That’s right, next time your parents try and downplay how you’re feeling while you’re hurling your guts up into the toilet, you finally have something official to come back at them with. Self-inflicted it still may be, but at least it’s not ‘just a hangover’ anymore.
A German court has ruled that hangovers are an ‘illness’ – as suspected by anyone nursing an extremely sore head on a Sunday morning after a few too many Jägerbombs the night before.
“I’m actually ill,” you can tell your dad feebly, but assuredly, from beneath your duvet.
The ruling came after the manufacturer of an anti-hangover drink was taken to court in Frankfurt, having been accused of making illegal health claims about its shots and drinks powders.
The court defined illnesses as ‘even small or temporary disruptions to the normal state or normal activity of the body,’ and said companies selling food and drink products could not market them as cures for hangover-related symptoms like tiredness, nausea and headaches.
The superior regional court’s ruling said: “Information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property.”
It added: “By an illness, one should understand even small or temporary disruptions to the normal state or normal activity of the body.”
Of course, the ruling comes at a time when Germans are busy guzzling down the good stuff as part of Oktoberfest festivities, which are currently underway until 6 October.
No doubt many of the revellers will be feeling the effects afterwards, but Dr Louisa Draper, medical director at Zava, said there are many ways to help fend off a hangover:
Keep track of how much you’re drinking, and how strong each drink is – The ABV (alcohol by volume) will be either on the label or you can just read up in advance to know how strong different drinks are and what you’re really drinking.
Choose clear spirits – Go for vodka or gin over red wine or dark spirits like rum, as the latter contain substances called congeners, which are thought to worsen hangover symptoms.
Drink at a pace that’s comfortable for you – It’s maybe easier said than done, but don’t necessarily try and keep up with the LADs.
Stay hydrated – Keep drinking water, both in between drinks and at the end of the night, as it helps dilute alcohol in your stomach.
Eating is NOT cheating – Eat a meal before drinking, ideally including carbohydrates, so you’re not drinking on an empty stomach, which increases the likelihood of vomiting or diarrhoea.
However, if it is too late for prevention – or you’re simply just feeling too daft and reckless to take the advice on board – after your BNO you can also catch up on rest to help ease the tiredness after a poor night’s sleep, and top up with plenty of water to prevent any further dehydration.