We’re at a summer party or BBQ, the rosé’s flown’ and OOPS…maybe that was one glass too many!
It happens to all of us!! Hangovers are killer and they can be especially common in the summer if it’s really hot out and your body is dehydrated.
You know I am the last Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach to ever tell you to skip out on your glass of vino or a fun cocktail. I want you to enjoy life and have fun with your family and friends while keeping it healthy!! So with 4th of July celebrations coming up this weekend, I am sharing a few tips and tricks to prevent a summer hangover and what to do if one strikes. Just in case.......
Cheers to a happy and healthy weekend!
How Alcohol Affects Us:
First, let's understand how alcohol affects the body. Approximately 20% of alcohol is absorbed through the stomach and most of the remaining 80% is absorbed through the small intestine. So making sure to eat something before your first cocktail is super important!
Then the liver goes to work – it sends out enzymes to break down and metabolize the alcohol. Generally, the liver can only process one ounce of alcohol (approx. one standard drink) on average in one hour. Consuming more than the liver can metabolize, causes alcohol to accumulate in the blood and body tissues.
Alcohol Affects Women Faster:
Women shouldn’t try to keep up pace with the guy next to them – women tend to be affected by alcohol more than men for several reasons:
- Women have less water in their bodies by volume, they will dilute alcohol less than men.
- Women have less dehydrogenase, a liver enzyme that breaks down alcohol, so they will break it down slower.
- Estrogen can also slow down the body’s ability to process alcohol.
Alcohol is a toxin:
Consuming more alcohol than the liver can process, will cause the alcohol to accumulate in the blood and tissues. Ethanol is metabolized into acetaldehyde, which is a toxin. Until it can be broken down into acetic acid, the body will be experiencing the negative effects of the acetaldehyde.
Some of the preservatives, sulfites and chemicals in wine and alcoholic beverages can add to the burden on the liver and make you feel crummy the next day, so using more natural alternatives will help lighten the liver’s toxic load.
All the H2O
Water is essential for preventing a hangover. Ethanol increases urine production, and therefore can make you extremely dehydrated, which can cause that nasty morning hangover headache. A good rule of thumb is to always have a glass of water between drinks so you stay hydrated — and you still have a glass in hand! ;) You’ll be feelin’ good and ready to slay your morning workout!
I also like to mix my vino with sparkling water. Half the alcohol, extra hydration, and bubbles…perfect! Try my fave rosé spritzer recipe HERE!
Activated charcoal works by absorbing toxins that cause hangovers and eliminating them before they enter your system. You can find activated charcoal tablets at your local nutrition store or grab activated charcoal drinks at juice shops!
Nutritious + Delicious Dinner.
Always eat a healthy meal before ordering up a glass of wine or a cocktail. The fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats in your #MHWapproved dinner helps to slow the digestion of alcohol and ward off late night munchies.
Noticing a trend? If a hangover hits, the first thing you should do is drink up! The earlier you start pouring yourself some H2O, the better you’ll feel later in the day. Water helps prevent and shorten the hangover headache. I usually try to have 12-16 ounces as soon as I wake up. Keep a water bottle at your bed as a reminder. So no matter how you want to drink it, just drink up!!
Ginger To The Rescue
Ginger is an old school remedy to help ease an upset stomach. And after a night of a few too many cocktails, your stomach might feel a little uneasy. I like to brew up a batch of fresh ginger tea and sip on a few cups all morning long. It’s super simple too: Boil 1 inch of ginger, sliced with 1/2 lemon and 8 ounces water. This serves 1 so feel free to double or triple.
Get Nutty. Coconutty!
Alcohol acts as a major diuretic, leading to dehydration and loss of electrolytes. Coconut water – called “Natures Gatorade,” provides the body with more potassium than a banana, a daily supply of vitamins C, and other important vitamins and minerals. Coconut water provides electrolytes to help prevent dehydration. I like to go for the raw coconut water.
Multiple studies show that the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil protect the liver. So if I am going to have a drink or two, I like to have a teaspoon of coconut oil first. Add it to tea or stir it into a smoothie!
Chi-Chi- Chia Seeds!
When chia seeds come into contact with liquid, it soaks up about 10 times it’s own weight in liquid, creating a gel – this chia gel slows the absorption of sugar and alcohol into blood stream, and helps to keep you hydrated. You never want to drink on an empty stomach!! Add some chia seeds to a smoothie or grab a Mamma Chia drink or squeeze pack. Always make sure to take chia seeds with plenty of fluids, it is best if you let them soak for a few minutes before ingesting them too.
Rich in a class of antioxidants called betalains, beets are well known for detoxifying the liver, also provide loads of energy (Olympic athletes use beet juice for training – and they say it is like legal blood doping!).
So instead of an energy drink before the party – take a shot of beet juice, it will give you energy and get your liver ready to do it’s work!!
Vitamins B & C
Alcohol depletes the body of vitamins and minerals – taking a multivitamin with B & C helps with alcohol metabolism & replenish the lost vitamins.
Alcohol consumption depletes magnesium, and low magnesium can bring on migraines among other symptoms (restless legs, eye twitches, muscle aches & pains). Low magnesium levels even raise our risk of heart attack and stroke. The majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium, so I recommend that most people take supplemental magnesium. