South African can buy alcohol in level 3. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
South African can buy alcohol in level 3. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Overdone it on the booze? Here's how to recover from a hangover naturally

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Jun 2, 2020

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The long-awaited lockdown level 3 is finally here and comes with the sale of alcohol that most South Africans have been dying to get their hands on. 

Some people have been forced into sobriety because they didn’t stock enough alcohol for the lockdown. With the unbanning of the sale of alcohol for private consumption, it’s likely that some people might end up having just a little too much in one night. 

Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop for hangovers. Work, Zoom meetings, family, homeschooling and just being a grown-up adult continues even when you have a killer hangover.

If you need a little bit of help with recovery and if you’d prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals, there are natural solutions to try.

Eggs

This is a good source of the amino acid cysteine, which helps to break down some of the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism thought to contribute to hangovers. Eggs are also a great source of protein and fats that can help to stabilize blood sugar levels - a much better start to our day than sugary cereal or pancakes with syrup.

Rehydration

The fastest way to push toxins out of your body is to ensure you’re properly hydrated. While water may seem like the obvious choice, a glass of tomato juice with a dash of cayenne pepper, sugar and lime helps to replenish electrolytes too.

Ginger

A cup of ginger tea the morning after a heavy night could be a cheap way of hitting two birds with one stone. You’ll be replenishing some of that much-needed water, and also getting an important shot of stomach-calming ginger.

Apple cider vinegar

Start your morning with one or two  teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, diluted with warm water. The vinegar has a natural diuretic effect that can help combat morning-after fluid retention and it can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which can be shaky after a night of drinking.

Potassium-rich smoothie

Potassium is an essential mineral that the body requires for a variety of processes. It also helps banish feelings of nausea and dehydration that a hangover brings. Blend one banana with a glass of water, a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of turmeric to create a hangover-fighting smoothie.

Healthy breakfast

Eating is also vital, with alcohol consumption hitting your blood glucose levels hard. Granola with sliced fruit can give you a hit of natural sugars and also get you some valuable vitamins as a bonus.

Consume sugar while you’re drinking

Studies show that fructose may speed alcohol metabolism, thus reducing the risk of a hangover. It’s important to eat sugar while you’re drinking, not before, since fructose metabolizes quickly. Next time, try plain orange juice between cocktails.

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