Big Night Out? Here’s How to Bounce Back!
There’s no shame in enjoying a little red wine with dinner, but when it comes to hangovers…
Well, let’s just say (and we’re sure you can agree) it’s a whole different ball game. We’re all adults here, we’ve all been there – no one is judging. There’s nothing like letting your hair down and getting wild with the people you love and awesome strangers you meet... but if you’ve overdone it with the alcohol and wake up the next morning looking (and feeling) like Godzilla, you realise the sober you isn’t actually so bad after all and start questioning all sorts, like “What on Earth did I do last night?”, “How did I even get home?” and most importantly, “How the hell do I bounce back, quick!?”.
You’re practically begging someone to take you back in time and tell you to slow it down just a little, and yes, we are speaking from experience. In fact, this entire blog has been put into practice by our team, with some lessons being learned the hard way (see, it happens to the best of us!). Save yourself from suffering by following these practical tips and tricks for handling a hangover after a big night out and we promise you’ll be thanking us in no time.
Handling your hangover appropriately
First things first, you need to clear your schedule. It doesn’t matter if you think you are Superwoman or IronMan – no one is operating properly after a booze-up the night before. If calling into work sick isn’t something you want to do, so sorry to say, you should’ve thought of that a bit sooner. Cancel your plans – even if they are fun ones, and give your body the time and respect it deserves to recover. It’s the least you can do after all you have put it through! Plus, you shouldn’t be driving if alcohol is still in your system, and staying in the comfort of your own home should ensure you don’t get any silly ideas like deciding to put the hair of the dog theory to the test (really, really not a good idea – trust us).
9 natural hangover treatments to try
Now that you’ve dealt with the external world, it’s time to work on the internal workings of things. Too much alcohol wreaks havoc in your body and although there are things you can do to ease the discomfort of a hangover, there’s no cure and it must be noted that excessive drinking can lead to all sorts of serious health issues. That being said, whether you drink a little or a lot, you are bound the get dehydrated. Dehydration is in fact at the root of most hangover symptoms you experience, as alcohol makes you urinate more than usual and isn’t a good hydrator, despite being a liquid. Below are some ideas on how to restore the natural balance in your body and treat a hangover without relying on painkillers:
Sleep heals and repairs the body. Just like turning your faulty phone off and back on again can give it the reboot required to work properly again, sleep can do the same for our mind, body and spirit. If you’ve had a big night out, it’s likely you’re not just hangover, you’re also in sleep-debt – which is a terrible combo! No wonder you feel rough, right? Return to your bed and let your muscles rest and relax. Catch up on the Zzz’s you missed. But remember to set an alarm for every half an hour or less to ensure you don’t miss out on replenishing the fluids you lost, by drinking lots of water throughout the day.
2. Electrolyte rehydration powders
Sometimes, water needs a little helping hand. Electrolyte rehydration powders like SOS Rehydrate provide just that. By lowering the osmolarity between sodium and water in the body, these types of formulas can allow you to absorb up to three times more water! What does this mean for hangovers? It means you’ll be able to bounce back to your usual self quicker, minimising the time spent suffering with a headache, nausea, achy joints and/or a dry mouth. It’s the closest thing we’ve seen to a hangover cure.
3. Hot and cold packs
Rather than reaching straight for the ibuprofen when the hangover headache hits, why not use the power of temperature to control your pain? Cooling relief packs like Migraine Kool ‘n’ Soothe are ideal for this scenario and often kick in quicker than a pill. You’re more in tune with your body this way, and therefore can judge where you are on the road to recovery without wondering if the headache will strike again when the medicine wears off. Of course, if you’d prefer heat you can opt for a self-heating eye mask, a hot water bottle or mini hand heater instead, just be sure not to burn yourself and wrap in a tea towel if necessary to avoid direct contact on the skin.
Sugary mints won’t just help you combat bad breath and that dreaded mouth fur, they’ll also make you feel fresher all round. Mint is a well-known morning sickness cure for pregnant women, and it works a treat for hangovers too. It’ll decrease nausea, and can even alleviate belly pains due to its digestive properties. This doesn’t mean you should go through the whole pack in one sitting with the hope to be cured though – like with anything (even the healthy stuff) moderation is key.
