Damage limitation

Posted on April 10, 2011

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As published on LOVESTYLE

I have spent today with an insatiable appetite for naughty food, a lingering headache and a mouth as dry as the desert.

Why?

Because yesterday I was at the amazing wedding yesterday of Mary & Mark Patten. Stunning in every sense of the word but under the delightful sunshine, one glass of bubbles seemed to be followed by another … and another … and another …

And after this weekends Faithless festivities, I imagine there are plenty of LOVESTYLE divas who are feeling same.

Despite the best of intentions we all sometimes have one too many vinos or cosmos and end up a little worse for wear.  And no sympathy – we’ve brought it on ourselves.  But we can now at least take some corrective measures to make sure we recover fast and can get on with another whirlwind week of playing the many roles we play.

Looking good is about taking care of your insides as much as the outside so follow my tips below and make sure you introduce a little damage limitation into your party weekends.

Pre-party

It sounds silly but the best way to cure a hangover is to avoid getting one in the first place.  Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you always have to drive.  Instead there are a few things you can do before you go out to make the morning much better. These include drinking on a full stomach to slow alcohol absorption, eating a full fat (yes FULL fat ladies!) yoghurt to give the stomach with a protective lining or take milk thistle to protect the liver from damage. Also vitamin B and C supplements will prepare your body for what they are about to lose.

Mid-party

If you’ve already started drinking not all is lost, there are still a few things you can do. Alternate hard and soft drinks or just drinking slower. If you want to give your head the best chance in the morning there are some drinks best avoided such as sparkling drinks like champagne or rum and coke which will take the booze straight to your head, as will cognac, brandy, whisky and red wine. On the other hand gin and vodka will be kinder to the head (although not to the soul).

H2O

We know it but how often do we ignore it? Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that pounding headache and a dry, fuzzy mouth are partly due to dehydration. Drinking water will help speed your recovery. After a drinking session, try to drink a pint of water before going to bed. If you wake with a hangover, sip water little and often all day. Better still, opt for a rehydration drink that contains salt to help restore the body’s natural fluid balance.

V-up

Vitamins B and C are your body’s currency and oh my will you feel poor in the morning without them. B vitamins are quickly used up as the body processes alcohol in the body so some people swear by hot toast with a yeast extract (rich in B-group vitamins), such as marmite.   Others prefer a high-dose B vitamin supplement such as Berocca. Take 1g of antioxidant vitamin C three times a day to swipe at all those free radicals you produce as your liver breaks down alcohol.

Caffeine

To help increase alertness and get those tired, aching muscles more energised, caffeine will help clear a fuzzy head and reduce headaches. Caffeine is a diuretic, however, so if you opt for this cure drink lots of water, too and don’t take caffeine at night, as it will keep you awake and you’ll wake up feeling worse. Remember also that if you take painkillers such as paracetamol, caffeine is a no-no.

Sleep easy

Good quality sleep for the right duration will have you up and running again in no time.  Spend the next few nights going to bed an hour earlier than you normally would and avoid TV, work or other activities which will keep you engaged before hand.  A hot bath followed by some light reading of your favourite glossies should have you nodding off nicely, allowing your body hours and hours of uninterrupted time to renew and revitalise you!

So LOVESTYLE divas … in an ideal world, we would replace cocktails with mocktails and sauvignon with smoothies … but that won’t happen all the time so keep these tips to hand for the next time you need a fast rescue!

 

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