The festival season is almost over. Have you just returned from a festival? Or are you going to your last festival soon? Then you would probably like to know how to prevent a bad hangover or what you can do about it. Waking up in a tent with a hangover is already terrible, but having to travel back home with it is certainly no fun either. In this blog we discuss the best tips on how to recover after a festival.
Tips for recovering from a festival
We have all experienced it at one point. Riding back home from a festival weekend where you had the best time of your life. At a music festival you do whatever you want, whenever you want. But this free life comes with a price. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can limit and survive your festival hangover.
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Eat some healthy food
- Take into account traffic jams riding back home
- Get some sleep
- Take a shower or bath
- Exercise, stretch and massage
- Go outside into the sunlight
- Unwind and do something relaxing
Tip 1: Drink plenty of water
After a day of partying, dancing, and drinking alcohol, your body loses a lot of water. It’s important to keep yourself well hydrated, because if your body doesn’t have enough fluids, then it won’t be able to flush out bodily waste and toxins. With a lack of hydration, you will not only experience a bursting headache, but you may eventually start to feel pain in your kidneys and urinary discoloration.
So, avoid all this and drink plenty of water during and after the festival. Personally, I always try to alternate between a beer and water or soda to avoid a huge hangover. Especially if it is very hot during the festival you can never drink enough water! In addition, drinking water is wiser than drinking soda to recover. Continue reading why below.
Tip 2: Avoid caffeine and alcohol
You may think that soda helps you recover, but it does just the opposite. Like alcohol, caffeine has a dehydrating effect. Especially with a hangover, it is tempting to drink soda, but resist this temptation and choose water anyway. Caffeine can help you bounce back for a short amount of time, but actually you are only tricking your body and mind into having energy. It is better to let your body recover on its own instead of bringing energy with caffeine.
Tip 3: Eat some healthy food
Like soda, unhealthy food is tempting when you’re hungover. The tendency toward fatty foods or foods with sugars increases, because alcohol stimulates acid production in your stomach, which makes you crave fatty foods more. Alcohol also stimulates the so-called ”hypothalamus”. This is a part of the brain that regulates your sleep rhythm, body temperature and hunger. When the hypothalamus is stimulated, we get hungry at times when we are not hungry at all. But it is better to avoid fatty foods and just grab healthy ones.
What is good food after a festival or during a hangover?
- Eat something salty. Salt retains the fluid in your body and therefore acts as a natural aspirin against your headache. Salt is good for you, but eat in a balanced way, too much salt is not good either! Try to eat some salty fries or a pizza during the festival too.
- Yogurt is effective against nausea. Eat a bowl of yogurt, preferably also with fruit. It’s super delicious and it allows your body to get stronger. Milk products are also very good against nausea!
- Make yourself a nice cup of (chamomile) tea. Okay this is not food, but drinking tea is a great way to detoxify your body. Not a fan of chamomile tea? Green tea will do the trick as well.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Certain antioxidants can help reduce any brain damage caused by alcohol or stimulants. Vitamin C, found primarily in fruits and vegetables, and vitamin E, which is found primarily in nuts and vegetable oil. Choose rehydrating fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes and pomegranates. You can also make a nice smoothie, which contains lots of fruits and/or vegetables!
Note: because each person is different, it is not always easy to draw clear conclusions about which foods work best. A lot of findings are based only on logical reasoning, not scientific research.
An extra tip: get enough food in the house before the festival, or cook a meal in advance which you only have to heat up at home. After the festival you don’t feel like going to the supermarket or having to cook.
Tip 4: Take into account traffic jams riding back home
Often traveling back after a festival is more chaotic than traveling there. Prepare for traffic jams, and take plenty of water and some food in the car so you don’t get dehydrated or hungry. I always save a few tokens to buy some bottles of cold water at the festival campsite on the morning of departure, and some fruit if possible.
Tip 5: Get some sleep
This tip is pretty obvious. After all the dancing, your muscles need plenty of rest to recover. Also, you probably didn’t get enough sleep, so you need to catch up on that. Are you staying in a hotel room after the festival or concert? Then we advise you to request a late checkout. Close the light-blocking curtains and give your body the rest it needs. Generally, it is recommended that you get about 9 to 10 hours of sleep the day after you return from the festival grounds. This does not only help your body to recover the damaged cells, but it also allows your body to return to its normal sleep pattern.
Tip 6: Take a shower or bath
Taking a long bath or shower can do miracles after an exhausting festival weekend. We all know that you didn’t live the most hygienic life at the festival. I get it, standing in line for an hour to shower, or having to pay extra, but now you don’t have any excuses. Wash yourself thoroughly and soak those tired muscles. You’re bound to feel a lot better after you’ve refreshed yourself!
Tip 7: Exercise, stretch and massage
Did you sleep in well the first night after your festival? Then start the day with some exercises and stretches. It may sound like something crazy and the last thing you should be thinking about, but a good cardio exercise is a must. Exercise helps you sweat the toxins out of your body. You’re probably going to experience muscle soreness the days after the festival from all the dancing and walking. Stretching after a festival will loosen up your tight muscle areas. It also releases the tension in your body. A massage also works wonders to keep your muscles smooth. Maybe look at your boyfriend or girlfriend with puppy dog eyes?
Tip 8: Go outside into the sunlight
The amount of sunlight you receive during the day is of essential value to your health. Getting exposed to sunlight will increase the brain’s release of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that is associated with happiness. So my advice is to not lock yourself up in a dark room after a festival, but rather go outside. At least one or two hours should be spent outside during the recovery days.
Tip 9: Unwind and do something relaxing
Festival days not only impact your physical state, but also your mental health. Take some time for yourself and dare to say no to people who want to meet up during your recovery days. Netflix will be your best friend when you return from a festival. Snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and relax while enjoying a nice series. Are you not into series or movies? Go read a book or something else that relaxes you and does not require too much effort.
You can be as healthy and athletic as you like, but everyone will notice the effects on the body after a (multi-day) festival. To feel fit again as soon as possible, I recommend following the advice in this article. So grab a glass of water, eat fruit and a healthy dinner, plop down on the couch with a nice series and unwind! Then you’ll be recovered in no time for your next concert or festival.
Do you have any great tips for recovering from a festival? Let me know in the comments below!