The Personal Trainer
Sydney-based personal trainer Cassey Maynard says the first thing you should do when you wake up isn’t drag yourself to the closest couch and start surfing Netflix. She recommends combating a hangover with a stretching session before you’ve even left your bedroom.
“Any kind of stretch to open the heart and energise the body again is what you need,” she says. “For example, a gentle reach up towards the sky and some side bends, keeping the arms extended
overhead, will help. You could also add in a reclined twist [on the floor] to rinse out the toxins.”
Feel like you should sweat it out at the gym instead? Maynard says to avoid booking in for a high-intensity exercise class, and opting for some light movement.
“In my experience, intense exercise will make a hangover 100 per cent worse. It’s better to go for a walk in the sunshine where you’ll get an added bonus of vitamin D or do some yin yoga poses to help relax and rinse the body of any nasties.”
If you can venture further than your mailbox, Maynard recommends hitting your hangover on the head with an infra-red sauna session. These saunas use infra-red heaters and radiant heat, which is absorbed by your skin to help detox your body.
“Infra-red saunas are my go-to hangover cure,” she explains. “They help sweat out of all the nasty toxins and relax the muscles to promote sleep, which is something you will be craving!”
The Beauty Editor
No matter how late you get in after a party, marie claire beauty editor Sally Hunwick says you should always take off your make-up.
“If you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, try keeping a packet of facial wipes near your bed,” she suggests. “Use one to get the make-up off and a second to give your skin some of the wipe’s in-built ingredients. If you can manage it, pop on a night cream – try one that’s packed with antioxidants to help detox that post-party skin.”
If you’ve been drinking cocktails all night, you’re probably dehydrated, a factor which Hunwick says can make your complexion look lacklustre and tired. To give your skin an instant hydration boost, she recommends layering a serum dosed with hyaluronic acid under your normal day cream.
“This clever ingredient is found naturally in our body and can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water,” she says, “meaning your skin looks more plump and bouncy instantly.”
For those telltale bags, Hunwick says to reach for the eye cream (which you placed in the fridge the day before so it’s chilled). If you don’t have an eye cream on hand, try this DIY beauty editor hack: take two green tea bags, which have been steeped in hot water for a minute, wring them out and cool them in the fridge. Once cold, place them over your closed eyes for 10–15 minutes. “Green tea is high in caffeine, which tightens under-eye bags and helps reduce darkness,” Hunwick says. “The coolness also helps to reduce puffiness and refresh tired eyes.”
When it comes to party season, psychologist Gemma Cribb says
don’t forget to look after your mind and mental state during a hangover.
“It’s important to rest and recharge after a big night out,” she says. “Alcohol is a depressant for your nervous system, so most people will experience a low
mood and/or anxiety and irritability during the hangover period.”
Cribb advises that while these
feelings are temporary, it is important
to not spend time rehashing the night before (and your part in it).
“Don’t engage with anyone who you find challenging!” she says “You’ll generally be sleep deprived and that can leave us with poor attention, less concentration, little reasoning and no problem-solving skills.”
But if you’re experiencing any “did I really do/say/hear that last night” regrets, Cribb says to tell yourself that things always feel worse the day after. She recommends sleeping on it and if you
still wake up with regret post-hangover then do what you can to make amends with those you may have offended.
Lastly, avoid making important decisions and serious conversations while you’re experiencing a hangover!
Even though you may feel the overwhelming urge to bury your
head in a bag of chips, clinical nutritionist Sarah Gunther says
that’s not going to help. In fact, she says it may make your hangover symptoms worse.
“Alcohol reduces the amount of stomach juices that are required to break proteins down properly.” She explains, “This results in the fermentation of food in the stomach, causing gas and bloating.” In order words, those fried potatoes that you love so much could in fact be making you feel sicker.
Instead, she says eating the right breakfast, as early in the day as possible, is the key.
“Eating a nutritious breakfast will wake the digestive system up and it’ll also help with the body’s alcohol elimination process,” she says. “It’s important to have foods which aren’t too hard on the stomach, so I recommend choosing something containing quality protein, something carb-y and something hydrating.”
And as for the “hair of the dog”, Gunther isn’t convinced it’s the way to go.
“[It’s] a bad idea because you aren’t giving your body the time to rest, reap and replenish after a night of drinking, resulting in a longer recovery time.”
Finally, Gunther says to remember to rehydrate, but not through hydration supplements, which she says are full of sugar and salt, but through soups, stews, herbal teas (jasmine, ginger or chamomile) and fruit and vegetables containing electrolytes,
such as avocado, bananas and watermelon.
If you can’t face a big breakfast, clinical nutritionist Sarah Gunther recommends trying this healthy hangover-busting smoothie, as it’s high in potassium, antioxidants, folate and fibre.
1 golden kiwi
handful of berries
1 tbsp coconut yoghurt
100ml coconut water
1 tbsp LSA
2 tbsps rolled oats
Blend the ingredients all at once until smooth.
This article originally appeared in the December issue of marie claire.