On December 31st, you popped the champagne, raised a glass (or three), and bravely sang out the handful of words you could remember from “Auld Lang Syne.”
But now it’s the morning of January 1st. You’re lying in bed and squinting at the harsh sunlight, reeling from a pounding headache and the charley horse to end all charley horses.
If you’re planning to indulge heavily on New Year’s Eve, you’re not alone. After all, there’s a reason that TIME magazine has named New Year’s Eve as the number one “drunkest holiday” in America—and why Google searches for “hangover cures” tend to spike enormously on January 1st.
While it’s true that nothing can truly defeat a hangover but time, there are a few practical solutions that you can use to get your system back on track after a particularly wild New Year’s party, or at any other time of the year (here’s looking at you, St. Patrick’s Day).
Want to get a jumpstart on treating that classic “first hangover of the year”? Here are a few scientifically proven hangover cures to help you ring in the New Year right:
Drink Plenty of Water…
Ever wake up from a night of partying with a mouth that feels like sandpaper and a blistering headache to match?
This is because alcohol is a diuretic, which can leave you dehydrated—and feeling plenty of the accompanying symptoms, including headaches, body aches, dry mouth or eyes, and sluggishness.
After a particularly exuberant night, it’s crucial that you drink plenty of water. Drinking water will allow you to rehydrate and get your body the fluids it desperately needs to function properly.
For proper daily hydration, a generally accepted rule of thumb is to make sure that you consume one ounce of water for every half-pound of your body weight. After a particularly boozy night out, you might want to step up your water consumption even more. Remember, by the time you experience the obvious symptoms of dehydration, your cells are already craving water and feeling the adverse effects.
…And Other Electrolyte-Rich Fluids
When we sweat, go to the bathroom, or otherwise lose fluids during a festive night out, our bodies are also losing electrolytes, which we need to maintain our energy and keep our internal systems in balance.
To help restore these much needed electrolytes—including sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and calcium—you may want to raise another glass. This time, though, don’t fill it with champagne or a tequila sunrise, but with an electrolyte-dense drink like coconut water (or your favorite sports drink, in a pinch).
Fresh-squeezed fruit juices may also help you feel better. In particular, experts say that orange juice may help alleviate some of your hangover symptoms as it’s high in potassium and contains fructose, which may help your body metabolize alcohol more quickly.
Eat a Light Meal
Some people can’t stomach food when they’re coping with a hangover. For others, a huge, greasy breakfast is de rigueur for a full recovery.
Most health experts encourage anyone suffering from a hangover to aim for somewhere in between these two extremes —eat a meal, but keep it light and focus on replenishing your electrolytes.
To that end, there are a few hangover “superfoods” that come highly recommended from health experts, including:
- Ginger (which helps reduce nausea and vomiting)
- Bananas (high in potassium and fructose)
- Oatmeal (full of starchy carbohydrates that regulate your blood sugar levels and increase serotonin levels)
- Honey (which is a natural antioxidant and high in potassium and good sugars)
- Sea Salt (to help replenish your sodium levels)
- Almonds (which are high in protein and contain fats that benefit your liver)
Get Plenty of Sleep
As we mentioned earlier, there are no true “cures” for a hangover, but these remedies can alleviate some of your more uncomfortable symptoms. Ultimately, as Health.com puts it, “the only surefire treatment for a hangover is time.”
Fortunately, as Dr. Charles Cutler, M.D., tells Health, “The body’s got an amazing capacity to heal on its own.” One of the ways that you can help get over your symptoms is to sleep them off… if possible.
Alcohol can throw off your sleep cycle, and sleep deprivation is no joke. The effects of not getting enough shut-eye include feeling groggy or restless, and maybe even experiencing physical discomfort. So if you can hit the “snooze” button on New Year’s Day in order to make sure that you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep, what’s stopping you?
What Are Your Go-To Hangover Cures?
Do have any unique hangover cures that you think our community of wellness watchers would like to know? Do you have any tried-and-true health tips that just seem to work for you every holiday season? The Enrollment Specialists would love to hear from you. Let us know your tips and tricks over on Facebook.
Remember, we live and breathe health and wellness, and we’re always here and ready to keep the conversation going.
Whether you want to talk health hacks, ask any big questions you have about health insurance, or even shoot us an invite to your New Year’s party (we’ll bring the electrolytes), be sure to drop us a line today.