If you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, after little to no sleep, while you’re dehydrated, while you’re sick, or shortly after a heavy workout, then congrats – you’ve got yourself a hangover.
I’m pretty sure we can all agree that debilitating hangovers are one of the worst, if not the worst, parts of being on the wrong side of 20.
It will usually result in a collection of symptoms like headaches, vomiting, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, light sensitivity, migraines, exhaustion, shaking and anxiety, just to mention a few.
Unfortunately science has yet to come up with a miracle pill we can take to avoid these symptoms, which is crazy if you ask me, but then again I feel like they’re not even trying at this point.
So we’re basically stuck having to figure things out on our own when it comes to waking up feeling like death. Luckily, there are many ways of speeding up the process and relieve these symptoms, and even more luckily, I have more experience in this than most people can fit into their lifetime.
So here is everything you need to know to get through the day after a night out.
Water: The Elixir Of Life
A lot of people seem to think that hangovers are purely due to dehydration, which unfortunately isn’t the case, but it does have a lot to do with increasing your symptoms.
Basically, for every 250ml of alcohol you drink, your body expels four times as much water.
I first realized this back in Milan when we’d lose 3-5 lbs before an important fashion show, purely by getting wasted on Vodka the night before. Do not recommend.
This is also why you’ll wake up with an intense headache, dry mouth, exhaustion and shakiness – amount of pain depending on level of dehydration.
Although the ideal strategy is to continuously drink water along with the alcohol to prevent this kind of situation, we all know that rarely happens, because that also prolonges the whole process of getting drunk, which obviously leads to more expenses wasted on drinks.
So first thing in the morning is to rehydrate your body slowly but surely.
It’s important to note that you cannot drink four liters of water the next morning and consider the problem solved, as your body needs smaller amounts over the course of the day to be able to actually absorb it.
As you slowly rehydrate your body, try to stay away from liquids that will further dehydrate you, such as coffee, detox teas and sodas.
Replenish nutrient stores
Along with the water you expelled, you’ll also lose your sodium, magnesium and potassium stores, which increases fatigue and nausea.
You know that really fun moment when you stand up, and suddenly your legs are shaking, you see dark spots everywhere, then you wake up on the floor and can’t remember your name?
Yeah, this is why.
So do not down massive amounts of water alone, without also replacing the nutrients you left at the club.
This means that the faster you replenish these stores, the better you will feel.
The absolute best hangover cure that has saved my ass over the past six years, is coconut water and bananas. Both are extremely high in potassium, which will improve your dizziness and shaking.
Coconut water is also known for hydrating the body faster as it contains more nutrients, so I recommend prioritizing this over water.
So grab your blender and add a couple of bananas and a bottle of coconut water, then you’ve got a great tasting smoothie that will actually save your day.
Although there is magnesium in bananas, you should be adding leafy greens to your smoothie to speed up the process. Use an avocado, some spinach or a handful of kale, and you’ve got your magnesium covered as well.
Other sources include: avocados, raspberries, beans, chickpeas, broccoli, spinach, kale, nuts and seeds.
As you probably know, sodium is just a fancy word for salt, and luckily you’ll get this through the previously mentioned foods, including coconut water.
Just be sure to not forget your sodium levels, as this will improve your dehydrated body’s ability to hold onto the water you’ll be so desperately consuming, so add a pinch of salt to anything you eat and you’re good to go.
Note: Coconut water actually contains potassium, magnesium, sodium, and water (obviously), which is why it’s the absolute best cure. Literally covers everything.
For The Love of God Don’t Keep Drinking
You’ve probably heard this one before, something about hair of the dog or whatever.
I’ve lived with many girls who wake up with a hangover at 6am and make themselves another drink before heading out to castings, claiming that it’s an old hangover cure that never fails.
No offense, but this is what I like to call stupid.
Essentially what you’re doing is delaying the inevitable crash and adding more toxins to your already exhausted body, so you’ll be ensuring that the entire day goes to hell instead of just the first half.
Your headache might go away in the moment, but the hangover is going to hit you when you least expect it, and since you probably skipped the whole nutrient-dense-food-and-water situation, it’s going to be even stronger by the time it hits you.
Chances are, you’ll be that girl in the office descretely puking in the bathroom at 4pm.