The Stag and Hen party is a time honoured tradition. Even though these days a marriage is hardly going to signify the end of your social life, stag and hen parties still spend like it – with the average attendee to the good old British stag and hen spending an average of £100-200 per event.
It should come as no surprise that the majority of this money is spent on booze. According to statistics, around 70-75% of stag and hen parties in Ireland are held at bars and clubs, so having a few drinks is definitely on the agenda. Although this often makes for an amazing night, it brings a dreaded consequence the morning after – the deadly hangover.
There are definitely several ways to avoid the dreaded hangover, like drinking lots of water during the event, spacing your drinks out and opting for drinks that won’t give you a bad hangover. However, most of us forget these as soon as we step into the club.
But don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. Hangovers are actually easier to cure than you think. We’ve compiled a list of effective hangover cures, some of which include ingredients that you can find in your own home.
Pain Relief for Hangovers
The first step to curing a hangover is to remove any pain that you’re feeling right now. A lot of naysayers will tell you that it’s bad to take medication for something as simple as a hangover, but in many cases, it is the first step to recovery. After all, how are you going to eat and rehydrate if your head is pounding and your stomach feels like it’s on a dry cycle?
Painkillers like Paracetamol and Aspirin can take care of your headache, while antacids can take care of your queasy stomach. Look for medication that you can take on an empty stomach. Over the counter medication is usually enough to cure a hangover – avoid taking Codeine as it can cause dependency, especially if you use it as a regular hangover cure. Soluble painkillers are also risky because they contain high amounts of sodium, which is bad for your blood pressure.
Once you’re feeling a bit better, it’s now time to rehydrate and eat so you can regain your strength. Since your stomach is still weak, drink bland liquids such as water and isotonic drinks, which won’t aggravate your stomach.
Ginger has been known to help alleviate nausea, so drinking Ginger tea may help settle your stomach. For a quick fix, and to avoid a harrowing trip to the shops, boil ginger, honey and lemon for a nice hot drink which can provide you with much-needed vitamins and balance your blood sugar. Fruit drinks and milk tea are good alternatives as well.
Excessive vomiting can deplete your body’s electrolyte and blood sugar levels. If you’re not strong enough to eat just yet, dissolving a Dioralyte sachet in water and drinking it can make you feel better.
Fill Your Stomach with Food
If you’re feeling weak, it may be because your blood sugar is low. Vomiting because of your hangover can deplete your body of electrolytes and leave your extremities weak, numb and trembling. Eat sugary foods to boost your blood sugar. Weakness and nausea are common symptoms of low blood sugar, so eating a hearty meal can instantly make you feel better.
One of the best hangover cures to date is Bouillon Soup. It is easy to make and can supply your body with the nutrients it needs without aggravating your delicate digestive system. To make Bouillon soup, just boil water in a pot mixed with vegetables of your choice. You can add potatoes, kelp, celery, cabbage, plantains and other vegetables that are easy to digest. If you’re feeling up to it, you can also include tiny slices of beef or chicken.
If after eating a hearty breakfast you still feel weak and nauseous, you may have metabolic acidosis. This condition is caused by excessive drinking and results in increased blood acidity levels. Taking supplements rich in Red Ginseng can decrease the amount of alcohol in the blood, and can help lower its acidity.
If you are craving for more than just soup, and you think your stomach can take it, try nibbling on some crackers or toast. You can also fry up some eggs as it is more filling and the Taurine found in eggs can combat liver damage caused by excessive drinking. Eating a banana after your meal can help recover lost potassium from all that vomiting.
Additional Supplements to Take
Aside from Red Ginseng, there are several supplements which you can take to alleviate the symptoms of a bad hangover:
- Borage Oil – Borage oil is derived from starflower seeds. According to one study, borage oil successfully reduced the severity of hangovers in 88% of respondents.
- Eleuthero – Commonly known as Siberian Ginseng, Eleuthero extract can reduce overall hangover severity and alleviate most of its annoying symptoms.
