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How to handle a hangover

How to handle a hangover

A crushing headache, bone-dry mouth, low-level nausea all day; hangovers are never fun. Obviously the best way to guard against them is to watch what you drink, never mix your spirits and top up on water as you go. But realistically everyone goes overboard now and then and even if you haven’t, you might end up with a cracking head anyway. Here we take a look at why.

The most prolific sign of a hangover is a headache, which put simply, is down to dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, with the body using water to help dilute it and then having to excrete it. This leaves your insides dried out and leads to head pain, but according to Ella Allred, nutritionist at, topping up on water isn’t enough. To really benefit, you need to ingest H20 with added minerals and electrolytes, as these are what control hydration.

Fancy something a little funkier? Shona Wilkinson, head nutritionist at, suggests pickle juice could get you back on track quickly, because the vinegar in it helps the liver purge itself of toxicity.

Many believe greasy food is the key to getting over a big night out, but we’re sorry to break it to you – it’s not the case. You’ll actually feel better if you get a good dose of vitamins on board, meaning it’s fruit and vegetables which could be the key. Basically anything rich in antioxidants is going to help your body recover, so going for red and purple berries like strawberries and grapes is a good idea. Nuts, leafy green vegetables and sweet potatoes will also stand you in good stead. If you can’t manage anything big because your tummy is feeling tender, at least try to get something down you – giving your body nutrition will help wake you up and give you energy. Try a carbohydrate and protein stuffed meal, so something like a baked sweet potato with tuna. You might prefer to tuck into sweets and fizzy drinks, but that short burst of energy will soon cause a crash that’ll make you feel even worse. Ditto opting for hair of the dog - it seems like a good idea but you’ll only dehydrate yourself more and prolong your ill health.

Finally, it’s time to get moving. Exercise will be the last thing on your mind but getting sweaty really works, because it helps your body purge all the toxins.

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