Ah, hangovers. They used to be the sign of a great night out. Sleeping it off on the sofa the next day, binging on crap TV and enjoying a sausage and egg McMuffin if you managed to drag yourself to the Golden Arches by 11am (yes, the breakfast menu used to be available til 11am in my youth!)
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Nowadays, as Cat discusses, they’re not so much fun. Throw in a couple of children that you’re responsible for to the hangover from hell and it’s a whole different kind of show - an absolute shit show, to be frank.
You ask yourself; will I ever learn? Highly unlikely. You solemnly declare; I am never drinking again! Yeah, I’m pretty sure you are, love.
On the occasions that I do get a night sans-ratbags and decide to leave the confines of home, I can sometimes go a little, shall we say…OTT. As I head out the door, I am saying to myself “don’t go crazy tonight, just have a few drinks. You’re 42, have some decorum! Remember, there’s two kids who require looking after tomorrow”.
Fast forward several hours (and Porn Star Martinis) later and I’m slut dropping to 90’s R n B whilst a group of 20 somethings throw me withering looks from the other side of the bar. Major eye roll, as my 7 year old would say.
Will I ever learn? Nope. I am never drinking again! You most definitely are.
Let’s face it – we all deserve a night out and to ‘go big’ if we so choose, especially in this oft challenging world of parenting, where letting loose every now and again is really very necessary - and we are definitely not here to tell you otherwise. However, none of us are getting any younger (I’m definitely bloody not) and the hangovers ultimately feel worse, particularly when you add little people in to the mix.
With this in mind, we chatted to Nutritionist and Consultant Jenna Hope and she very kindly gave us her top tips for reducing your hangover symptoms so you can go out the night before and be up for the kids in the morning:
- Let's start with dinner - there’s a common misconception that loading up on a carb heavy meal (e.g. pasta or bread) will help to 'line the stomach and soak up the alcohol’. However, you're much better off eating a meal rich in protein and healthy fats as these take longer to digest and consequently help to slow down the absorption of the alcohol. Opt for a piece of meat, fish or tofu with vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water! No, I'm not recommending this to be a kill joy. Alcohol contributes to dehydration (which is part of the reason you get hungover the next day) and so drinking water between each drink can help to re-hydrate you gradually. Drinking a large amount of water at the end of the night may just contribute to increased urine volume, so you're better off to drink a small amounts more regularly.
- Opt for lower sugar drinks - sugary drinks contribute to the calorie content of the drinks and may worsen your hangover. Opt for clear spirits, lime and sparkling water or champagne as an alternative to prosecco (it's much lower in sugar... albeit pricier!)
- Vitamins - as the body sees alcohol as a poison, it works to remove it as quickly as possible. This uses up a lot of your nutrients which contributes to that hungover feeling. Taking a multi vitamin before bed can help to replenish the losses and consequently may reduce the effects of your hangover. Don’t rely on the kids chewables though and make sure you invest in a high-quality multivitamin.
- Start well - often a hangover also comes with cravings for foods high in fat with a side of grease. Rather than taking the kids to Maccy D's (just so you can get your fix too) opt for breakfast that is rich in protein and vegetables to help stabilise your blood sugar. Make sure you wake up to a glass of water too, rather than a coffee, as coffee will contribute to your dehydration.
- Exercise - you might not have time to hit the gym in the morning, but why don’t you try taking the kids for a walk or a cycle in park? Not only will the fresh air and sweat do you good, it’s also a lovely bonding time and exercise is of course great for the kids too! So there you have it. Enjoy your night out, have a few drinks and look after yourself through the process! Trust us, you’ll thank Jenna for the above advice the next day.
You can view further fab advice from Jenna on Instagram @jennahopenutrition