Hangovers happen—How to banish your next-day nasties

chatelaine.comHighly virtuous people don’t get hangovers. I’m not a highly virtuous person. I’m a party girl. But I’m a healthy party girl, and when a very serious & long-term relationship ended recently, I did what any self-respecting party girl would do. I had a quick cry and then I put something hot on, held my head high and went out and got hammered. Seriously hammered.

I’ve been hungover plenty of times in my life, and while generally it’s not the best thing to overindulge in alcohol (since it is a poison and all) sometimes it’s actually kind of appropriate, not to mention necessary. But if you have to get up and get on with life the next day, you kind of have to deal with the hangover in a way that’s not lying in bed attached to an IV until you’ve slept it off. So how does a party girl deal with a serious hangover?

When I was at a conference a few years ago it was all work during the day and all partying, all night, all week. This conference was notorious for people getting the ‘flu. Me and one of my fellow conference delegates ate a mostly raw, mostly vegan diet and drank plenty of booze water and we were the only ones who didn’t get sick, even though we partied the hardest. Coincidence?

Eat really well. If you know you have a big night coming up, spend a couple of days at least paying extra attention to what you’re eating. I’m talking extra fruit and vegetables, no junk food, all that boring stuff. You’ll be indulging later, so be good now.

Drink the f*cking water. I’m not joking, I will get angry about this. Hangovers are primarily dehydration so make sure you have a few extra glasses on top of your 2 litres a day. If you don’t drink 2 litres (8oz) a day, make sure you drink at least 2 litres the day before and the day after, then try and keep it up. Your body needs it, especially after drinking. Soft drinks will make it worse, even though you may really want that can of Coke, don’t do it.


Line that stomach. Get something healthy & hearty into your stomach before you start drinking. Something with carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables. If you can’t eat beforehand, eat as soon as you realize you’re going to get wasted. My favourite things to eat on a boozy night are: veggie burgers, veggie stir-fry with tofu & brown rice, brown rice veggie sushi, falafel souvlaki or a veggie pizza. The one pictured is from Plush in Hawthorn, Victoria which is a vegan pizza shop with an extensive menu. Soooo good. You need to make sure you’ve eaten a good dinner because you’ll need to try and avoid making the junk food pit-stop on the way home. It’s no good for anyone.

The moment of weakness. You’re out, you’re drinking. Try to avoid mixing drinks too much and stick to sprits without cola, fruit or soda based cocktails or if you’re drinking wine, stick to wine. Much easier for the body to deal with one thing at a time, I thought it was a crock and then I realized that it did actually kind of help when I was only drinking one thing. And seriously, please try and remember to drink water while you’re sinking all that booze. It will really, really help you out later. Plus all those bathroom trips gives you a better chance of picking up, bonus incidental exercise and time to check your email/Twitter/Facebook on your phone… or maybe that’s just me (Must be how I used to drop my phone in the toilet so much).

Get as much sleep as you can. Sometimes hard, but if you can get to bed as early as possible (this may mean 3am instead of 4am but that’s okay) avoid getting out of bed as long as you reasonably can. It sounds like a no-brainer but sleep is when your body recovers and heals and we sometimes forget this. Don’t forget to have a big glass of water before you go to bed. It might suck getting up to pee in the middle of the night but that sure beats a throbbing headache in the morning.

Always remember to brush your teeth before bed, you’ll feel so much better for it in the morning. And if you’ve had a chunder especially. Ladies, don’t forget to take the makeup off before bed or your skin will look hungover too. Get some makeup remover wipes if necessary.

veganfryupThe hangover breakfast. Yes, you’re hungry, your head hurts and you want to eat something highly greasy as soon as possible. Fair call. Got some news for you though, if you keep putting nasty things into your body, it’s going to have a hard time recovering. If you can avoid it, don’t take a painkiller for the headache because the liver will get busy processing that instead of the alcohol. You did this to yourself, suck it up. Have another big glass of water when you wake up. Then have a black coffee (it helps kickstart the detoxification of the liver, I know, amazing!) or an orange juice and organize yourself a big veggie fry-up, like the one pictured here that I made. If you have a stomach of steel make it a big fruit salad instead for some bonus points. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water during the day and follow the breakfast up with a healthy lunch and dinner. Your body is going to be feeling fragile for a while, help it along. Vegemite is something worth considering because it has B vitamins that your body is going to be desperately short of due to the high intake of alcohol.

Hair of the dog. Seems like a good idea at the time, hell, I’ve even done it and advocated it in the past. It’s a bad idea, don’t do it. The body just goes back to processing new alcohol instead of old alcohol and ultimately you will feel much worse later on. Not to mention exhausted.

So yeah, people might say “don’t get drunk”, “binge drinking is bad for you” and really, it is. But as Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing I cannot resist is temptation”, so you may as well at least know how to deal with it after! x

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  1. Pingback: Can you avoid a hangover by finding out what’s in your wine? | HealthyPartyGirl

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