The "hangover" can sometimes be the scarlet letter of health. But we live in a modern world, where happy hour is on every street corner and that meeting with your boss and a glass of red is imminent. Hangovers happen. As a wellness professional, it is my hope that they happen, happily. No one likes to to feel badly after having a good time and you shouldn't have to. It is possible to enjoy a drink and your vibrant health.
Here is the formula I've come up with (on top of the basics we all already know) to prevent and cure hangovers.
1) EAT before you drink. We've all heard it before. But it really is true. And this doesn't mean McDonalds. So what exactly should you eat? Think healthy slow-carbs and fats. This delays digestion over time, blocking the valve into the small intestines allowing alcohol to be absorbed at a slower pace. For example: a whole wheat bun and black bean burger.
2) Replenish your vitamin (B) levels. Opt for a sub-lingual vitamin B complex to carry around in your bag or pocket. Just put a few drops under your tongue before you head out -- and then again before you go to bed. Drinking alcohol dehydrates you and subsequently sucks up all your vitamins. If you choose to do nothing else in this list- choose to replenish your b vitamins. It works WONDERS.
3) Go for the clear substances - vodka, white wine, gin. Darker booze contains more chemicals called congeners which inflame the body and intensify hangovers.
4) Avoid Diet Drinks. Diet sodas empty out your stomach more quickly which makes you woozy at an unexpected pace. Be smart about your mixers.
5) Drink electrolytes in your H20. Alcohol reduces the liquid around blood cells making your brain shrivel which is what causes the most commons symptoms of headaches and nausea. Opt for some H20 electrolytes. SmartWater is a smart choice. Jennifer Anniston had a point here.
6) Eat eggs for breakfast. Ever wonder why you just crave them in the morning? Your body is intelligent. Eggs contain a substance called cysteine which breaks down acetaldehyde -- a hangover causing toxin in alcohol.
7) Apple Cider Vinegar. This (not-so blissful) elixir is becoming a go-to in the health and wellness industry. The taste can be a bit much, but considering your prior drink choices, this should be a step up. Do your liver a favor, and sip a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to help dissolve foreign substances in the body. ACV will also balance pH levels and increase deficient minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium and iron. What does all that health jargen mean? Your body will worship you.
8) Juice it up. If you own a juicer, and have been putting it off. Now is your time to shine. One of the top three benefits of juicing is... (drum roll, please), liver detoxification. This by default puts juicing into the gold-medal-hangover-cure category. But in case that wasn't enough, juicing requires zero digestion (kind of like alcohol). This means that all of the nutrients from your home made juice are instantly zapped into your bloodstream to super-fire your energy faster than you can say hangover.
8) Sweat and twist. Yoga is great for detoxifying the body and moving around the stagnant energy to get your blood flowing (all of which needs to happen after drinking). Good blood flow = happy hangover. Specifically, try twisting poses and back bends to reverse the blood flow and wring out the toxic build up in your spine!
So, please do yourself a favor, and make moderation your mantra, get plenty of sleep and enjoy the bliss of a well planned happy hangover. Ahhhhh (Now that's a deep breath).