Happy new . . . hang­over

If Jan­uary 1 for you usu­ally be­gins with a crack­ing headache and a solemn vow never to drink again, it’s time to start plan­ning how to min­imise the dam­age. Here are some favourite hang­over fixes

Townsville Bulletin - - The Good Life -

YOU wake up — your head is pound­ing, your stom­ach is churn­ing, the inside of your mouth feels like a piece of shoe leather. That’s right, you’ve got a huge hang­over.

As you make your umpteenth trip to the bath­room, you will no doubt make a solemn prom­ise to your­self that you’ll never drink again. We all know that’s a hollow prom­ise, es­pe­cially around the fes­tive and New Year party sea­son.

So what can you do to cure ev­ery rev­eller’s worst night­mare: the morn­ing af­ter?

‘‘There is only one method of not get­ting a hang­over,’’ says Trent Wat­son from the Di­eti­tians As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia.

‘‘And, un­for­tu­nately, that in­volves not drink­ing to start with.’’

The prob­lem, he ex­plains, is that when we overindulge, we set in mo­tion a process that our bod­ies will play out re­gard­less of how many times we say ‘please God, I’ll never do it again’.

‘‘When you drink too much it causes de­hy­dra­tion, elec­trolyte im­bal­ance, gas­troin­testi­nal dis­tur­bances, low blood sugar, in­ter­rupted sleep pat­terns and biorhyth­mic dis­tur­bances sim­i­lar to jet­lag,’’ says Wat­son.

‘‘And, of course, if you’ve re­ally overindulged, you might get al­co­holic with­drawal symp­toms too.

‘‘You get a rapid pulse, nausea or vom­it­ing, flushes — they’re all symp­toms of a hang­over.’’

And there is noth­ing you can do to speed up what’s hap­pen­ing to you — your body is un­der­go­ing a meta­bolic clean-out in its own sweet time.

But there are some things you can do to take a bit of the ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain out of your hang­over. ‘‘Don’t mix drinks, don’t drink on an empty stom­ach — the more food be­fore and dur­ing, the bet­ter — and have plenty of wa­ter while you are drink­ing,’’ ad­vises Wat­son.

‘‘And women, don’t try to keep up with the guys — men have a higher vol­ume and big­ger or­gans so their tol­er­ance is much greater.’’ If you for­get to do all of that per­haps one of our seven cures — one for each day of the week — will ac­tu­ally work for you.

Alex Travers, eti­quette ex­pert

‘‘My cure for a lit­tle overindul­gence is: Go to Yum Cha (tea is cleans­ing and you can eat what you can man­age and you will be spared see­ing more Christ­mas food). Af­ter­wards take your­self and your part­ner to the movies — it is dark in there, you can ei­ther watch the movie or have a snooze. If you have to go to an­other func­tion never say you have a hang­over; that is in the worst taste.’’

Sue Ostler, re­la­tion­ship ex­pert and au­thor

‘‘De­nial’s my best hang­over cure. I crank up Court­ney Love on the stereo and throw to­gether a su­per-size Be­rocca and ba­nana smoothie with lash­ings of fresh ginger and mint. Later I head down to my favourite sushi place for a carb and pro­tein hit. Sushi does it for me — for­get grease and salt — a spicy salmon roll washed down with green tea will clear the head and the stom­ach. Soon I’m good as gold and ready to step out for some se­ri­ous vodka ther­apy.’’

Alison Smith, mas­sage ther­a­pist

‘‘If I can, I have a mas­sage to re­lieve my hang­over. A good mas­sage seems to go a long way to­ward bring­ing some bal­ance back to my sys­tem, pre­ceded and fol­lowed by co­pi­ous amounts of wa­ter. Fail­ing the avail­abil­ity of mas­sage I’m a fan of miso soup, daggy track pants and a video.’’

Peter Petrou, per­sonal trainer

‘‘If you lead a seden­tary lifestyle and never ex­er­cise, then this hang­over cure is not for you (go and have a donut for break­fast and slip some whisky in your cof­fee in­stead). But if you do ex­er­cise, even mod­er­ately, have a Be­rocca to re­place the B group vi­ta­mins and go for a work­out. My per­sonal op­tion would be to go for a run. You can go at your own pace, or you may en­joy a brisk power walk or a swim.’’

Tracy Wil­lis, spa re­sort pub­li­cist

‘‘Af­ter a night out that has in­volved too much al­co­hol, as well as too much high-fat, salty food we can all wake up feel­ing or­di­nary. I find it helps to have a pep­per­mint tea — be­cause it’s sooth­ing to the stom­ach and much gen­tler than caf­feine, plus the pep­per­mint helps if you have a headache. Vegemite on whole­meal toast.’’

Spero Tsin­dos, vice-pres­i­dent of Aus­tralian Natur­o­pathic Prac­ti­tion­ers As­so­ci­a­tion

‘‘What I do is have a large glass of wa­ter be­fore I start drink­ing and a Vi­ta­min B Com­plex. At the end of the night, I have an­other big glass of wa­ter.

Wally Pack, bar­man

Who bet­ter to ad­vise a cure than a head bar­man? Wally Pack, bar man­ager at Syd­ney’s Opera Bar: ‘‘First of all, if you can have a hair of the dog in the morn­ing, you prob­a­bly haven’t drunk enough! Try to drink the more wa­tery US beers.’’

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