OK, so a big and boozy night out with mates has just been organised. But what about that workout sesh you have planned for tomorrow?
Hangover alert! It’s pretty obvious which one gets dumped.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Firstly, we really have to stress one thing: you don’t need to drink to have a great night out. But if you do want to drink, the good news is that having a night out and exercising the next day – believe it or not – is possible.
Take a look at these pre-and-post night out tactics to help you avoid a horrendous hangover and give you the energy (and sanity) to make that workout happen.
BEFORE THE NIGHT OUT
- Have a big meal: drinking on an empty stomach is the biggest drinker sin out there. Fill up on healthy carbs such as wholegrain bread, wholemeal pasta or brown rice to slow down alcohol absorption.
- Make sure you’re hydrated: alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes you pee (more commonly known as ‘breaking the seal’). If your water stores are already low, that hangover headache – a side effect of dehydration – is going to come on a heck of a lot quicker. The solution = guzzle down plenty of H2O before you head out.
- Arm yourself with asparagus: according to Korean researchers the amino acids and minerals in asparagus can actually help to prevent the hideous drink-induced head-throbbing after a night out.
DURING THE NIGHT
- Say no to mixing: ‘beer then wine makes you feel fine’ while ‘wine then beer makes you feel queer’. What BS. Mixing drinks always comes back to bite you in the butt the morning after. Set your drink for the night and stick to it.
- Rotate your drinks: for every alcoholic beverage, drink a glass of water. OK, so this is easier said than done. But have this tactic top of mind on your night out and hopefully you’ll drink more water than normal. Ice in your drinks is also a good way to get a bit of extra H2O.
- Ditch the dark stuff: rum, red wine, bourbon and other dark-coloured drinks contain congeners (substances produced during fermentation) which can contribute to hangover symptoms. Keep in the clear with vodka, gin or white wine.
AFTER YOU GET HOME
- Pop a multivitamin: drinking drains nutrients from your body. Reloading on vitamins will help to top up what you’ll have lost on your boozy night out.
- Go bananas: so everybody loves a curry, or something greasy after a night out. NEWSFLASH: fatty foods are good to eat before your night out as the grease actually helps to ‘line your stomach’. The best post-night-out snacks are in fact potassium-rich foods. Oh hello banana!
- Reach for the coconut water: of course downing as much water as you can is a must, but coconut water goes the extra mile. Not only does it help to re-hydrate, it replenishes too. It’s packed with anti-oxidants, electrolytes and even contains more potassium per glass than a banana! A sure-fire way to help you feel better, faster.
THE MORNING AFTER
- Avoid coffee: this maybe a tough one to come to terms with. While coffee may initially perk you up, it is also a diuretic (just like the a-word) and will unfortunately add to your dehydration. Not the cure you’re looking for.
- Fruit juice to the rescue: get a hit of vitamins and boost your sugar levels with a glass of apple, cranberry or tomato juice. Maybe pass on the OJ though, as citrus-y drinks can upset an already fragile stomach.
Detox with eggs: scrambled, fried, boiled, however you like them, eggs are the best hangover breakfast. Filled with amino acids, specifically cysteine, eggs are great for clearing out those lingering alcohol toxins.
So now you have these hangover-busting tactics under your belt. Go out. Have fun. Drink (sensibly!). And we’ll see you tomorrow (hopefully minus a headache) for a water-fuelled workout.
Hangover? What hangover?
Alcohol: a good idea until you wake up with your eyebrows shaved and a new unicorn tattoo. Always drink in moderation – excessive drinking is not a healthy habit. UQ Sport does not condone irresponsible alcohol consumption and we are not qualified to give health advice. Please see healthcare professional if you have any drink-related health concerns.
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Jared Wong.