“I’ll come to the pub, but just for one.”
That is the last thing you remember from last night, but staring at your bedroom ceiling like Martin Sheen in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now, you’ve just snoozed your alarm for a fourth time, contemplating how you’re going to blag that you’re ill, not hungover, when it was you who bought your work colleagues the Jaeger-bombs before hitting on Carol from Accounts.
Don’t worry — we’ve got this. According to a recent survey, 200,000 people a day are hungover at work, so you’re not alone, nor are you the worst culprit. Just use this step-by-step guide to getting through the day and sending the devil of last night’s booze straight back to hell.
8:50am – Walk
Let’s start things light — get off your bus early. “A 10-minute stroll will open your airways and pull replenishing nutrients into your system,” says the English Institute of Sport’s Ally McDonald.
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9am – Modest Breakfast
Spread some peanut butter on a piece of toast and pair it with a banana. These foods boost water absorption and have slow release sugars and good fats. Water.
10am – Juice
Pomegranate juice has three times the antioxidants of green tea, according to Agriculture and Food Chemistry; meaning that this memory-enhancer should help your recollections of last night, should you want to. Add spirulina to a juice to reduce stomach acidity.
(Related: The scientific hangover cure)
11am – Caffeine Break
If you’ve held off this far, well done. Coffee and tea are fine, but keep it to one cup; too much caffeine will have a diuretic effect similar to alcohol. Water.
12pm – Pre-Lunch Snack
Indulge your cravings. Those salty cashews offset any beer-related dips in testosterone. This is important for your impending lunchtime workout — it’s happening, get used to it. Water.
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1pm – Workout
“Blood flow increases, helping to re-oxygenate your cells and re-build energy levels depleted by heavy drinking and poor sleep,” say fitness manager Tim Hart. Water. Our 30-minute cure-all will see you right.
1:30pm – Lunch
Old-school bacon and egg sandwiches will do the trick. The bread is the nutrient-dense carb that your body craves, the bacon has salt which will help replenish electrolytes (alongside the protein to feed your muscles post-workout) and both bacon and eggs have amino acids which will help break down the alcohol slushing around inside you. If you have it, add some black pepper and turmeric, these have liver-boosting curcuminoid compounds. Water.
Finish with watermelon and mango – they boost the natural sedative serotonin and detox your blood.
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2pm – Clean yourself up
Brushing your teeth will freshen you up and help conceal any of last night’s kebab/alcohol exhaust fumes. Alcohol widens the blood vessels and increases sweating so make sure you have a change of light and breathable clothes. Using a moisturiser or skin cream can give your skin some glow and keep you cool.
3pm – Music
The mid-afternoon slump in a day-long slump can be a low point. Plug-in to save your life. Research from Sunway University College in Malaysia found that upbeat music can stimulate your grey matter, improving focus and motivation to slog through the remaining hours. Water.
(Related: Smite A Hangover With God)
4pm – Sweet spot
Chocolate, thankfully, can help remedy the low blood sugar that comes from excess alcohol consumption and Dr. Bankole A. Johnson of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio says a little bit of the brown stuff (chocolate, not whiskey) can boost dopamine and serotonin.
5pm – Home time
Get out the door ASAP. Go home. Get some sleep. Actually, maybe find a second to apologise to Carol.