As Freshers Week draws ever nearer, many of you must be wondering what exactly is in store for you.
Freshers is all about immersing yourself in your University’s culture, learning the nuts and bolts of general campus life, and of course, making friends…which tends to involve a hell of a lot of alcohol…
So as you lie there, wishing the feeling of death would bugger off, or otherwise questioning whether you are in fact, already dead, try and remember our top ten tips for banishing that hangover and hopefully you’ll pull through (’til it starts again tomorrow, that is…).
1. Drink Lots and Lots of Water!!
You know when you’ve been drinking, and you wake up the next day with a mouth so dry it feels like when you breathe a little puff of dust should fly out? Well kids, that’s called dehydration. Drinking alcohol blocks the production of a chemical called Vasopressin, which means your kidneys will send water directly to your bladder instead of absorbing into your body. This is also the reason why you have to pee twenty million times after you’ve had a drink…and once you’ve opened the waterworks there ain’t no going back- you’re in it for the whole night, and probably most of the next morning…
Your body expels four times more water after drinking alcohol which results in dehydration- this is the reason for all those wounding headaches and the dreaded ‘cotton mouth’. So, to wake up from a wild night and still feel fresh, make sure you don’t get dehydrated to begin with. Drink a pint of water before you go, and definitely one when you get back, but also try and remember to drink a couple of glasses while you’re out- just order it along with your next pint! We’re supposed to drink eight glasses a day and that’s when we haven’t been drinking, so save room for plenty of H2O and the hangover will not strike again!
2. Eat a Whopping, Greasy Fry-Up
We’ve all heard it before: “Never drink on an empty stomach!”, and though some of you wish you could shake off that niggling voice in your head that sounds an awful lot like your Mother, it turns out she was giving you some pretty sound advice.
If you’re feeling worse for wear the day after the night before, cook up a greasy fry-up and feel absolutely no guilt because it will genuinely do you good in your weak and fragile state. Fatty foods like sausages and bacon trigger a hormone that slows down the absorption of alcohol. On an average day, your liver would produce more glucose to pull you out of your low-energy state, but when you’re hungover, poor old liver is occupied trying to deal with all the toxins you consumed last night.
Eggs contain cysteine which is used to make glutathione, a chemical which flushes poisons out of the body, and so are an ideal hangover cure. If you want to be super immune to the devil that is the hangover, eat some greasy grub to line your stomach before you go- this will slow down the alcohol absorption and scare off that splitting headache. Drinking a glass of milk or a shot of olive oil, which is said to have the same effect…though the latter is not for those with a weak stomach…
If you’re feeling super rough and even the thought of food is making your stomach churn, it’s still really important that you eat, but just try and stick to plain, simple foods like toast or crackers.
3. Take a Cold Shower
Okay, so you drank some water, you’ve munched a greasy fry-up, now it’s time to scrub away your shame…
Cold, you say? Does it really have to be cold? Well, the simple answer is no- your shower can be whatever temperature you want, but a nice cold shower will wake you up, cool you down and stop you feeling queasy.
Do it, get in there…wash away that sweaty scandal…
4. Take a Long Nap
Sleep it off. Seriously- it’s the best remedy of all! One of the side effects of alcohol is the disruption of your sleep pattern, which is why you still feel a bit wavy even if you had a good amount of sleep.
Forget about being productive- your body is melting at the thought of even the simplest activity. Just focus on getting better, and truly, the best way to do that is to sleep, sleep, and sleep some more (with a couple of breaks in between to eat some greasy food, of course).
5. Wear Sunglasses
Another side effect of alcohol is hypersensitivity to bright lights or loud music. Though there isn’t really a cure for this, apart from crawling in a hole and not waking up until it has gone away, wearing a pair of shades will certainly releive the symptom.
You might feel like the vomit you left outside Subway last night, but at least the glasses make you look pretty Gangster…
6. Drink Lots of Juice!
There’s a whole wide world of juice out there, and pretty much all of them will ease your hangover pain. Pear juice, for example, has been scientifically proven to cure hangovers if drunk before a night out. Glugging orange juice will replenish your body’s supply of vitamin C, which helps speed up your alcohol metabolism. Coconut water contains the five electrolytes the body loses when we drink alcohol and so is the best way to restock those electrolytes- it’s also a good option if you’re feeling sick as coconut settles the stomach.
Fruit juice is important because it gives you a sugary bump and helps restore your energy. It also helps to get rid of those nasty, boozy toxins and replaces some of those essential minerals. Milk replaces calcium, and ginger tea will settle your stomach. Hot water honey and lemon will give you a sweet boost as well as those much needed vitamins.
And no matter how much you crave it, don’t drink coffee– it’s a diuretic and actually causes your body to lose water quickly. You’ll feel much better if you stick to water and fruit juice- honest!
7. Eat a Banana
Bananas are chock-full of potassium, which your wild antics last night will have caused your body to lose. The body’s loss of potassium contributes greatly to the dehdration symptoms of a hangover, so stocking up will make you feel a hundred times better. They are also gentle on the stomach and are a great way to get your blood sugar back up.
Bananas are especially great for beer, red wine and whiskey hangovers. If bananas really aren’t you’re bag, try a Kiwi; those furry little fruit are packed full of potassium, too!
9. Drink a Berocca / Vitamin B
Feeling tired and run down? Why not try Berocca? Taken in the morning will help set you up for the day! pic.twitter.com/tAVvcSxaVO
— McNallys Pharmacy (@McNallysPharmac) September 7, 2015
This cure might be a little hit and miss- some people swear by them, while others claim you benefit more from the water you drink the tablet with- but either way, you feel like microwaved oblivion so you may as well give it shot!
Berocca is stuffed full of vitamin B, so drink it down to replace what you lost last night. It’s also supposed to be relatively effective if drunk before you head out.
9. Distract Yourself
Your body’s had a pretty rough day, and it’s almost guaranteed that even if you try every single one of these remedies, you’ll still feel way less than 100%. If you went out and got bladdered when you had stuff to do the next day, we pity the fool, but otherwise, why not just have a chilled one?
There’s no need to wallow in your own dispair, or stumble down the rocky road of self loathing, just keep yourself busy with easygoing things you enjoy- have a movie marathon, catch up on your favourite show, read a book or listen to your favourite tunes. It’s not often we get to sit down, relax and have quality time to ourselves, so just forget the circumstances and enjoy it!
10. Go for a run?…
Yes, yes, it sounds crazy, but it really works. Are you the fool with stuff to do today? Well, maybe doing some exercise isn’t such a bad idea…
The phrase “sweat it out” is said to be a myth, but that doesn’t mean a little physical activity won’t do you some good. If you’re feeling worse for wear but have people to see or errands to run, go for a gentle jog, or maybe even a casual workout at the gym. The exercise will give you some much needed endorphins as well as a mental buzz that will make you feel more alive.
That being said, no one wants to stand up on a hangover, let alone go for a run, but the option is always there…
There you have it, folks. Ten great ways to combat that freshers hangover. If you know you’re going out, just make sure you’re well stocked on the hangover-fighting supplies (no one wants a deathly trip to the supermarket in that state), and look after yourself- Freshers waits for no man or woman, so you better be fighting fit to do it all again tomorrow!
Image via Shutterstock.