5. Herbal detox teas
You may not want to drink plain water all day, so why not add some flavour in form of herbal tea into the mix? We recommend Pukka Herb’s Mint Refresh blend. It’s designed to give your body a spring clean from the inside with a magic combination of organic coriander, fennel, hibiscus, licorice, peppermint and rose flowers, said to usher in ‘new beginnings’. Bringing a rich variety of goodness back into the body couldn’t be easier!
6. Vegetable broth or soup
Bouillon soup is recommended by the NHS on their hangover cure page due to the fact it’s fabulously high in minerals and vitamins. You can find recipes with all sorts of variations online (we’ve listed a few of our favourites at the bottom of this blog in our further reading section), but we suggest using up everything you’ve got in the house and getting creative, adding your own little twist with reference to your very own preference! The more nutrients you can feed your hangover the sooner you’ll feel ready to tackle life in human mode rather than zombie mode once again.
7. Crystallised ginger
Ginger contains natural compounds that can protect the body against toxins and viruses. So if you’re looking for a healthy yet equally delicious snack that won’t make you feel sick (it’s also a known travel nausea cure) but rather minimise pretty much all hangover symptoms, this is it. You can combine it with your favourite foods as a garnish or simply nibble on it throughout the day as you would a pack of sweets.
8. Make love
While we admit there really is no conclusive scientific answer to whether or not sex is a hangover cure as such, we can vouch for the fact that it definitely takes your mind off how crappy you feel. In fact, it can take you from feeling utterly at war with yourself to being on the edge of ecstasy… like nothing else really can (that is, providing you don’t throw up everywhere). But to add a sprinkle of actual science to the mix, there is proof that the endorphins released during sex act as natural painkillers on the nervous system. Plus, for men in particular, a big night out can mean a crash in testosterone levels, which a little loving most certainly can help to rebalance.
9. Pamper yourself
The last and final thing you can try is a good old-fashioned pamper. Feeling fresh on the outside can make you feel good on the inside, just like faking a smile can trick your brain into producing mood-enhancing hormones. If you’ve had enough of sleeping and eating (and having sex) it’s prime time to offer yourself some TLC. Take a warm bath to ease those achy joints, have a good floss and freshen up your face with a uplifting face mask or scrub. Avoid nail painting because the fumes are likely to make you feel sick (even at the best of times)... stick to leisurely acts of self-care, like listening to some smooth chillout music or meditating in the garden.
So there you are, eight practical suggestions you can and should test out today if you’re feeling the effects of last night. But before you leave, you may want to read on for our top tips on avoiding hangovers and learning your limits for future reference… (and no! We aren’t going to lecture you like a third parent. Think of it as wisdom being shared, from friend to friend).
How to avoid getting a hangover
Obviously, preventing a hangover is far better than trying to cure the symptoms of one. You don’t have to avoid alcohol altogether (though going sober for at least few days a week is always a good idea), you just need to be clever with your consumption and before/after arrangements. Below are a few of the best ways you can prepare for a big, boozy night out.
Always eat well before a big night out
We all have our get-ready rituals. You wouldn’t go out without showering, so don’t go out on a empty stomach – it really is that much of a necessity… it’s personal care, just as important as personal hygiene, we’re sure you can agree? The best type of meal to have is one high in carbohydrates and fats (they slow down the absorption of alcohol in the body), so a full fry up, homemade spag bowl or steak sandwich would be ideal!
Have a glass of milk before opening a bottle
You’ve probably heard that milk prevents hangovers. It is said to form a coat on the lining on the stomach, which could help to cut down the amount of alcohol that gets absorbed into your bloodstream. There’s very little evidence to back this up but what we do know for sure is that it’s a great natural source of hydration, B vitamins and calcium, so there’s absolutely no harm in trying it – the results may surprise you.
Drink non-alcoholic, non-fizzy soft drinks in between your booze
The more you can hydrate throughout the night, the higher chance you have of waking up without a hangover the following day. Find your happy place and remain there by drinking soft drinks or herbal teas in between (fizzy drinks can accelerate the rate of absorption of alcohol in your system, getting you drunker quicker). If you feel under pressure from friends, choose to drink your alcohol with a non-carbonated mixer and gently reduce the amount of alcohol you put in as and when you decide. Remember, your body, your choice.
