All of our customers drink responsibly and have never had a hangover in their lives. But that might not be the case for their more unfortunate friends. So here we are, asking for a friend, what are the best hangover cures?
Maybe it would help to know what a hangover is. But despite our ability to land on the moon, it is still unknown to science what actually causes a hangover. The NHS website suggests the best cure is never to drink. But this seems a slightly scorched-earth policy.
Dehydration, toxic soup of chemicals floating about your brain, reactions to sugar: whatever the causes, the following five best cures are certainly in the realm of folklore and old wives tales, where true wisdom lies. These are my top tips to cure a hangover, as passed to me by friends of course, over the years.
Water is surely key to limiting the effects of alcohol on the body, and a ‘before, during and after’ approach is best. Depending on your climate and gender, we’re meant to glug between six and fifteen large glasses of water a day. So, sure, make sure you’re doing that, and have a bit more water if you’ve just gone on an epic run of sweated yourself to death at hot yoga. (Actually, avoid all alcohol if you’ve done that.) Should you be at one of those stuffy ‘still or sparkling’ restaurants, please don’t hold back on asking for tap water. Should your friend have overindulged, have them down a pint of water before passing out, and then start on the water on waking.
2. Greasy food
This may or may not be a good hangover cure, but it’s surely part of the ritual and enjoyment of the morning after. Whether popping down to your local ‘greasy spoon’ for a full English or, as my American friends tell me, getting a hamburger with french fries for breakfast, there appears to be a near-universal belief in the comfort, at least, of stocking up on a pile of stodge in the, probably misguided, belief that it’s somehow ‘soaking up’ the alcohol. Certainly blueberries and yoghurt or green tea may be a more virtuous breakfast, but never seems to do the trick.
3. Roasted vegetables and salads
That said, once you’ve had your greasy spoon, one of the best ways to get things moving along is to have a tonne of vegetables and salad throughout the day. So having staggered through breakfast, you may want to start the ‘cleanse’ by nabbing a leafy salad – and rocket (arugula) is by far the best for any digestive aid, eat a whole bag, like crisps, with your hands. Followed by a healthy dose of roasted mixed vegetables in the evening – keeping a subtle blend of greasy and healthy on one plate. All the above seem to restore order to the galaxy.
I did have a friend, and this was actually a friend, who not only took ibuprofen after having too many Old Fashioneds, but would pre-emptively strike by downing two pills of Ibuprofen before going out. This seemed excessive to me, on account of the pressure that strong spirits put on the body, along with the corroding effects of ibuprofen on your stomach lining, but the anti-inflammatory qualities, he argued, helped prevent the worst effects of a hangover.
By far the most effective hangover cure, however, has to be a sauna. This is surely where your neglected gym membership comes into a league of its own. Wedged between the greasy spoon and the Pret salad for lunch, take a trip to the gym. Skip the work out and get straight into the sauna with a 1L bottle of water to swig during or between bouts in the sauna. Sweating everything out in 20 minutes has the most curative effect of all. In fact, on more than one occasion it has been reported to almost entirely eradicate the effects of the night before. (For those of you without access to a sauna, try a hot bath. For those of you without access to a sauna or a hot bath, follow the NHS advice.)
And one more tip for free. Drinking natural and organic wines, as sold at Pull the Cork, are likely to diminish the effects of overindulgence, as they have fewer artificially added chemicals in them, as we wrote about here.