The Melbourne Cup has a reputation for causing normally sensible people to act a bit silly. And by silly we mean completely and utterly munted. The exciting vibe of the event combined with copious beer and champers invariably leads to excessive intoxication.
We're not here to judge, but if you need to be at work the next day, you're going to need to do something about that hangover. Here are five hacks from a sports nutritionist that should help to mitigate the damage.
The following advice comes courtesy of Australian Beef and sports nutritionist and wellness coach Steph Lowe. If you plan to get maggotted at your Melbourne Cup office party, these tips probably won't stop the pain that's coming. But for everyone else, they should help to keep you energised and fresh the next day - even if you had one too many.
#1 Stay hydrated
"We often mistake thirst for hunger making it easier to reach for all the extra treats on offer at this time of year," Lowe explains. "Ensuring you drink at least 2 litres of water per day will not only help you stay hydrated but will help flush out any toxins."
Lowe recommends starting the Melbourne Cup festivities with a tall glass of water and drinking an additional glass between each alcoholic beverage.
#2 Complete your workouts
"Skipping your workout is often one of the first things to slip by the wayside during Melbourne Cup festivities," Lowe says. "We all know that 30 minutes is only 4 per cent of your day. Schedule in your workout like you would any social engagement and prioritise the time to make it happen."
30 minutes is four per cent of your day? We're scratching our heads at Lowe's maths here, but it's solid advice all the same.
We all want to know the secrets to getting over hangovers, but have you ever wondered how you go from "Woo!" to "WOOOO!" to "Ugh..." in the first place? This video by Brit Lab explains the types of drinks that give the worst hangovers, why we get them and if there's something we can do other than make (short-lived) promises to never touch alcohol again.
#3 Eat real food
"The racing season sees us abandon our sensibility when it comes to food. We are often confronted with an abundance of unhealthy, processed food laden with sugar and refined carbohydrates," admits Lowe. "Instead, stick to our Australian Dietary Guidelines."
Lowe suggests this grilled flat iron steak with tomato, olive and oregano salad recipe - but that's probably not practical in an office setting. Instead, politely suggest to the admin person that you'd appreciate some healthy snack options during the race - and have the willpower to avoid the other stuff he/she puts out.
#4 Get enough sleep
"Burning the candles at both ends will only make it harder to stay hydrated, move your body and eat real food," Lowe says. "As always, adequate sleep goes a long way to maintaining your overall health and wellbeing as well as your ability to handle stress. Research shows that every hour of sleep prior to midnight is the equivalent to two hours after."
In other words, if you're planning to (hnngh) "work hard, play hard" tomorrow, get a decent kip in this evening. And don't say "work hard, play hard."
#5 Make smart choices
"If you do have too many drinks, aim to make the best choice possible to soak up your hangover. Instead of turning to a greasy takeaway burrito or burger why not make a homemade rump steak sandwich (using low GI or gluten free bread)?"
As Lowe (or more accurately, Australian Beef) explains, the protein in rump steak is an excellent source of iron and B12 which will provide additional energy when your body is combating the effect of too much booze.