December is called the festive season, when it really should be called hangover month.
But while every person has his/her own hangover remedy (usually via a bacon sandwich and Nurofen), we wanted to know what the experts do on a hangover day.
Consider these tried and tested hangover cures from our team of trusted nutritionists, and then have a lie down...
Avoid a coffee binge: Karen Poole, Nutritional Therapist
"Avoid caffeine as although it may appear to give you a boost, it will fatigue you in the long run as it inhibits iron absorption and stimulates cortisol release. This can interfere with digestion and vitamin uptake and reduce energy production."
Liver support shot: Karen Poole, Nutritional Therapist
"Make this in advance and drink pre and post event. It should last three days in a sealed container in the fridge and don’t worry if it separates - just give it a shake. You can add hot stock and a protein of choice and turn it into a more substantial meal or soup if you wish.
- One handful of watercress
- One handful of spinach
- One handful of rocket
- One handful of parsley
- One handful of basil
- Three dark cabbage leaves
- Two celery sticks
- One fennel bulb
- Two spring onions
- Juice of one lemon and some zest
"Roughly tear the leaves and chop the stems and put them into a pan, add a cup of water and place on a gentle heat. Let the contents wilt and steam, add a little more water if needed and blend.
"This is great for liver support, blood sugar regulation and hormone balance and will help your liver cope with alcohol excess and give you a boost."
Refuel your blood sugar: Jo Travers, - The London Nutritionist
"I like to have water (for rehydration which is often the reason for a hangover headache) then a balance of carbs, protein and fat, in that order. When you drink, your liver prioritises detoxifying the alcohol at the expense of some of its other functions.
"One of those functions is to make some glucose if blood sugar runs low which may happen when you are asleep. Low blood sugar can make you shaky, tired, weak and irritable and when you feel this with a hangover it may be partly due to hypoglycaemia so eating some carbs is a good idea. Juice would work here, but I have a savoury tooth and personally prefer hash browns, partly because they taste nice and partly because potatoes also contain potassium which is often lost in urine because alcohol is a diuretic.
"Protein will help slow down the release of sugar from the potatoes so you get a drip feed of sugar to the blood rather than a rush followed by a crash (the last thing you need when you already feel awful). I like eggs. I don't go for salty meats as they can worsen the dehydrated feeling.
"Fat for me is found in the egg yolks and the hash browns, a small amount that helps everything taste better and feel better in the mouth, i.e. it helps me get it all down when I'm feeling rough so I can get the benefit of the other things.
"However, prevention is always better than cure and I always try to eat before I drink and snack with my drinks. This slows down the alcohol's journey to the liver making it easier for the poor thing. I always plan to (and recommend) alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks, although this always seems harder to do in practice!"
Green super smoothie: Libby Limon, nutritionist and yoga teacher
"This is green juice, real green juice, not 70% apple juice with a bit of green. That means it low is sugar (good) and high in goodness (amazing). It might not be what your palate is used to, but it is exactly what your body needs. Although it may be an acquired taste (I think its super delicious) your body will feel so much better if you drink this everyday, especially the morning after the night before.
1. Celery: high in potassium salts that you will have lost due to the diuretic (peeing) effect.
2. Kale: high in anti-oxidants that have been shown to specifically support your liver detoxification.
3. Lemon juice: highly alkalising to balance the acidify effect alcohol has on your body
4. Ginger: anti-inflammatory to calm against the alcohols inflaming effect on your digestive tract. It is also anti-nausea so will help with feelings of sickness
5. Cucumber: high in vitamin C and Bs to give you energy. 95% water and electrolytes to rehydrate effectively. It is antibacterial too so relieves bad breath.
6. Parsley: one of the highest sources of life-giving chlorophyll. It will cleanse your kidneys, liver, and urinary tract. It is a digestive stimulate helping upset stomachs.”
The Japanese algae that reduces hangovers by 96%: Nikki Baker, independent nutritionist
"My go-to hangover saviour is the Japanese algae chlorella, a superfood detoxifier which contains high levels of complete protein, and bonds with heavy metals and chemical toxins, helping to eliminate them from the brain and nervous system. Professor Fukui of Sapporo Medicinal University has reported that even with a fairly large consumption of alcohol, hangovers can be prevented by up to 96% with chlorella. As well as everything else, Chlorella contains high levels of vitamin D per dose and vitamin B12, so it’s perfect for helping to replenish key nutrients during a hangover, so it’s perfect for a morning after green smoothie."
Banana coconut shake: Madeleine Shaw, nutritional health coach
"My banana coconut shake is my ultimate hangover cure. Coconut water is loaded with electrolytes which naturally hydrate your body. I always put in a frozen banana which gives it another boost of potassium and a great texture. Chia seeds are extremely hydrating for the body and they provide some much-needed omega 3. The ginger gives it some flavour and acts as an anti-inflammatory, combatting any damage done."
300ml of coconut water
1 frozen banana
1 tsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
It's as simple as placing everything in the blender.