Hello friends! Happy almost New Years!
I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season and that you’re as excited for the New Year as I am! 2013 was a pretty exciting year for me and I was lucky enough to have lots of adventures. Moving across the country, starting my own business, and taking a few trips with my family to name just a few of the highlights. I’m so looking forward to what the next year will bring. So far in January I’ve signed up for a 40-day yoga challenge, I’m taking a business mentorship program with Brittany Watkins, and I’ve booked a trip to Kelowna to visit one of my dearest friends and go skiing. And all this before February 15th! I’ve already started my a couple of my business calls and all I can say is I’m so excited for all of you to see where I’m headed in the next couple of months. Stay tuned 🙂
Anyhoo, enough about me! Today, in the spirit of the New Year and in wanting to help you feel your best on the first day of 2014 despite some potential indulgences this evening, I’m going to share with you the holistic nutritionist’s guide to avoiding or at least mitigating a hangover! So without further ado here are some of my helpful hints for keeping your body as healthy as possible even if you do imbibe one too many tonight 😉
Electrolytes are minerals your body needs to function optimally (technically they are ions in solution that have the capacity to conduct electricity). They tend to include minerals such sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and bicarbonate. When you drink you tend to end up using the washroom quite frequently and these electrolytes tend to get flushed down the drain, which can cause your body to become acidic and contribute to the dreaded hangover symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and weakness. My suggestion is to drink a cup of electrolytes before bed, set a cup beside your bed in case you wake up during the night, and drink another full glass in the morning to help rebalance your pH and prevent electrolyte deficiency. My favourite brands of natural electrolytes include Vega Electrolyte Rehydrator and Coco Hydro by Big Tree Farms. The Coco Hydro is dehydrated coconut water with extra sodium added to create a complete electrolyte profile. Try to avoid things like Gatorade or Powerade as they contain excessive sugars and dyes that can be harmful to the body.
B vitamins, especially B6 are used in the metabolism of alcohol and so taking a complex before bed (with food if possible to avoid any potential queasiness) can help alleviate some of the symptoms of a hangover. Try a B-50 complex before bed and with breakfast the next day. My favourite brand is AOR’s Advanced B-Complex as it contains all the active forms of the vitamins, helping take some of the strain off your body.
This mineral is incredibly important for many functions in the body, but in terms of helping a hangover, it’s part of alcohol dehydrogenase, which helps the liver detoxify alcohols. I suggest taking one high quality zinc supplement before bed. Natural Factors and AOR are two I’ve taken in the past with great results. Side bonus, zinc is also helpful for protecting epithelial barriers in the body. Alcohol can be quite damaging to the epithelial tissue in the digestive tract so zinc can help alleviate some of that.
As I’ve said before vitamin C is an antioxidant and while it’s helpful all the time, taking a little bit extra when you’ve imbibed a bit too much can help offset some of the oxidative damage of alcohol consumption. I like Sisu’s Ester-C.
I love dry brushing and plan on writing a post on it soon, but for now suffice it to say that it’s great for stimulating the lymph system, which can help clear the toxins from your body. I use Bernard Jensen’s dry brush which you can get for around $15 online or at a health food store.
Get some Exercise
Getting your sweat on can help eliminate toxins. Try something gentle like yoga or swimming to get your lymph and circulatory systems pumping and working to eliminate all the ickiness accrued the night before. I suggest dry brushing, exercising, then having an alternating hot and cold shower.
Eat a Good Meal
Before partaking of the festivities this evening make sure you eat a good meal with a lot of protein to help balance your blood sugars. Alcohol is full of sugar so it can wreak havoc on your blood sugar balance causing all kinds of icky symptoms like nausea, headaches, achiness, and fatigue. I also suggest having some protein before bed and sleeping with some nuts or another food in your room. Often when you wake up ridiculously early the day after drinking it’s because your blood sugar has dropped and your body is trying to tell you to eat something. Cut it off at the pass and make sure you have some healthy, protein-rich foods waiting for you upon your return.
Well there you are folks! Some little tips and tricks I’ve acquired over the years to help you celebrate without paying too much of a price the next day. The more of these tips you do, the better you’ll likely feel. So have a great New Year’s everyone and stay safe out there!