With New Year’s Eve just two days away, many people are stocking the shelves with year-end spirits, rehearsing toasts, and making resolutions. But, after the clock strikes midnight and the bottles are empty, what does one do to combat a hangover?
Bridget Nichols, a dietetic intern, and Debra A. Boutin, MS, RD, both from Bastyr University, a school that teaches natural medicine and health arts, offer these helpful tips to treating a hangover with natural remedies:
1. Rehydrate with Plenty of Water
Alcohol acts as a diuretic (a substance that flushes water from the body), and the loss of water results in dehydration, causing headache and fatigue. Drinking water will replenish fluids and help the body to flush out toxins from alcohol. Avoid coffee, which constricts blood vessels and may worsen dehydration.
2. Ginger Tea to Soothe Queasiness
Homemade fresh ginger tea will help reduce queasiness while increasing fluids. To make ginger tea, add several slices of fresh ginger root to hot water and steep for 15 minutes. Strain and add 1 teaspoon of honey.
3. Replenish Magnesium
Some of the symptoms of hangovers are believed to be from a depletion of magnesium caused by alcohol. Take 400 mg of magnesium in supplement form to help relieve symptoms. Alternatively, choose foods rich in magnesium including leafy green vegetables (Swiss chard, spinach) and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds).
4. Remove Toxins with Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps remove toxins from the body. Dehydration from alcohol may deplete vitamin C and hamper your body’s ability to recover quickly. Take 1,000 mg of vitamin C with your first glass of water, and throughout the day choose fresh fruit rich in vitamin C, including strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe and grapefruit.