Summer is here and it's time to take advantage of it to the fullest. Unlike our southern neighbors and the lucky ones living in the islands, we only have 4-5 months of summer like weather. Therefore, it just makes sense to absorb the rays like a sponge, to get away from the city to cottage country if you can, enjoy the water wherever you may find it and to enjoy social events such as outdoor sports, barbequing, gardening or whatever your fancy may be.
With all this fun, many of us also like to enjoy some drink, some music and partying in general. There is nothing wrong with this. On the contrary, if done responsibly, partying is a lot of fun and it makes us happier. It is also a fantastic stress reliever as well as great time with family and friends.
But as much as partying is fun, like anything that is enjoyable, it is also associated with some risk. Therefore it is prudent to follow some simple steps and cover some important points to eliminate the risk and reduce the damage as much as possible.
So first of all, the obvious: don’t drink and drive. That includes boats, motorcycles and bicycles. I would also add jet skis and off-road vehicles. To make this a simpler matter, do all your shopping and errands before the party begins. That way you will not run out of supplies and you will have no reason to drive. The other simple way to avoid driving is to either party at your own place or cottage, or if you are at a pub or restaurant, take a taxi or have a designated driver. From my own experience, taking a taxi is much more practical. Designated drivers simply will not have as much fun as you do.
Eat when you drink. My best parties are the ones around a barbeque or around a fire on which you constantly cook good food. Also, preparing and marinating special treats while partying is a lot of fun. Usually the more sophisticated the meal the more fun it will be to prepare and cook. Looking at some local magazines with fun summer recipes can help. Basically when you mix good food with alcohol you will have the energy needed to have fun. It will also help prevent a hangover since part of the reason for feeling hungover is the lack of nutrients in our cells. Alcohol provides quite a bit of calories but it has no nutritional value (unless you are drinking beer which provides a number of vitamins or red wine which provides antioxidants). Try to stay away from junk food and processed food. Junk or fast food, when mixed with alcohol, makes the combination much more toxic to the liver. It will also bring you a heavier hangover. Some simple personal suggestions are extra lean ground beef for burgers, Swiss cheese instead of processed cheese, fresh vegetables, a nice fish filet from the grill and salads. Grilled fruits such as peaches or pineapple are also great.
When choosing what to drink, try to stay away from very sweet drinks or very sweet wine. Some sweet wine is great but try not to drink too much. The sugar in these drinks will convert to fat and make you gain weight. Also, it will make your hangover much more difficult to handle, with a more severe headache. Too much sugar also predisposes one to diabetes so be careful. Beer, red wine, dry white wine, or high balls that are not too sweet are all great choices. Also remember that the more colour a liquor has the more intense the hangover (generally speaking). So vodka is much better than whiskey; and anything is better than sweet fruit liqueurs.
Hydrate yourself. Alcohol makes us lose water through the kidneys. It is a natural diuretic. It also pulls water out of cells, making them shrink and perform less efficiently. This is also one of the causes of a hangover. So hydration is essential. This is why beer is the best choice for partying because it not only provides lots of water, but it also flushes out the kidneys and provides quite a rich assortment of vitamins. Morning hydration is also essential. Alcohol's diuretic property causes us to lose electrolytes and vitamins. This is especially true of magnesium and vitamins B1 and B12. So when you wake up in the morning, the best thing to do is drink a large glass of water with a product that will replenish these nutrients. What works best for me is Emergen C (which provides electrolytes and a number of vitamins) as well as Natural Calm magnesium. Both products come in a powdered form and are easily dissolved in water. Electrolytes are so good because they replenish water inside cells much better than just water alone. They pull water from tissues into the blood stream and then enter cells. This helps cells return to their normal plump stage, enhancing their performance. This process also reduces puffiness under the skin.
Coffee is the worst thing you can drink in the morning after partying. It will irritate your stomach, which is already irritated from the alcohol and it will cause you to lose more water through the kidneys. This will make you even more dehydrated and will cause your cells to shrink even more, compromising their function and making you feel worse. Electrolytes, water and vitamins are simply the best.
The best natural products and supplements for both before and after partying are:
1. Magnesium (flushing out magnesium by alcohol is what makes us jittery in the morning and causes us to have poor sleep a day or two after partying). Magnesium will calm you down and improve sleep.
2. The B vitamins, especially B1, B6 and B12. These are easily flushed out by alcohol and need to be replenished as they are absolutely essential for healthy and proper metabolism. Replenish by taking a multi B vitamin.
3. Electrolytes are easily flushed out by alcohol. They are absolutely necessary for maintaining proper blood pressure, to keep water inside the arteries and inside cells where they are most beneficial, and for proper functioning of our nerves and brain. Without electrolytes we simply feel crappy.
4. Ginger. This root has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and is very effective for preventing inflammation due to alcohol as well as being very effective in hangover prevention.
5. Milk Thistle for liver regeneration. This unique plant is used in hospitals throughout Europe (North American health care systems have not caught up to this yet) for patients with liver insufficiency, especially liver problems due to excessive alcohol use.
Once final note for the day after: eat very healthy and light. The liver, the stomach and the pancreas are taxed due to alcohol, so take it easy the next day. Fatty, heavy foods are definitely not encouraged.
Remember also that alcohol enhances and brings out into the open the emotions and mood. So when planning your partying, try to do it when you are in a positive mood and with positive people that you can trust. This will bring out more fun in people and the whole experience will be much more enjoyable. It will also help you to stay out of trouble when enjoying a drink or two or more.
These are my tips for safe and enjoyable partying this summer. Enjoy it to the fullest and see you next time.
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