help replenish lost minerals as they contain a good amount of fructose, glucose and magnesium, which are depleted with the consumption of alcohol.

Also read: Are you making the most of your bananas

Sleep it Off
A good night’s sleep helps solve almost all problems, but can a snooze really help fix you up during a hangover? An online study published in 2017 on the National Center for Biotechnology Information actually proves that sleep deprivation can worsen a hangover. Since alcohol acts as a diuretic, even if you did sleep the night after partying hard, chances are your sleep was interrupted by frequent trips to the bathroom, leaving you feeling unrested and even more dehydrated in the morning. It’s best to eat and drink well before going to bed and staying there for a longer than usual. Doing so can help fight off the typical hangover symptoms—electrolyte imbalances, low blood sugar and dehydration.  

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Also read: Had a bad night’s sleep? Drinking more water could help

Bottoms Up
There are a few who swear by ‘Hair of the Dog’ treatment—drinking more alcohol to cure the hangover. While we cannot recommend this remedy, there may be some logic to it. Hair of the Dog commonly contains tomato juice, vodka, Tabasco sauce and often raw eggs and beer! It seems like a horrifying version of a Bloody Mary. A Bloody Mary according to Rege can help with a hangover—“The thick tomato juice lines the stomach pretty well besides helping absorb toxins from the body and hydrating the same. The vodka, on the other hand, acts like a painkiller numbing the headache.” But portion control with the vodka is crucial.

*Names changed to protect the privacy of individuals


Images: Shutterstock 

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