There is nothing worse than waking up with a stinking hangover! The feeling of dehydration, the sickness in your stomach from all those shots and just the general icky feeling that a hangover brings. Travelling is all about seeing the sights and the local culture but that's difficult to do when you're feeling sorry for yourself because of a stinking hangover because of all the partying. A hangover is the downside to living it up every night.
Everyone has their own different ways of coping with a hangover but here are our top tips from various backpackers who have stayed with us.
Eat fatty food before you start drinking. Preventing a hangover starts way before drinking and it is recommended to eat fatty food. Now this tip is loved by many backpackers and shouldn't be too hard to do. The fat will slow down the absorption of alcohol in your body. Go for steak, sausage, fried foods or pizza before you start your night.
Drink lots of water. This is a classic and probably the most reliable of them all. It's a personal favourite, a wee rule I like to stick to is match your drinks 2:1, for every 2 pints/drink have 1 glass of water.
Wine before beer and things go queer. Beer before wine and you'll be fine. It's exactly what it sounds like.
Beer before liquor, never sicker. Liquor before beer you're in the clear. I will testify to this. However, the night never really ends up that way.
THE MORNING AFTER
Take an over-the-counter painkiller like aspirin or ibuprofen. Take Quik-Eez/ Antacid 1/2 way through your night: A pack of Irish lads swear by this approach, especially when drinking beer. Apparently it helps to settle your stomach and even lets you drink more as it gets rid of that bloated feeling. The peak of these painkillers are after about 4 hours after taking them. So if you know you will have a short sleep, take one before you go to bed and it will take effect when your hangover strikes the next morning.
Sleep it off. Lay in bed for as long as you can without moving, sleep is the cure for most things so laying in bed feeling sorry for yourself is sometimes the way forward.
Hair of the Dog. Get straight back on the alcohol, this has been known to cure hangovers before they even start. Variations include, vodka in your cereal, wine before nine (AM), goon before noon, Black Velvet (champagne and Guinness). Although the first drink may not go down easily it's almost guaranteed the second, third and the fourth will. One thing to note with this technique is that all this does is delay the hangover for another day.
Have Sex. Release those good little things called endorphins and oxytocin which relieves pain and enhances your mood... there are definitely worse ways to spend a sunday!
Sport. Linked to the above tip but unlike the above probably not something that you will ever feel like doing the day after a big night, but sweating everything off is the perfect cure. It does not have to be anything big just a simple walk can help clear your head.
Go for a surf/swim. Getting smashed over by waves will wake you up. Also the workout is healthy and as long as you keep yourself busy, you won't be able to pay attention to your hangover.
Take a Sauna. Apparently this is very popular in Finland as it sweats out all your toxins. Personally I would put this in the no thank you category as being in a hot sweaty room doesn't appeal to me on a normal day.
FOOD! When I am hungover all I want is a greasy fry up but everyone craves different things. Find out what your hungover food is and eat as much of it as possible. A Bacon Sandwich: The fat, protein (didn't know there was any in bacon, but I'm claiming it) and carbs are good for absorbing the alcohol from the night before.
Have bouillion soup. Having bouillion soup will help you restore the salt and potassium levels. Potassium is needed for nerve and muscle function and you will lose a lot every time you visit the bathroom after drinking alcohol. And this is a lot of times! A banana, avocado, potato chips or a glass of orange juice will also help restore potassium.
Be happy. If you feel miserable while or after drinking, the hangover is only going to be worst. So why not accept it and be happy instead! Remember why you have that hangover in the first place (a great night) and enjoy the day.
WATER. Drink water and plenty of it. It is very important that you rehydrate yourself to replace all that leftover alcohol in your body. Drinking water will also eliminate some of the side effects of your hangover including that bad head.
Powerade/ Gatorade: The sugars give you energy and it's full of electrolytes, which need replacing after a big night out. Personally, I recommend the blue powerade and I know many other kiwis will testify to this, particularly with a mince pie on the side.
Of course hangovers can be easily avoided by not drinking so much and making sure that you drink plenty of water in between drinks and all throughout the night. Hangovers, although a terrible feeling, are usually a sign of a great night the night before. Happy Partying People!
To help you get rid of this awful feeling, here are a few helpful tips that will help you to be the healthy backpacker that you started your trip as.So lovely people, good luck and may the spirits be kind to you this weekend!
If you have any other great hangover cures make sure you let us know...
Nomads promotes responsible drinking of alcohol. Our bars will not serve you if you appear intoxicated.