Hangovers conjure up all kinds of nightmarish feelings; a banging headache, dry mouth and throat, nausea and general fatigue. While it may be enjoyable to go out drinking with friends, when we're suffering the next day, we may ask ourselves if it was all worth it.
You may be hoping to hear that there is a guaranteed hangover cure that will ease their symptoms while still allowing you to drink whatever you want. The truth is, the only foolproof way to avoid a hangover is to drink in moderation or not at all!
There are plenty of folk remedies that promise to cure a hangover, however, but do they actually work? Here's the lowdown on some of the most popular options available and an assessment of how effective they are.
A big breakfast or 'fry up' of bacon, sausage, eggs and beans may be tempting after a night of drinking but these foods are hard to digest and won't actually do anything to ease a hangover, although it may cheer you up. A big breakfast of greasy food is more likely to give you heartburn and make you feel fatigued rather than cure your hangover symptoms.
It may be tempting to continue drinking the next day after a night out on the tiles but having another drink is one of the worst things you can do as it doesn't give your body a chance to recover from the effects of alcohol. The hangover symptoms may appear to be temporarily relieved by having another drink but as alcohol is toxic, the body simply stores it and could lead to a worse hangover the following day.
Black coffee has long been traditionally used to counteract the effects of alcohol, and to an extent research supports this practice, as caffeine has been found to react against the compounds in alcohol and block headaches. But be careful; caffeine is also a diuretic and if you drink too much you could end up even more dehydrated.
These products reportedly 'cure' hangovers but and are generally considered not to be very effective. Blowfish tablets, for example, contain aspirin and caffeine and claim to treat hangover symptoms but many doctors say they simply mask the pain and could make things worse. Taking a multivitamin pill may be more beneficial to restore the nutrients within the body, or simply drinking a glass or two of water will help you feel better.
As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C can neutralize the effects of alcohol and protect against free-radical damage. Drinking a big glass of orange juice will certainly help to replace any fluids you have lost and make you feel better. Other good sources of Vitamin C include eating citrus fruits, green vegetables and berries.
Many of us miss out on sleep following an evening out. Getting a good night's sleep is imperative for health but spending the whole next day asleep won't take away the symptoms of an achy body or a foggy brain. There is also some evidence to suggest that too much sleeping is ultimately bad for health. However, the best cure for a hangover is time, so if you can afford to take it easy the next day that may be a good idea.