Make use of this brilliant BooZi product
BooZi is the best invention since sliced bread! In our humble opinion, anyway. We were going to attempt to explain why ourselves but this snippet from their website sums it up perfectly:
“BooZi acts like a magnet to draw in impurities leftover from the distillation or fermentation process and traps them inside. Since the actual alcohol molecules are too large to pass through, the BooZi does not effect the specific gravity of your wine or spirits so you still get the buzz but without the extra toxins and byproducts your body would otherwise have to metabolize. When you metabolize an abundance of those impurities you are left with hangover symptoms. Those impurities are what also gives you the bitter aftertaste in your drinks. We worry about the toxins going in our food, what about the ones residing in our drinks?” – Shelia
Avoid dark-coloured beverages if you appear sensitive to them
With or without the BooZi, you should still steer completely clear of dark coloured drinks if you seem to be sensitive to them in any way. Such drinks often contain natural chemicals named congeners. Congeners can irritate blood vessels as well as brain tissue, making your hangover feel way worse. It’s all about listening to your body and getting to know what does and doesn’t work for you, so that you can make better choices.
Stick to one type of drink, all night
Mixing different types of alcohol is a recipe for disaster. You may be finding this out for the first time today, or maybe you’ve made the mistake one too many times before. Whether you’ve never drunk before or consider you’re a regular drinker, this tip is one you absolutely should not overlook, especially when it comes to big nights out! Anytime you plan to party hard, it’s best to also plan to stick to just one type of drink for the duration of the night. Different drinks react differently in the body. The more confused your system is, the worse you’ll feel.
Drinks lots of water before you eventually hit the hay
No matter what time you get in or where you decide to crash, be sure to have some water on-hand for when you wake in the night. Sip it slowly to save yourself from filling up and feeling sick. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it can flush out important fluids from your body over the course of an evening. As we’ve explained before, replacing them before you wake can help to ensure you feel rehydrated and surprisingly fresh for someone that otherwise would’ve had a banging headache.
How to keep drinking low-risk
We all know hangovers aren’t the only downfall to drinking. Consider yourself lucky if a headache and a few hazy yet equally embarrassing memories is all you have! There are many risks involved in the consumption of alcohol, including but most certainly not limited to mental or physical addiction, drink driving and actual bodily harm. To keep drinking low-risk, maintain the following advice in the forefront of your mind:
Don’t drink any more than 14 units of alcohol a week
If you have drunk more than 14 units of alcohol in a week, don’t do it regularly. Just because you got away scot-free this time, doesn’t mean the booze won’t ever catch up to you. Not all damage done is felt or seen on the surface.
If you do plan to consume 14 units of alcohol or more in a week (the holiday’s already booked, right!?), absolutely do not do this in one sitting – spread it out over the course of three to seven days.
If you fear you’ve become dependent on alcohol, try skipping it altogether a few days a week. Gradually address the problem by weaning yourself out of the habit. If you need support, don’t be afraid to seek it.
Get to know your units
Knowing your units won’t just help you to avoid a hangover the next day, it’ll also help you to work out your limits so that you can consume alcohol in the safest possible way. Everyone has different limits, and the units that affect you in one way may affect another in a different way. We suggest using a specialist app such as the One You Drinks, promoted by NHS England. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with the professional guidelines, ensuring you don’t exceed suggestions and create mental or physical problem as a result. It’ll even give you incentives, letting you know how much you could save by cutting down the amount you drink. Plus, it’s handy to have as a reference to ensure no one even thinks about driving while over the limit.
Has this article helped you in handling your hangover? Join in on the conversation below by letting us know what you’ve learned from this article, and how you plan to put any of the advice in to practice in the future!
Don’t forget to pass this on to any friends or family members you think could benefit.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Lots of Love, peace & well wishes, until next time…
Samuel & Marie x
Research, Resources & Further Reading:
Psssst! Don’t leave before checking out some of these awesome articles. Some super helpful stuff here.
NHS guidelines & advice
On the power of sex for natural healing
One You Drinks tracker app
The benefits of SOS Rehydrate
The effects of alcohol on the body
How sleep heals the body
What is crystallised ginger?
Why you shouldn’t take pain reliever pills for a hangover
The real reason mixing different kinds of alcohol makes you sick
The advice in this article is not specialised to pregnant women. Do not apply any remedies or suggestions to babies or children. This article is aimed at regular, healthy adults suffering from a hangover. We are not responsible for the decisions you make, and this website should NOT be used as a diagnostic or treatment tool. We are simply sharing our recommendations/experiences with you, friend to friend. Always consult your conventional doctor for specific concerns. In cases of medical emergencies, visit your nearest hospital or call 999. Click here for complete disclaimer.