Throwing back a tipple or two during the holidays may be par for the course, but if you find yourself less than chipper the following morning, consider bingeing on something other than ethanol to regain your holiday cheer. Here are my top five favorite liquid cures for the dreaded holiday hangover.
5. Green Tea. Iced or hot, green tea is a wonderful way to rehydrate not only because of its water base, but also because of its numerous general health benefits. Thanks to a high catechin content, green tea consumption has been shown to improve blood flow, stabilize blood sugar, help prevent certain cancers and improve brain activity (which may help keep you from making future bad drinking decisions). Note: Maximum benefits come from drinking freshly brewed green tea, not those sugar-laden, processed faux tea beverages.
4. Grapefruit Juice. Grapefruit juice is a terrific source of Vitamin C, but what makes this citrus fruit potentially more helpful to you than plain ol' oranges if you've imbibed too much is its special liver detoxifying properties. And that double cheeseburger you wolfed down following multiple rounds of Long Island iced teas? Grapefruit juice also facilitates the metabolism of fatty acids.
3. Coffee. But not too much. The caffeine contained in a few ounces will help rouse you out of your stupor; any more than that and you risk further dehydration. Basically, just drink enough to motivate you to get out of those beer-soaked pajamas.
2. Coconut Water. Dubbed "nature's sports drink," coconut water has amassed a substantial following among athletes and fitness-conscious celebrities because it contains on average more electrolytes than Gatorade. Its high potassium content is particularly helpful for the morning after a heavy drinking session because alcohol promotes the excessive expulsion of this mineral. The headaches, foggy head and sick stomach you often experience are in part a result of this depletion; chugging some coconut water can help lessen these symptoms. Hint: Go for coconut water varieties with little or no added sugar (I like Taste Nirvana with Pulp).
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1. Kombucha. In an earlier post, I waxed enthusiastic about kombucha's potential to cure hangovers. Since then I have been afforded the opportunity to re-validate my initial conclusions via
boozing with my in-laws further field testing and will again heartily assert that something about the combination of Vitamin B, carbonation and ginger will virtually transform your uggy-googy, post-tequila self into an energetic, clear-headed, functioning member of society.