Partied too hard last night? Don't worry, we've got your back. Your liver is screaming at you, your head is banging - you're a quivering wreck. Whether it's a greasy fry-up or pint of water we all have our remedies to shaking off that hangover, but what's the best cure? There's plenty of options, from the traditional home cures to science approved tricks. Here's how to cure a hangover next time you find yourself shaking the morning after.
Drink lots of water
We're starting with an obvious one, but it's also the best. Drinking alcohol stops the body from creating a chemical called vasopressin, which means your kidneys send water straight to your bladder instead of absorbing into the body. It's also behind the reason for needing to go to the toilet so many times while you're actually drinking.
This also leads to dehydration, as the body can expel up to four times as much water, and is probably why you've got that thumping headache and dry mouth. The best solution is to put a nice big pint of water (or two) beside your bed before you head out. That way you'll remember to drink it when you get in. Make sure you keep drinking plenty of water when you wake up the next morning too. We're supposed to drink eight glasses a day anyway so that should give you some idea.
The Romans used it to treat sick children and snakebites. Milk thistle contains silymarin - which is recommended for liver disorders. However, experts are divided. Some suggest it can help treat liver disease caused by alcohol abuse. But other studies show it has no benefits to improving liver function.
Although Rhiannon Lambert, a Registered Nutritionist and founder of leading Harley Street clinic Rhitrition isn't a big drinker, she has a recipe up her sleeve for those occasions when she does indulge. "With hydration being a cornerstone of healthy living, I always remind myself to drink far more water on the day after drinking that I would normally so it could easily be over 2 litres. On the menu would be a refreshing smoothie bowl or a filling porridge with nut butter and berries."
Guacamole on toast
Avocado was always going to be on this list in some shape or form. Manal Chouchane, Clinical Nutritionist at BioCare has a craving-busting recipe for those mornings when you feel like your brain keeps hitting the side of your skull. "Guacamole on toast and coconut water," she says. "This would satisfy our cravings for high carbohydrate and fat foods when we are hungover, yet still providing good quality fats for nourishing our bodies. Coconut water is ideal for hydration and providing electrolyte balance."
Drink a can of fizzy drink
A Chinese study looking at 57 different beverages found that the lemon and lime pop helped process the alcohol out of your system quicker, speeding your recovery. Sprite was among the drinks that sped up this process the most, causing the alcohol to be broken down faster, therefore reducing the duration of a hangover.
Jane Scrivner, author of The Quick-Fix Hangover Detox: 99 Ways To Feel 100 Times Better, said: “It has a high water content to rehydrate you and is high in sugar for an instant pick-me-up, yet the simple sugars mean you’re likely to soon come crashing back down. "But its lemon and lime juice content is alkaline and will help balance the acid in your gut, quelling feelings of nausea. Fizzy water with a squeeze of fresh lemon is a better option.”
It's another obvious choice - especially when you wake up with that feeling like your head's in a vice - but the NHS actually recommends taking painkillers. It says that buying over-the-counter pills can help with headaches and muscle cramps but avoid aspirin as it can further irritate the stomach and increase feelings of sickness. Instead, opt for a paracetamol-based remedy or ibuprofen lysine, which absorbs quicker and one with codeine (found in 'plus' brands) is like taking two painkillers at once, experts say.
There's always an urge to reach for big, greasy plate of food in the morning to help cure that hangover and it is an option that can work for many people. The fat in your fry-up contains lots of calories, so you’ll get an energy boost, while eggs and meat are rich in the amino acid cysteine, which is thought to be good at clearing out toxins.
However, experts actually recommend that a bland breakfast can help restore blood sugar levels and without causing anymore stomach problems. Crackers, toast or a thin vegetable-based broth are some of the options put forward. Alcohol can also deplete your potassium levels so eating a banana or two will actually make you feel a lot better.
Popping one of these dissolvable tablets in a glass of water is a great way of replacing nutrients lost through alcohol. They contain vitamin C, B vitamins as well as calcium and magnesium. There also a great way of downing some water if you're not keen on the taste and come in a variety of flavours - but make sure you've stocked up because most chemists will be closed on New Year's Day.