It’s the night of nights, when an explosion of colour, sound and crazy costumes takes over the Sydney streets. There’s nothing quite like the Mardi Gras Parade for a night of dancing, celebration, pride and passion. It’s vibrant, electric, exhilarating.
And then comes the morning after, when chances are, you’ll be feeling a little worse for wear.
Of course, we don’t encourage or endorse excessive alcohol consumption. The best way to avoid a hangover – and look after yourself – is not to drink too much to begin with. But hey, we all know how easy it can be to get carried away when we’re celebrating special occasions.
That’s when it pays to have a hangover plan in place to make the next day that little bit less painful.Here are our top five tips for surviving the post-Mardi Gras comedown.
A lot of the painful symptoms of a hangover – headaches, fatigue, nausea – are partly caused by dehydration. Ideally you want to prevent this as much as possible by keeping your fluids up the night before, drinking a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage, plus some more before you go to sleep. In any case, rehydrating is the first order of business when you wake up. Pour yourself a big jug of refreshing water and keep drinking throughout the day.
Your body might feel like it’s screaming out for grease, fat and oil – but what it really needs is protein. Alcohol depletes your amino acids, so replenishing with protein-rich foods (which break down into amino acids in your body) will help aid your recovery. We’re thinking a delicious breakfast sandwich of wholegrain bread, eggs, fresh tomato and maybe some low-fat cheese.
3. Herbal tea
Brew up a pot of your favourite tea and sip away. Several studies have found that ginger or peppermint tea can do wonders for hangover-related nausea and stomach aches. Green tea has also been found to aide and soothe the liver.
Fact: alcohol makes you sleepy. But it also disrupts your night’s slumber as it works its way through your body, playing games with your sleep-wake cycles and reducing REM sleep (that deep, restorative stage). So if you wake up feeling less than awesome, and you have nothing to do and nowhere to be, try to get in a few more hours of shuteye between episodes of Game of Thrones.
5. Gentle exercise
The jury is out on whether “sweating out” the toxins is actually scientifically supported – but a dose of fresh air and a bit of movement is never a bad thing. If you can drag yourself up and out of the house, a walk, a gentle jog or a yoga class could be exactly what you need to feel human again. Remember to stay well hydrated though, and it’s probably best to avoid anything too strenuous.
6. Asparagus and bananas
Stay with us on this one. Fruits and vegetables probably aren’t the first thing you think of when you imagine hangover food – but studies have found these two might just help you feel better. Bananas are high in potassium, a natural electrolye that will help rehydrate your ailing body, and the amino acids in asparagus have been shown to improve the speed of how human cells break down alcohol, and can prevent long term damage. No promises on how well they go together, though – but we’re up for any creative recipe ideas.