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Recover with Giada's Hangover Helpers

Three recipes to replenish, rehydrate, and restore if you partied a little too hearty last night.


This time of year it's easy to err on the side of too much merriment. In fact, with all the bubbles, nogs, and fruity, sugary cocktails on offer, a holiday hangover is almost inevitable. The best cure is really prevention—make sure to eat before you drink, limit your consumption to one alcoholic beverage per hour, and try to have a glass of water for every cocktail—but if you got a little bit jolly last night, no judgment: I've been there, you've been there, we've all been there. And while there isn't a panacea for the morning-after headache, queasiness, and exhaustion, there are some things you can do to feel a little more human.
For starters, hydration is key. Alcohol is a diuretic, so that dry mouth you're feeling is because your body is parched. If you can, drink a big glass of water before you hit the hay—try keeping a carafe on your nightstand as a subtle reminder—and get some fluids in you too. Regular water will do, but coconut water is super-hydrating and full of electrolytes and vitamins to put you on the road to recovery.
A cup of coffee may help with your headache (caffeine dilates your blood vessels, which can ease the pounding), but don't go overboard; like alcohol, it's a diuretic, so too much can be dehydrating and make you feel even worse. Moderation is also key when it comes to exercise: A brisk walk, a few restorative yoga moves, and gentle stretching are all great for getting the blood and endorphins flowing. Just don't go out and run a half-marathon.
When you're up for it, food will help replenish your body, ease nausea, and stabilize your blood sugar—but skip the greasy stuff and opt for something more nourishing! If you can't stomach something solid, whiz up my "Smoothie" Recovery (get it?). It's loaded with potassium-rich ingredients like avocados, bananas, spinach, and ginger, which helps quell queasy tummies. To replenish depleted blood-sugar levels, try something starchy, like my Oat and Honey Pancakes, which are a bit more substantial than your average flapjacks. My recommendation? Make a big stack and settle into the couch with a blanket and a favorite movie.
Your best friend, though, may be eggs. It turns out that they're a traditional hangover food for good reason. High in the amino acid cysteine, eggs help your body break down acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism. If you know you're in for a boozy night, assemble my Hangover Strata before you leave the house and stick it in the fridge so that the morning after, all you have to do is pop it in the oven and set the timer. Cheers!

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