We’ve all been there. The horrible post-booze blues bleakly referred to as ‘hangovers’ can be a disgusting intrusion upon one’s day, particularly at Christmas. But they can be conquered.
Our good friend science is our best ally here. Most hangover cures are fallacies: ‘hair of the dog’, for example – drinking more alcohol will simply delay the appearance of hangover symptoms. But the hangover cures backed up by science should be gospel for those with diabetes who enjoy a festive tipple.
Of course, being that this is an article about alcohol, there are some disclaimers to be made. The first is to avoid binge drinking – men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. Secondly, if you have diabetes you should be aware of how alcohol could affect your blood glucose levels. You could also check out our Christmas guide to low carb alcohol.
When we drink alcohol, it prevents a hormone called vasopressin from working in the body. Vasopressin is an antidiuretic hormone, and this explains why we quite often urinate more when drinking alcohol. As a result, less water is reabsorbed by our kidneys, and this can make us dehydrated. Some symptoms of dehydration happen to include headaches, fatigue and increased thirst – horribly similar to those of a hangover.
Drinking water before you go to bed, or anytime of the day following alcohol consumption, can help your body replace these lost fluids and flush out any toxins from the alcohol.
Another downside of alcohol is that can deplete our potassium stores, an important salt stored in the body. When we have low levels of potassium, those aforementioned symptoms of dehydration can occur, but certain fruits can replenish this deficiency.
Avocado is full of healthy goodness, including high potassium content, and its null impact on blood glucose levels provides the boost your body may require without any consequences for your diabetes.
Other fruits such as banana and kiwi are too packed with potassium, but contain higher sugar content.
Get some exercise
Now, I know what you’re thinking. What’s the last thing anyone wants to do with a hangover? Exercise. But bear with me.
Because alcohol acts as a depressant and slows down brain activity, there are fewer feel-good hormones, known as endorphins, running inside your brain to regulate your mood.
Depending on how severe your hangover symptoms may be, a light jog or a long walk could be enough to help restore your mood and energy levels without worsening any headaches or nausea you may have had.
Full of good protein and amino acids, eggs can help cure hangovers by eliminating nausea. Isn’t that egg-cellent? (first and last one, promise).
One of these amino acids is called cysteine. Cysteine helps to break down a substance formed following alcohol intake known as acetaldehyde. It does this by converting acetaldehyde into acetic acid, which can then be converted into water and carbon dioxide. Essentially, cysteine prevents nausea by positively impacting upon the metabolism.
Check your blood sugar
Lastly, remember to regularly check your blood sugar when drinking alcohol. Alcohol can send your levels high and low, and erratic control can contribute to hangover symptoms.
Keeping your blood sugar within a normal range, which can be aided by drinking low carb alcohol, can help you enjoy a drink or two this Christmas without fear of the morning after.
Cheers to that, and merry Christmas!