TONIGHT’S the night… England take on Denmark in the semi final of Euro 2020 – and the pints are already flowing.
Experts predict over 6.8 million pints will be poured as fans head to pubs and bars to watch the crunch match.
But win or lose, tomorrow is a working day and millions of Brits are at risk of turning up with a pretty nasty hangover.
But it doesn’t have to be that way (even if you’re over 30 – promise).
GP Sarah Garsed at online health and wellness platform RWL has given us a few handy tips to help try and kick the dreaded hangover before it strikes.
Dr Sarah tells The Sun it’s all about the preparation and ensuring you’re match fit and ready to enjoy the game, pint in hand – without waking up in a world of pain.
1. Avoid darker drinks
When you are in the supermarket or sat in the pub deciding what to drink as the whistle blows, 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.
You won’t need the coffee anyway, you’ll be too hyped up with anticipation of the crunch match!
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.
Treat it a bit like the pros do while playing – to be at their best they have to stay hydrated and you should follow their lead…
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.
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.”
This is especially important if you want to play (enthusiastically support) until the final moments – you don’t want to crash out in a corner while the team makes magic on the pitch.
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.
AND JUST IN CASE YOUR NIGHT GOES TO EXTRA TIME… TRY THIS POST-MATCH SURVIVAL GUIDE
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.
Dr Sarah says it’s an instant win against a hangover to 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 to get yourself back to being match ready.
“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
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.”