The festive season is finally upon us and with Christmas parties aplenty, most of us will be making the most of get a bit merry.
While it might seem like a wonderful life at the time, the morning after can be a different story, thanks to the biggest Grinch of all – a holiday hangover.
And with shopping to do, family to see and work to wrap up before the end of the year, there’s no time for staying in bed.
So, what hangover cures really work?
From a full fry-up to hair of the dog, we take a look at what you need to do to make yourself feel better and have a very merry little Christmas…
Myth: Have a fry up
After a heavy night, it’s normal to wake up craving carbs – and a greasy fry-up certainly ticks all the boxes.
But health experts warn that it’s best not to bring home the bacon. For, drinking causes you to lose nutrients through urine – and a heavy breakfast could trigger indigestion.
As a result, a more nutritious breakfast can help you battle a hangover more quickly. Fruit, such as bananas, can help restore potassium and blood sugar levels.
Or, if that seems a little too zesty, then honey on toast is also easy for the stomach to digest.
Myth: Hit the gym
Some people may swear by a sweaty gym class to perk them up after drinking too much – but this can actually do more harm than good, as your body is already dehydrated.
Instead, it’s better to go for a brisk walk in the fresh air to release endorphins and improve circulation, in a gentler way.
Myth: Take a painkiller before bed
Think that taking a painkiller before bed will stop any impeding hangover?
You couldn’t be more wrong. Most over-the-counter painkillers take 30 minutes to start working and the results only last a few hours.
So, by the time you wake up it’s likely that you won’t be able to feel any effects.
On top of this, painkillers can mix with the gastric acids created by alcohol in your stomach – which could cause damage to your stomach lining. So, if you really need to pop some pills, it’s best to wait and assess your situation in the morning.
Myth: Coffee cures all
When you’re feeling sluggish it can be tempting to reach for the coffee for a bit of a buzz. But although coffee isn’t quite as dehydrating as alcohol, it is still a diuretic and could hinder your recovery.
If you really need a caffeine hit, try to stick to just one cup before switching back to water.
Myth: Gorge on late night takeaways
It’s bad news for those who like to end the night with a burger and chips.
For, while it may seem like a good way to soak up excess alcohol, fast food can actually irritate your stomach and cause you to put on weight.
Instead, it’s better to eat a big meal before heading out – to line your stomach before drinking alcohol.
Myth: Keep going
Continuing to drink may delay your hangover but it certainly won’t stop it. So, it’s best to have some water with your breakfast rather than an early-morning beer.
Myth: Down all the water
It’s true that water can help with the dehydration aspect of a hangover. However, this isn’t the thing that is causing you to have a blearing headache, aching limbs and fatigue.
The real issues are caused by congeners, which boost the taste of booze and react badly with other chemicals produced in the body when drinking.
Myth: Don’t mix it up
Ever heard the phrase, “beer before wine and you’ll be fine”? Well it’s not quite true… combining drinks is a recipe for disaster, no matter what order you sip them in.