Essential Hangover Cures That Work
With summer and patio season on the horizon, there will be many opportunities for after work and weekend socials which may include the occasional indulgence of your favorite beer or cocktail. However, it’s the overindulgence of alcohol that can leave you feeling awful 24 hours later. This is known as the dreaded hangover.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a hangover is described as the unpleasant physical and mental symptoms that occur after the heavy consumption of alcohol. But interestingly enough, 25% of drinkers don’t get hangovers and if you are one of these people, bravo!
For the rest of us, the only way to avoid a hangover is to either completely ditch the alcohol or to indulge in the healthiest way possible. Here are some tips and tricks for preventing and treating your hangover.
First of all, there are a few things you can do to prevent a hangover. Let’s start here:
1. Drink in moderation. According to the Centre for Disease Control this means 2 drinks per night for men and 1 drink per night for women.
2. Space your drinks out. It takes approximately an hour to process each drink. So pace yourself by engaging in colorful conversation and enjoying the ambiance.
3. Eat before you drink and throughout the evening. Noshing on snacks will help soak up the alcohol and reduce that blood sugar crash which can contribute to a headache.
4. Drink water in between each beverage to avoid dehydration. Water will also help you to pace yourself and you may actually drink less. Keep in mind that just 4 drinks can eliminate up to 1 liter of water from your body.
Recover Faster with Electrolytes
Along with spacing your drinks out and consuming water in between, it’s important to replace the electrolytes that you lose while drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it promotes the production of urine taking the important nutrients such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium with it. Adding some electrolytes into your diet while you’re drinking or afterwards can speed up the rehydration process and have you feeling like your normal self, faster.
Avocado and banana contain magnesium and potassium and are great snacks for the morning after. You can also try Ener-C packets. These delicious, certified non-GMO, electrolyte supplements can be added to your water to speed up the recovery process.
Consider a B Complex Supplement
Thiamine, or B1 is a key nutrient in liver detoxification. It helps the liver to clear out the alcohol and the associated toxins. Alcohol intoxication can lead to a temporary depletion of vitamin B1 therefore, it’s important to add B1 back into your diet as soon as possible. Foods that are high in B1 include sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pecans and eggs. A vitamin supplement that contains the full complement of B vitamins such as Platinum Naturals B Complex, is also a great energy booster.
Ginger to Soothe Your Stomach
Ethyl alcohol, the main ingredient in alcoholic beverages is an irritant to the lining of your stomach. Ginger, however is just the opposite. The active ingredient in ginger root, gingerol is naturally anti-inflammatory and when taken after a night of overindulgence, it can soothe your stomach, reducing pain and nausea. Add a 1-inch piece of ginger to your morning smoothie or take ginger capsules such as Galenic Health’s Bent Ginger, a great staple for your natural medicine cabinet. For the tea lovers, you can brew an organic ginger tea by Traditional Medicinals to sip on during the day.
While it may be tempting, it’s best to be cautious with over-the-counter pain medications, acetaminophen and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). If you take acetaminophen after a hangover, you can risk permanent liver damage and if you take ASA after a hangover you can increase your risk of stomach irritation. Your best bet is to go back to bed and keep the lights down.
Hangovers are not fun, but now you have some simple tools to prevent and treat these irritating discomforts. Remember to drink responsibly and to avoid drinking and driving!