As part of London Sock Company’s wellness articles, we hear from nutritionist Jennifer Medhurst on how best to avoid a hangover, and how you can beat the side-effects of alcohol in your system the next day. Perfect advice for those of us celebrating the end of dry January.

There are many theories as to what causes a hangover: Dehydration, Electrolyte imbalance,  Gastrointestinal disturbances, Low blood sugar, Sleep and biological rhythm disturbances.


The severity of hangover has a lot to do with nutrient status prior to drinking. Particularly levels of Niacin (B3) and Zinc. Foods that are high in Niacin (B3) are Salmon, sardines, prawns and brown rice. Foods that are high in Zinc are sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, cashews, quinoa and prawns.

Jennifer also recommends the following tips:

  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
  • Drink water or non-fizzy soft drinks in between each alcoholic drinks as carbonated drinks speed up the absorption of alcohol into your system.
  • Don’t drink dark-coloured drinks if you’ve found you’re sensitive to them. They contain natural chemicals called congeners, which irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain and can make a hangover worse.
  • Drink a pint of water before you go to sleep.
  • There is some limited research that shows 220ml pear juice 30 minutes before alcohol consumption reduces hangover severity.


If you wake up the next morning feeling terrible, there are a few ways that you can alleviate your symptoms:

  • Hydration, hydration, hydration. Research shows that for every 250ml of alcohol consumed your body looses 1 litre of water. Dioralyte or coconut water can be useful for rehydrating once you have a hangover.
  • Food (especially soup, fruit and carbs) can help replace lost water, nutrients and sugars if you’re feeling trembly.
    Taking aspirin while still drunk can cause liver damage and ibuprofen can cause damage to the lining of the stomach over time. So wait until you’re no longer drunk and then take paracetamol if you need a pain killer.

For more information or help on how to manage your health head over to nutritionist Jennifer Medhurst’s website,