Holistic Ways To Beat A Hangover
With the silly season on its way, I thought it would be appropriate to offer you some of my favourite ways to help prevent hangovers.
I’m a big advocate for moderation and balance in life. This time of year is a great time to relax, unwind, indulge and have fun with family and friends however, it’s also easy to get carried away. I’ve been there, so I completely understand how the festive season can take its toll on people! These days I’m not much of a drinker, I do enjoy a couple of glasses of wine here and there when I’m out for dinner, but that’s more than enough for me.
When I do have a celebration coming up there are steps I put in place to prevent feeling lousy the following day. It’s so important to have fun, but also try to be conscious of your health. Alcohol put a lot of stress onto our bodies, this is why I believe moderation is essential and preparation and self-love during this time can go a long way.
Before you drink:
- Hydrate! If you know you have a big night ahead of you make sure you drink plenty of water during the day to help prevent dehydration.
- Consume a big lunch/dinner full of protein, healthy fats and high-fiber foods. Dietary protein helps balance blood sugar and protects your immune system and without sufficient protein, your liver can’t detoxify. High fiber foods break down alcohol and absorb it. Fats delay the body’s absorption of alcohol.
- Take a B-complex vitamin, and vitamin C. B vitamins help to detoxify the liver, and vitamin C will help combat the stress on your cells.
- Stay away from processed and refined foods, these add additional stress onto the body which it then has to try to detoxify alongside alcohol.
When you’re out:
- Try and stick to one kind of alcohol only. And try to avoid sugary fruit punches, cocktails, and sodas.
- Try to avoid fatty and greasy foods. Instead, if you are at a bar or out for dinner try to follow the lunch/dinner recommendation stated above.
- Alternate your drinks with water, or at least try to sip on water throughout the night, as alcohol dehydrates the body. It will relieve the hangover and help your liver to flush alcohol.
When you get home:
- Drink a big glass of coconut water, and/or a few glasses of water to rehydrate your body.
- Try to get at least 8 hours’ sleep, as sleep deprivation only exacerbates a hangover’s misery.
- Support your liver, I like to take a liver support supplement, but you could also take another B-complex vitamin or drink a liver tea containing milk thistle and dandelion root.
The next day:
- Upon rising drink a big glass of warm water with lemon or add a shot of apple cider vinegar.
- Take a probiotic, to help rebalance gut flora (alcohol can destroy gut microbe).
- For breakfast opt for something nourishing that will refuel your body. Good options include eggs, avocado on sourdough or gluten-free toast. Eggs contain a substance called cysteine which breaks down acetaldehyde (a toxin in alcohol). A smoothie that is packed with all sorts of goodies, my Beautifying Smoothie or Detox Green Smoothie are some great options.
- Drink coconut water – it’s full of electrolytes to replenish the body’s water levels.
- Take another B complex and vitamin C.
- Enjoy a coffee or green tea.
- Do some light exercise during the day to help detoxify your body, such as a walk outdoors, yoga, pilates, they all help get the lymphatic system moving.
- Drink green juice during the day.
- Drink at least 2L of water throughout the day to rehydrate your body.
- Consume nutrition rich whole foods that would nourish your body and give your cells energy. Try to avoid heavy, fatty meals as much as possible as they will add additional stress to your body.
- Eat foods which support your liver’s detoxification process such as the brassica veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts), other great liver cleansing foods are carrots, beetroot, garlic, onion, leafy greens.
Hope these tips work for you! Enjoy and embrace this silly season, and try to remember moderation where possible.
Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people.