Health pros explain how to get back on track after a big weekend
Festival season is in full swing, which means there are going to be plenty of exhausted revellers having to deal with the consequences of a hedonistic weekend (or longer) of partying this summer.
A colossal lack of sleep (either because you were raving into the small hours, or set up your tent next to someone playing the bongos all night), eating chips at every meal, overindulging on fizzy drinks and booze… music festivals can leave you feeling like a shadow of your former self.
Plus, there’s the risk of sunburn and heatstroke (particularly if you’ve ventured to a European event), or maybe you’ve been shivering in the rain all weekend. Whatever the weather, it’s enough to make you want to crawl under the duvet and stay there for a week.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here, health experts explain what to do in the days following a festival, to fast-track your recovery…
1. Drink your hangover away
No, we don’t mean hair of the dog – we’re talking about hydration and soothing your stomach. As well as drinking plenty of water, Rob Hobson, head of nutrition at Healthspan (healthspan.co.uk), recommends using herbs and spices as a natural hangover cure.
“Fresh mint with lemon and a little honey works well [in hot water] – mint helps to alleviate bloating and gas,” he says. “Another brilliant combination is pouring boiling water over freshly squeezed lemons, ground turmeric, ground ginger and honey. This spicy combination works well to perk you up, and the ginger can help settle delicate tummies.”
2. Get to bed on time
“Make sure that you try your hardest to get a full eight hours of sleep for the first week after the festival,” says Giulia Guerrini, lead pharmacist at Medino (medino.com).
But you might want to avoid daytime naps, with Guerrini adding: “You may be inclined to get more sleep to try and ‘catch up’, however you don’t want to oversleep, as that can also be damaging for you.”
3. Resume your routine
It may be tempting to flop down in front of the telly and order a takeaway, but the sooner you get back to home-cooked meals, the better.
“Try and get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible,” Guerrini advises. “Take yourself to your local supermarket and do your weekly food shop, making sure you’re purchasing healthier items to try and counteract the unhealthier food you might have eaten at the festival.”
4. Have a salt bath
A soothing soak in an Epsom salt bath could have multiple post-festival benefits.
“When Epsom salt is dissolved in water, magnesium ions are released,” says Dr Ravi Tomar, GP partner at Portland Medical (portlandmedicalcentre.co.uk). “Bathing in this has been shown to increase the levels found within the body. Magnesium plays a role in sleep and stress management, as it helps produce the neurotransmitters responsible for this.”
And if your digestion has suffered from a lack of fibre, the salts can get things moving. “Magnesium can help with bowel function, easing constipation as the magnesium draws water in to soften stool,” Tomar explains.
5. Supplement support
As well as munching lots of fruit and veg, you might want to add some supplements to your diet to kick-start the recovery process.
“Try taking Berocca the next day, which contains vitamin C, B vitamins, and also minerals like calcium and magnesium,” suggests Guerrini. “That will help replace any nutrients you lost through alcohol. Vitamin D is a great supplement to be taking daily, helping with your bones and joints, while also boosting your immune system.”
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