The 5 simple things you can do NOW to beat tomorrow's post-match hangover

TONIGHT'S big Euros match is a huge occasion for England, with many
making plans that involve alcohol to watch the game.

Experts are predicting over 6.8 million pints will be poured in England today as fans head to pubs and bars to watch the highly anticipated game.

But with tomorrow a working day and many expected to wake up with a
hangover, online health and wellness platform RWL's resident GP Sarah Garsed says there are a number of things you can do to help avoid the dreaded hangover.

Dr Sarah highlights that's it's all in the preparation and that if you want to have a drink tonight, you should follow the guidance below so you don't wake up with a sore head.

1. Avoid darker drinks

When you are in the supermarket or sat in the pub deciding what to drink, choosing the right colour drink could be the difference between a killer hangover and a manageable one, Dr Sara says.

She explained: "Research has found that clear spirits, including vodka and gin, cause hangovers less frequently than dark ones like whiskey, red wine, and tequila.

"The main element of alcohol is ethanol, but darker spirits contain
chemical compounds called congeners, and it's these that can cause a
worse hangover because they cause inflammatory reaction in your body."

2. Avoid coffee

Alcohol is a diuretic and its dehydrating effects are what contribute towards a nasty hangover.

"Coffee contains high levels of caffeine and it is also a dehydrating beverage.

"If you know you are planning on drinking alcohol, try to avoid high
caffeine drinks that day to prevent yourself from starting the evening
already dehydrated", Dr Sarah said.

3. Drink inbetween drinks

It might sound "counterproductive" if you are planning a celebratory night with alcohol, but drinking water in-between drinks can be a saviour when it comes to hangovers.

Dr Sarah said: "Alcohol dehydrates us, which causes symptoms of hangover, while rehydrating with water inbetween can help prevent this – AND help
protect against the impact of alcohol on drying out our skin and
damaging our liver."

4. Avoid salty foods

It's very tempting to team a night of drinking with salty snacks like
crisps and nuts, but high salt foods contain a lot of sodium and this
can upset the body and the kidneys – causing dehydration.

Salty foods also dry out our mouths a make us want to drink more,
often meaning we consumer more alcohol than we would normally.

"Salt also affects the hormones in the body that we use to get rid of
water, making you feel bloated and therefore less likely to drink a
glass of water to rehydrate yourself if you feel bloated.

"Try to stick with low salt snacks to avoid the double dehydration
effect that can worsen your hangover", Dr Sarah said.

5. Eat

Dr Sarah says you should never drink on an empty stomach.

She explained: "If you drink without any food in your system alcohol will immediately be absorbed into the stomach as there is nothing else in there to slow the absorption rate.

"You don't have to eat food hours you take your first drink but make
sure you have eaten something at least 15 minutes before you take your
first alcoholic drink.

"There is no specific amount you should eat because it will depend on
your individual weight, metabolism, gender, and activity level but
just try to eat until you are satisfied."

And if you don't follow this advice and you still end up with a hangover there are things you can do to help ease it.

THE THINGS TO PREPARE JUST IN CASE

If you do end up feeling foggy then you should make sure you are prepared for that by getting plenty of food in and looking at your schedule to see if you have time for a nap.

Eat breakfast

Dr Sarah says you should always eat breakfast the morning after a night of heavy drinking.

She said: "A hangover is often a mixture of dehydration, tiredness and low blood sugar levels.

"Eating something when you make up helps lift your low blood sugar and
regulate your sugars to a more manageable level."

Choose whole carbs

Drinking alcohol can lower our blood sugar levels and leave us feeling extremely tired from the dehydration.

Dr Sarah explained: "Instead of reaching fro greasy high fat foods, or high sugar foods, try and choose whole carbohydrates instead.

"Wholemeal toast, a bowl of brown pasta with cheese, or even cereal are
great options as they till help to regulate your blood sugar levels but also slowly release energy rather than  drastically raising it and then having to go through the crash afterwards."

Try orange juice

If your hangover is particularly bad and you are struggling to stomach
much food, try a cold orange juice.

"Orange juice can have a acid-neutralising effect when it is
metabolised by the body and delivers a big does of potassium which
helps to rehydrate you and restore any lost minerals.

"Orange juice is also high in natural sugar, which can help bring that
low blood sugar up and reduce feelings of nausea", Dr Sarah said.

Take a nap

Alcohol loves to rob us of good quality sleep.

This is because it inhibits the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, meaning it can be hard to get to sleep, difficult to have good quality sleep
and you may also find you wake up early unable to get back to sleep.

"Sleep is one of the most restorative things for a hangover so if you
need it, take a nap the following day" Dr Sarah added.

Do some exercise

Depending on how bad your hangover is, exercise might seem like the
last thing you want to do, BUT it could be the best thing for you, Dr Sarah says.

After drinking a lot of your natural feel-good brain chemicals can be
left significantly reduced, leaving you feeling low in energy and
mood.

Dr Sarah said: "Exercise releases huge amounts of endorphins and dopamine into the body, helping to give you a big happiness boost while also raising your energy levels.

"Exercise can also help to regular blood sugar levels and can loosen constricted blood vessels that can contribute to those horrible headaches.

"Try a workout or even just go for a walk or cycle to reap the benefits."

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