If you partied a bit too much on New Year’s Eve, you’re already familiar with the hangover that follows.
Hangovers get worse as we age, and this can often be the result of losing muscle mass, lacking liver enzymes or even drinking less as you get older.
But the biggest key in making sure your hangover isn’t terrible? Hydration, said registered dietitian Jessica Tong.
READ MORE: Why a cup of coffee won’t cure a hangover
“You will be dehydrated so try to have more fluids, such as water, soup and herbal teas. For something that contains electrolytes, I recommend coconut water cut with sparkling water to dilute the sugar,” she explained.
Experts, including clinical dietitian Rosanna Lee of MCI Medical Clinic in Toronto, added that when people are hungover, they often make other dietary mistakes. Below, Tong and Lee share would you should avoid doing if you wake up hungover.
Not getting enough sleep
“Drinking alcohol can actually rob you of sleep because once the sedative effect wears off, you experience the rebound alertness, which deprives you of rapid eye movement sleep,” Tong said.
If possible, take a nap so that your body can recover.
Eating the wrong breakfast
We all love the ideal of getting a greasy breakfast after a night of heavy drinking, but Tong said you are better off with something more balanced.
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“Greasy food … will probably leave you feeling more sluggish. Choose high-quality protein, healthy fats and fibre,” she continued. “If you’re having New Year’s Day brunch, a balanced breakfast would be a salmon and avocado omelette, berries and sprouted grain toast with natural peanut butter.”
Don’t take the hair of the dog
No, a hangover can’t be cured with more alcohol.
“Although it has been proven effective for some people, more alcohol just perpetuates your hangover cycle, keeping you dehydrated throughout the day,” Lee said.
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“Repeating this cycle may make you alcohol dependent down the road.”
Relying on coffee
Coffee will help with morning fatigue and perhaps that radiating headache, Lee explained, but it is still a diuretic.
“This means with more coffee, you continue to dehydrate your body,” said Lee. “If you are bound to drink a cup, don’t forget to follow up with lots of water during the day.”
Not getting balanced meals
Just like breakfast, Lee also suggested eating a meal with at least two to three food groups during the day.
“Eating a nutrient-packed meal or smaller snacks with carbs, protein and healthy fats (i.e. veggies, fruits, some whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats) will give your body the proper nutrients and fuel it needs to function better the next day,” she added.
Smoothies, juices, dairy and fortified milk alternative beverages are a good start and can help replete your lost fluids.