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Yes, You Can Enjoy Alcohol (Without Feeling Like Crap)

Lula Brown
April 16, 2013
Lula Brown
Written by
April 16, 2013

Not everyone can joyfully knock back green juices all day, every day. Most people need something a little more heavy duty once in a while, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying an occasional cocktail, glass of wine or even beer.

There's a right way to partake in libations to avoid deadly hangovers and maintain your healthy state. Nothing's fun about waking up on a Sunday with a nasty hangover — wouldn’t you rather be strolling in the park, hand in hand with someone you love, or biking along a river? I can and do enjoy the occasional night of drinking, but waking up refreshed is always a high priority; I have fields to run through!

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Follow these guidelines when boozing to ensure you don't ruin the next day and your long-term health:

1. Take it straight up.

Sticking to plain wine or simple cocktails like vodka sodas or even plain whiskey will help you avoid a nasty morning. I can’t take responsibility for who you wake up next to, just your state of health.

2. Avoid sugar. 

Mixology fan? If you have a sweet spot for the mixology trend, try to avoid high-sugar beverages, and go for ones that have a savory spin. For example, a cool cucumber gin cocktail. If you like a fruity drink, ask for it on the dry side. Adding sugar to the mix causes your blood sugar to spike and dip even more than the alcohol alone does.

3. Go light on beer.

Beer is tough — it’s one of the heaviest adult beverages you can indulge in. However, I can definitely appreciate an icy pint after a long day of work. Try to stick to lighter beers in smaller portions. If you love dark beer, try alternating with light to minimize calories.

4. Drink a water for every alcoholic beverage. 

After each drink, down a glass or two of water. This cushions the impact of alcohol, minimizing your hangover. Water also fills you up, so you’re less likely to reach for that third beer.

5. Get sleep. 

If you know you’re going to be drinking, try to plan for a long, hard sleep afterwards. The only way to truly rid your body of alcohol is through sleep, hydration and food.

6. Load up on breakfast. 

Yep, even after all those calories from drinking. A hearty breakfast with a balance of protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates will absorb and eliminate toxins. This is a great time to indulge in a richer breakfast like eggs benedict or pancakes and bacon – organic, of course.

7. Get some exercise.

After all that boozing, sleeping and eating, make sure to get a good workout in. Exercise will increase circulation, bringing freshly oxygenated blood to your organs and ridding your body of toxins.

Now that you know how to do it right, get excited for your next indulgent night and enjoy it! Taking these seven steps will protect your body and prevent long-term damage. They may just help you maintain your integrity for the night. Or you could just scrap the whole thing and go wild for a night — it’s all about your consistent behavior, not one night. Cheers!

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Lula Brown author page.
Lula Brown

Lula Brown is an Integrative Health & Weight Loss Coach, writer, and speaker who teaches women to lose weight and heal chronic health conditions without dieting or giving up their favorite foods. Learn more about her practice at

She is frequently featured right here on mindbodygreen, and has contributed to The Active Times, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Medical Daily, Aura Cacia’s Cayenne Room, Z Living, The Montauk Beach House, and Brown Rice Magazine.

Lula has written for the print and web editions of Teen Vogue and Time Out New York, has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, and has spoken at the Brain Injury Association of New York State.