Health special: Drink to keep that hangover away

Updated: Jan 03, 2015, 11:42 IST | Shreyanka Mazumdar |

It’s the time to party and be merry. But a night of revelry can make you feel dehydrated with a pounding headache. Shreyanka Mazumdar talks to dieticians to find out how to cure that hangover and gets bartenders to suggest easy-to-make drinks that give you a high without giving you the blues

New Year parties and hangover go hand in hand — much like vodka and lime cordial. Your liver overworks to shrug off the toxins from the hard drink you have been relentlessly downing and subsequently the kidney produces more urine only to leave you dehydrated. What follows the next morning is an unbearable headache coupled with grogginess and nausea. Although alcohol gives you a temporary high, eventually it drains you out. This New Year, make sure you do not wake up to be Mr/Miss Grumpy Pants. We tell you how:

Keep yourself well hydrated
Darker liquors such as bourbon, brandy and red wine tend to contain more congeners, a by-product of fermentation that causes hangover. The amount of congener is directly proportional to the severity of the hangover, leading to a wide gamut of physiological changes. Alcohol consumption compels the pituitary  gland to hinder the secretion of vasopression, an anti-diuretic hormone that is responsible for the body’s water retention. As a result, more water is eliminated from the body in the form of urine. In order to function, the dehydrated organs take water from the brain exerting pressure on the membranes, thereby causing headaches. So, one of the best ways to keep a nasty hangover at bay is to ensure that you are hydrated.

“The easiest way to get relief from a hangover is to drink copious amounts of water. Alcohol causes dehydration and water helps to hydrate every cell of your body thereby improving its cleansing ability. Add a dash of honey to water for that extra dose of energy,” opines dietician and nutrition expert, Neha Chandna.

New York-based Tanya Zuckerbrot, a dietician and founder of F-Factor Diet, a programme for weight-loss based on fibre-rich nutrition, advises that to avoid dehydration, one should aim to match every sip of alcohol with a sip of water. “Alternating between a glass of water from getting drunk too fast. Avoid carbonated mixers such as soda and warm drinks as they speed up alcohol absorption.

If you forgot to drink a glass of water intermittently while sipping on cocktail, then drink some water before you retire to bed. You will feel the difference the next morning. You will neither feel weak nor suffer from a hangover,” she says.

Make it a fruitful task
The following day, gorge on fruits as they contain vital vitamins and minerals that boost your liver and regularise the functioning of your hormones. “Opt for a variety of fruits especially bananas, pineapples and papayas as they are rich in potassium,” suggests Chandna. Another simple off-the-kitchen remedy you can opt for are tomatoes. Studies have shown that tomato juice can boost liver function, speeding up alcohol digestion. “Tomato juice is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that helps your body process alcohol more efficiently,” says Zuckerbrot.

Take it easy
Though there are ways to battle the hangover, bartenders suggest that it’s best to keep a check on how much alcohol you consume to ensure that you don’t feel sluggish the following day. Shael Bharadwaj, assistant bar manager, Celebrity Cruises, says, “The liver detoxifies one drink per hour so it’s always advisable to consume  no more than one drink an hour. Gin, vodka and white rum are light drinks that don’t give a severe hangover.”

Shatbhi Basu, director, STIR school of bartending in Mumbai feels hangover is the cumulative effect of various factors. “It’s not just about the amount of alcohol you drink but also about your physiology, your blood alcohol level, and food intake and dehydration level. It’s more of how much you drink than really what you drink,” she signs off.


#31;>> 30 ml bourbon whiskey
#31;>> 1 cinnamon stick
#31;>>200 ml hot apple juice
#31;For garnish: cinnamon, sugar rim and apple slice
#31;Glass: All purpose wine glass

1. Rim the glass with cinnamon sugar
2. Put rum in the glass
3. Break and add the cinnamon stick
4. Top with steaming apple juice
5. Float the apple slice


>> #31;45 ml Bacardi Rum
#31;>> 20 ml blue Curaçao
>> 90 ml Litchi juice
#31;Glass: Cuvee Glass

1. Add everything in a blender with ice cubes
2. Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour in the drink
3. Garnish it with an orange slice


#31;>>  45 ml vodka #31; 10 ml lime juice
#31;>> 15 ml Triple Sec #31; 50 ml red grape juice|
Glass: Old fashioned

1. Add all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes
2. Shake it for 30 seconds
3. Fill half of a glass with crushed ice and pour the drink. Top it up with crushed ice
4. Garnish it with grape rings over the crushed ice


SHATBHI BASU’S CHRISTMAS WHISPERS (Strawberries and sparkling wine in love)
#31;>> 200 ml sparkling wine
#31;>> 6 strawberries, sliced
#31;>> ¼ kiwi, sliced
#31;>> 60 ml fresh strawberry puree (with 2 tsp castor/icing sugar) #31; 7 UP or Sprite #31; Mint leaves
#31; Glass: Wine glass
#31; Garnish: Strawberry/mint sprigs

1. Fill half a glass with ice
2. Add the strawberry puree,fruits and mint leaves
3. Add sparkling wine and top with cold 7 UP/Sprite and stir

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