How to Prevent and Manage a Hangover
HOW TO PREVENT AND MANAGE A HANGOVER
Let’s be honest, hangovers can happen to the best of us, even when sticking to a real food lifestyle. While we definitely don’t support binge drinking, we do believe that there are benefits to occasional alcohol consumption and that it can be part of a sustainable food as medicine approach. Our intention is that if you choose to imbibe from time to time, you set up your system to be resilient so you can get back to feeling amazing as soon as possible! We put out a podcast ALL about this topic so definitely check it out here!
Hangovers can be just plain YUCK and can manifest in a bunch of ways:
- Brain Fog, difficulty with concentration
- Physical aches + pains
- Mood shifts, increase in anxiety/depression tendencies
- Nausea, vomiting
- Extreme thirst, dry mouth
- Food cravings, unmanaged hunger
WHY HANGOVERS HAPPEN
Toxic Build Up
Alcohol or ethanol is toxic in and of itself, and what we break it down into in the body is actually even more toxic! After the break down into acetaldehyde, we’re going to release acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione to break it down even further. Part of that crappy feeling the next day can literally just be that you’ve depleted your master antioxidant glutathione and now the liver needs to make more. And then you have the buildup of these toxic compounds and a lot of our systems actually don’t make enough of the stuff to combat it–women make smaller amounts of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione than men, making them more susceptible to hangovers. So do a lot of people of Asian descent which can drive that flushing reaction and intolerance that is super common. When we have these inefficient genes we essentially get more buildup and worse hangover symptoms!
Alcohol dehydrates you, plain and simple. It increases diuresis or urination and ultimately you’re excreting way more water than you’re putting in to the body. Alcohol also inhibits ADH secretion and is basically going to tell the kidneys to send water straight to the bladder and bypass absorption in the body. And then with decreased water elsewhere in the body, we see headaches and constriction in the brain, fatigue, dizziness, electrolyte imbalance, dry mouth and so on! The brain actually shrinks and blood vessels become inflamed when we drink and the membranes connecting the brain and skull are pulled, giving us a massive headache the next day!
Additives, Sulfites, Histamine
Fermentation and distillation creates byproducts like acetone and acetaldehyde and then there are also things like tannins, histamine in wine even colorants and artificial flavors that are added that can cause reactivity beyond the toxicity of pure alcohol itself. Generally speaking the darker the liquor the worse the hangover–one study I’m glad I wasn’t involved in showed that a hangover from whiskey was worse than vodka with equal amounts of alcohol consumed.
Stop, drop and hydrate
Get buzzed but not drunk and hydrate between drinks! Topo and lime is a good in-between that still feels special and celebratory and having a glass of water between meals keeps you from getting that terrible headache the next day!
Pair wine and cocktails with food always
Eat a meal before and have wine or cocktails with meal or snack. Cheese, olives and cured meats are a great pairing with wine and the fat actually coats the palate and can enhance the flavor and experience! Plus, having something in your stomach will slow down the absorption of alcohol and keep you from downing drink after drink. If keto, consider carb cycling during times of increased alcohol consumption–in keto electrolytes are very easily thrown off and drinking on top of that will make it that much harder to bounce back. Go for 1-2 carb choices at dinner to bring carbs up to 45-60g and check out this podcast all about Carb Cycling for more info!
Use high quality supplements to bounce back faster!
Take 2 Ultimate Detox prior to drinking, 2 before bed and 2 at rise and rest the following day to mitigate the effects of alcohol. This supports phase 2 of liver detox or excretion from the body.
Consider Detox Support Packs for more comprehensive detox support as these contain supplements to support both phase 1 (release of toxins) as well as phase 2 (excretion). Take 1 prior to drinking and 1 post, then 1 at rise and rest for 3 days afterward.
Bring in Cellular Antiox as both N-acetyl cysteine and glutathione reduce acetaldehyde toxicity. This is especially important if you have a known genetic SNP in GST or are generally a poor detoxer! Take 1 prior and 1 post alcohol consumption and for 3 days afterward.
Bring in a B Complex as Thiamine(Vitamin B1) actually makes glutathione supplementation makes more effective, plus B vitamins are depleted in times of alcohol use.
Take Relax and Regulate before bed to keep electrolytes balanced! This formula contains a highly bioavailable form of magnesium that can not only rebalance electrolytes, it can also reduce likelihood that you will wake up with a headache as magnesium can relieve inter-cranial pressure that is experienced with a hangover!
OVERDID IT? HERE’S WHAT TO DO!
ALL OF THE ABOVE supplements, plus:
This lemonade contains a potent dose of fresh turmeric and ginger for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory punch, lemon juice to upregulate liver detox as well as honey and sea salt to balance electrolytes. If desired, you can substitute 1/2 the water for raw coconut water for added electrolyte balance!
Coffee reduces swelling in blood vessels in the brain that drive headaches and can get you back to feeling like a human! The addition of CBD can be very helpful if dealing with post-drinking guilt or anxiety!
Eat Eggs if you can stomach them as they are a great source of N-acetyl cysteine and glutathione as well as B vitamins. Check out this Carnitas Breakfast Skillet recipe as a great way to use up leftover protein (of any kind) or do a breakfast taco bowl and add 1/2 avocado for potassium!
Take Super Turmeric for headaches or body aches instead of NSAIDs like Advil or Aleve as these can cause further liver distress as well as gut lining distress and even bleeding! Take 2 up to 3 times daily for pain relief!
Down Bone broth for electrolytes! Try blending with with ghee, salt and Further Food Daily Turmeric Tonic like we did in this recipe, especially if feeling a little queasy and not ready for solid food!
OUR GO TO FOOD-AS-MEDICINE INSPIRED COCKTAILS
Check out these cocktail recipes for low carb options that have gut supporting properties like glutamine from bone broth, probiotics from kombucha and even collagen to support gut lining! Plus, they are made with 100% real food ingredients, zero additives and zero added sugar!
Not sure what an ingredient is or which brand to choose? Check out the Ali Miller RD Amazon Store for pantry staples, favorite snacks and more!