POST-ELECTION: Best foods to cure a hangover
WHILE nutritious food won't erase any unwanted memories, there are a few foods that will help speed up your recovery and help get rid of that hangover (and splitting headache).
Plenty of water
For each serving of alcohol, drink a glass of water, even if it's the next day. Your body needs water to dilute the toxins so they can more easily leave your body. If you don't get enough liquids, your body will take water away from your tissues.
Alcohol lowers your blood sugar levels so anything that helps bring your blood sugar levels back up will make you feel better. Slow burning carbohydrates like a piece of wholegrain toast or oats can be a form of comfort food and will help restabilise your blood sugar levels. Other great options include brown rice, chickpeas or sweet potato.
A dose of caffeine will dilate your blood vessels, helping to relieve the pressure in your skull and your aching headache. Swap your black tea or coffee for a latte or cappuccino as the milk will help balance out your blood sugar levels.
Whether scrambled, boiled or sunny side up, eggs contain cysteine, an amino acid that helps clear your liver of hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde. Cysteine is also found in many other foods including yoghurt, chicken, milk, garlic and onion.
Although pickles may not be your first pick of foods to eat hung-over, this wacky remedy will have you feeling better faster. Pickle juice contains a good mix of sugar, salt, water and vinegar so eating a few pickles (along with their juice) will help rebalance your electrolytes. Two shots of pickle juice before or after a big night are certainly worth trying.
Drinking alcohol causes you to pee more than usual and in the process you lose a lot of important nutrients. Avocado is a great source of potassium, one of the nutrients you'll need to replenish along with sodium and water. Ordering a side of spinach with your breakfast or snacking on a bananas or orange will also give you a good dose of potassium. While a big glass of OJ may be tempting, rather opt for a whole orange instead.
Wholegrain breakfast cereal
Drinking alcohol destroys vitamin B1 (also know as thiamin), which helps your body convert food into energy. Reloading your B1 stores will help you recover faster so top up your thiamin store with a bowl of wholegrain breakfast cereal. Fortified bran flakes will be a great choice. Slice in a banana for potassium.
While dehydration and too little sleep will make you feel groggy and weak, refuelling with glucose will give your body as easy energy supply. Fructose, the sugar found in fruit like mango can help replenish your glucose, so your body can get rid of the alcohol. While cutting into a juicy mango or eating a punnet of berries may not take away your hangover completely, the water content in fruit will help with hydration making you feel better.
If plain water just won't do, swap the syrupy sports drink for coconut water (often referred to as 'nature's sports drink'). A study into this natural alternative found that some brands contained the same amount of electrolytes as sports drinks. Coconut will also work wonders for getting your blood sugar levels up and helping you rehydrate.
What is the best hangover food?
Swap the greasy breakfast for the ultimate hangover breakfast cure; a piece of wholegrain toast served a couple of eggs; ¼ avocado and sauteed spinach. This balanced meal will give you slow-burning carbohydrates, cysteine, B1 and vitamin C - helping you recover quicker. Wash this down with at least two glasses of water.