Hangover symptoms are usually caused by dehydration – alcohol makes you pee more, which makes you dehydrated. While hangover cures are generally a myth, there are some foods, drinks and supplements which some people believe can help you get back to normal.
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Some experts believe eating avocados after a night of heavy drinking can help raise low potassium levels from alcohol consumption and dehydration.
One half of an avocado (100g) contains 487mg of potassium.
As well as helping replenish potassium levels, research has shown avocados contain compounds that protect against liver injury.
Drinking in excess takes a toll on your liver, so avocados may be especially beneficial for hangovers.
Coconut water with pear and lime juice
According to a study published in November this year, coconut water mixed with pear and lime juice is the ultimate cure for a hangover.
The juice was said to boost two enzymes that break down alcohol in the body, helming relieve hangover symptoms.
The study, published in the journal Current Research in Food Science, found the drink was made even more effective when paired with some cheese, tomato and cucumber.
“A beverage made from a blend of sweet lime, pear, and coconut water could be used to overcome hangover,” the authors, from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, wrote.
“The consumption of this beverage with cheese, cucumber and tomatoes may further alleviate the hangover symptoms.”
The juice blend is made of 65 percent pear juice, 25 percent of sweet lime and 10 percent coconut water.
These ingredients help bolster the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase, found in the liver, by 23 percent and the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase, found in the liver, kidneys and lungs, by 70 percent.
The study also suggested avoiding coffee, milk, oats, eggs and spices, including pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.
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Ginger and borage oil supplements
Ginger supplements and borage oil supplements are two of a few supplements that have been researched for their ability to reduce hangover symptoms.
One study found combining ginger with brown sugar and tangerine extract improved several hangover symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Another study looked at the effectiveness of a supplement containing both prickly pear and borage oil, an oil derived from the seeds of starflower.
The study found it reduced hangover symptoms in 88 percent of participants.
How to avoid a hangover
The NHS says there are no cures for a hangover, but there are things you can do to avoid one.
To avoid a hangover it advises:
- Don’t drink more than you know your body can cope with. If you’re not sure how much that is, be careful.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Before you go out, have a meal that includes carbohydrates (such as pasta or rice) or fats. The food will help slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol.
- Don’t drink dark-coloured drinks if you’ve found you’re sensitive to them. They contain natural chemicals called congeners, which irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain and can make a hangover worse.
- Drink water or non-fizzy soft drinks in between each alcoholic drink. Carbonated (fizzy) drinks speed up the absorption of alcohol into your system.
- Drink a pint or so of water before you go to sleep. Keep a glass of water by the bed to sip if you wake up during the night.
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