- Prickly Pear – A type of cactus, the Prickly Pear is said to reduce hangover severity by half and alleviate hangover symptoms, according to a 2004 study.
Remember that while most of these supplements have scientific proof of their effectiveness, the results may still vary from person to person.
All options that we’ve explored so far are meant to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover so you can spend your recovery hours peacefully and free from pain. However, there are drugs currently available in the market that claim to cure hangovers directly.
As we mentioned earlier, borage oil has been proved effective against hangovers. Borage capsules contain borage oil plus a plethora of other ingredients that will decrease the severity of hangovers and eliminate hangover symptoms like nausea, headaches and more. Many people have already attested to its effectiveness, although it’s a bit pricey compared to the hangover home remedies we’ve discussed so far.
Shower It Off
People love to take showers to relieve stress and to remove discomfort from minor aches and pains. For some, showering is also a great way to “wake up” from a hangover. If you’re feeling sluggish and weak, a shower can help you feel refreshed. What is the best temperature for hangover showers? It depends on the person, really. Some people feel better after a relaxing hot shower, while others prefer cold showers to wake them up.
Sleeping the Pain Away
Even with a nice meal, a refreshing bath and some pain medication, some hangovers take a while before they go away. Luckily, most people hold their hen and stag parties during Fridays or Saturdays, meaning you can get a whole day to sleep your hangover away.
Remember that most hen and stag parties last all night long, which means that you’ll be both drunk, and sleep deprived. After following all the hangover remedies we’ve suggested, there’s really nothing left to do but sleep until you’re back to your old self again.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones, and you have a class or job to go to the next day, then at least make the necessary preparations to ensure that people don’t notice that you’re hungover. Take some painkillers to reduce any pain, and remember to wear sunglasses when going out. People with hangovers tend to be hypersensitive to stimuli, meaning loud noises and bright lights may worsen your headaches. If you work in a noisy environment, brings some earplugs with you so you can stay relaxed.
Common Hangover Cure Myths
People have their own hangover cures and while some of these methods are proven effective, others are dubious and don’t really help at all. Remember, even if a certain cure has worked for some people, it may not work for you, or it might not be a healthy option at all.
The biggest myth when it comes to hangover cures is Hair of the Dog. This hangover cure is extremely popular in Carrick-on-Shannon as well as other parts of Ireland. The idea behind this method is that you can cure a hangover by drinking more alcohol the morning after. As outrageous as it sounds, there’s a scientific explanation behind it.
Alcoholic beverages contain a compound called methanol. When your body processes the alcohol you drink, this compound is slowly converted into formaldehyde. Now, formaldehyde is very toxic, and some experts say that the presence of this toxin in our bloodstream is the reason why people experience hangovers. According to them, drinking the morning after stops this conversion so that no formaldehyde is formed.
Many people stand by this hangover cure and swear by its effectiveness. According to studies though, drinking more alcohol, especially after a night of excessive drinking, is not healthy at all. Our body needs to rest after being pumped full of alcohol and another shot just a few hours later, no matter how small, is not a good cure. Drinking may also result in alcohol dependency and other bad habits.
Aside from Hair of the Dog, people often suggest drinking coffee to reduce hangover symptoms. According to them, coffee contains caffeine, which can help wake you up and snap you out of your sluggish, hungover self. However, caffeine is actually the villain here, not the cure. Caffeine can make your heart race, which is something you don’t need while your head is already pounding in pain and your stomach is twisting in knots.
Coffee is also a diuretic, which means your body will lose water even quicker. To cure a hangover you must rehydrate, not dehydrate your body even further.
Although the cures we mentioned will definitely get rid of your hangover slowly but surely, there is still no better cure than prevention. Hen and stag parties are supposed to be a night of pure fun, but it wouldn’t hurt to make sure you can party safely without any consequences the morning after. Remember to keep track of how many drinks you’ve already had, drink lots of water in between drinks, and never drink on an empty stomach. With these, you can enjoy yourself to the fullest and be at your best the next day.