Hangovers and how to Cure them naturally- By Andy Hamilton

For an updated version of this article see Andy Hamilton’s other site.

Despite efforts to be moderate sometimes we end up having a few too many. This can lead to awaking on a park bench wearing nothing but a top hat and someone’s phone number tattooed to your forehead, surrounded by a crowd of people all speaking a language totally alien to you and not having a clue of anything happening after you had that last, “One for the road”.

Ok, so it might not be to that extreme, but it can be common to awake with a sore head and a strange anxious or depressed feeling that stays with you for the rest of the day. This can often be coupled with other maladies like having to nip off to the loo every now and then to coat it with a technicoloured yawn.  In truth, the downside of drinking, the dreaded hangover can be bloody awful.

One thing most home brewers will agree on (and there is a lot we don’t), is the strange phenomenon that is the mild home brew hangover. It does seem that if there was ever a hangover competition (or lack of), a night drinking commercial beers or wines vs. a night drinking home brew will always produce one clear winner. That is not to say you don’t get a hangover at all!

However,  when you do get one there are steps that will help lessen the affects. Drinking a glass of water for every unit of alcohol is the best preventative measure. Alcohol acts as a diuretic which means it increases the flow of urine from the kidneys leading to dehydration. It’s this dehydration that causes some of the tell tale signs of a hangover such as dizziness, dry mouth and nausea. What’s more, increased bladder flow can deplete valuable vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin C and various B vitamins. To further these feelings an increase in REM (rapid eye movement/dream) sleep means your brain has been falsely excited and this can lead to depression.

These vitamins and minerals have to be replaced in order for you to start feeling human again. A ready supply of vitamin B complex will certainly help matters and a dose before and after drinking will deaden the anxious feelings. Interesting lack of B12 can bring on feelings of guilt which sometimes plays a part in the psychological side of a hangover.  B12  can be found in eggs, bacon and black pudding another reason the fry up makes you feel better.

The potassium can be reintroduced by eating bananas and I like to have two the morning after. Vitamin C can be found in fruit so perhaps a smoothy might be the easiest way to get useful vitamins down you. Lastly going back to sleep for a bit will also help as you won’t have had the deep sleep you need to feel better.

Of course if the sensible way of getting over a hangover doesn’t work you could always try one from the Romans. 5 litres of wine with 16 bulbs of garlic infused in it!

7 Comments on Hangovers and how to Cure them naturally- By Andy Hamilton

  1. …and there was me always wondering how come after a night of drinking you wake up in the morning STILL thirsty… I have a feeling that Roman method might leave me needing the same cure the day after… and the day after that…not to mention a deterioration of my breath and loss of all my friends, family…

  2. i swear by a large glass of OJ and cranberry with a pinch of salt/lo salt/bicarb ( basically a rehydration salt mix)added and finish with a banana.

  3. I fully approve of the English Breakfast treatment.
    Nothing beats crawling out of a club in Amsterdam when the sun is fully up and about,
    and heading straight for Durty Nelly’s for a huge plate of fry-up.
    Bangers,eggs and WBinTS,mushrooms,grilled tomato,crispy bacon and a double helping of black pudding.

    Always believed that it was that pint of Kilkenny’s on the side that did the trick though.
    Turns out it was the B12, who would have thought… 🙂

  4. @ Heiko – Roman wine used to be a lot weaker and watered down with seawater. That said it wasn’t supposed to be a serious suggestion!

    @crowsashes – I do that too sometimes, using sugar in the mix.

    @scrap – A pint in the morning, well your worse than the romans 🙂

  5. I’m such a lightweight drinker these days just a couple of glasses of anything will get me drunk and at risk of a hangover.
    Plenty of water the night before and start the day with something indulgent like hot buttered toast and a fried egg. B12 might be in the egg, but it’s a kill or cure when you’re not sure if you’re going to be ill. If you can keep a fried egg down you’ll be right for the rest of the day.

  6. And if you can scoff down a full English breakfast you’re-
    A-Probably British.
    B-Still drunk enough.
    C-Probably both.

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