Had one too many the previous night? We've made a list of remedies that actually work
Try as you may for moderation, sometimes one drink leads to another, and the next morning you wake up with a headache that makes you want to curl up and never emerge from the sheets. “Hangovers are mostly caused by ‘congeners’ a substance present in dark coloured beverages such as whisky, rum, red wine, etc. This gets metabolised into formaldehyde, which is responsible for causing hangovers. Alcohol also affects the vasopressin hormone in our bodies, which makes us take bathroom breaks more frequently. This causes dehydration, which is also linked to hangovers.
We spoke with mixologists and bartenders who revealed their tips, tricks and cures for the common hangover.
1. Water, Water and More Water
It’s common logic to load up on water the morning after a rough night. But the important point is that you will need far more water than you think. “A hangover is mostly dehydration and that’s what brings all the other symptoms. Water hydrates the body and helps flush out the toxins quickly. After a night of merrymaking I choose to drink lots of water before going to bed. Coconut water also works and has potassium (good for dehydration). A tall glass of apple, beetroot, carrot and ginger juice is another quick fix,” says Noel Mendes, Restaurant Operation Manager, Marriott International. Remember, the more water and the earlier you drink it in the evening, the better. Green juices are helpful too.
2. A Good Breakfast
When you are hungover, the first meal of the day can be the most daunting. To calm the beast that is your stomach, a good breakfast that includes some vitamins and proteins. Eggs with whole wheat toast and a side of fruit or avocado toast (for the potassium) or an omelet with veggies are some good options. Even a smoothie with a coconut water base (for added electrolytes) with berries, protein powder, greens, chia seeds and avocado will work beautifully.
3. Get Fruity
Drinking too much can also make your blood sugar levels drop, because your body needs the sugar in your bloodstream to break down the alcohol. But when your blood sugar level is too low, you can feel dizzy, nauseated and low on energy. “A glass of fruit juice or a fruit smoothie can give your blood sugar level a boost. Electrolytes, sports drinks and lemon water also help. But if all fails just grab the couch and sleep it out,” says Sasmit Manjrekar, mixologist at Elephant & Co. Gastropub, Pune.
4. Virgin Mary to the Rescue
Bloody Mary, a classic drink with tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and vodka is a brunch favourite. But if you are already hungover from the previous night then stick to a Virgin Mary. “My go to hangover cure is a Virgin Mary. Research suggests that tomato juice can boost liver function, which speeds up alcohol digestion. Additionally, the antioxidants and vitamins present in tomato replenish those lost during a night of drinking. Just add tomato juice, fresh lemon juice, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, some salt and black pepper.
5. The Better Bitters
Angostura bitters used by mixologists to stir up an Old Fashioned, Manhattan or a sazerac work well as a hangover cure. “A bitter is a long maceration of botanicals (plants, herbs, roots, fruits) in alcohol. Just take half a glass of soda with a dash of Angostura bitter and lime juice and give it a good stir before drinking. The bitters help settle your stomach and the club soda helps you rehydrate you. The low dose of alcohol gives your body what it’s asking for without getting you drunk again.