On the 11th of June the FIFA 2010 World Cup starts in South Africa and soccer fans will be tuning in across New Zealand to see how their favourite teams fare.

Vital Ingredients

Traditionally, there are certain conditions required for proper football viewing, the three most important of which are mates, pizza and alcohol.

The first two generally don’t pose a problem the next day (if you don’t count that artery-clogging mozzarella). But the third, well that’s often a different matter entirely.

The Penalties of Over-indulgence

Drinking and TV football viewing go hand in hand and whether you’re celebrating your team’s progression through the World Cup tournament, or deadening the pain of their elimination, the chances are you’ll imbibe a little too much of the amber nectar.

The mornings after World Cup games can be frightening times indeed. The headache, the nausea, the chills and the sweats, those pink elephants…. When a World Cup hangover hits it’s only a slight exaggeration to say you’d sell your soul to make it stop. For a slightly less costly alternative you could try our World Cup hangover remedies.

Know Your Enemy

Before you begin your assault on the brain-sheering gift last night’s beverages left you with, you need to know a little about the factors that have so insidiously, and painfully, combined while you were asleep.

Dehydration. Alcohol blocks the production of an anti-diuretic hormone in the brain, causing the kidneys to cease recycling water and pass it directly to the bladder. The cells in your body, particularly in your brain, are screaming out for water.

Weakness. Booze decimates the liver’s store of glycogen – one of our major sources of readily available energy. That delicious fizzy lager has robbed you of your strength. Having trouble getting out of bed?

Vitamin and mineral depletion. Along with all that extra urine you were passing went essential vitamins (especially B and C), electrolytes and minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium etc.). If you’re feeling jittery and depressed it maybe because your cells don’t have enough of these vital substances to function properly. Of course, it could just be guilt.

Stomach irritation. Does it feel like someone’s taken a scourer to the inside of your stomach? Alcohol irritates the stomach lining and increases its production of hydrochloric acid.

Acetaldehyde. The grand-daddy of hangover contributors, acetaldehyde is a super toxic substance that the liver breaks alcohol down into, before it then converts it to the harmless acetic acid and passes it from the body. The liver can only process so much acetaldehyde at a time and when it builds up…well, if you’re reading this the morning after a World Cup match you already know how it feels.

World Cup Hangover Remedies

These remedies aren’t esoteric – you won’t find any new-age potions or secret Chinese cures here. But each of the following suggestions is based on logic, commonsense and a little science.

  1. Rehydrate by drinking water or sports drinks. Sports drinks replace both water and some of the electrolytes you’ve lost.
  2. Drink fruit juice. This will continue your rehydration and will also provide sugar in the form of fructose. Fructose aids the replenishment of lost glycogen and also speeds the rate at which the liver can expel toxins.
  3. A good quality multi or B-complex vitamin pill will help replace those micro-nutrients you lost overnight. Similarly, eating a banana will provide much needed potassium.
  4. Eggs contain cysteine, an essential raw material your liver needs to be able to break down that dreaded acetaldehyde. Raw or cooked, they’ll help you detoxify your liver.
  5. Ginger has an anti-nausea effect on the stomach – a ginger beer that actually contains ginger is great for those incipient heaves.
  6. To distract your mind from your body’s pain and to coat the ravaged lining of your stomach, a greasy fry-up breakfast is a tried and tested morning-after remedy.

Go Forth and Do Battle Again

Armed with the knowledge about why you feel so bad and our list of World Cup hangover remedies, you’ll be able to face the next game in the series with confidence. Even though you might feel like death warmed over the next day, at least you know you’ll be able to do something about it.

How to Cure a World Cup Hangover, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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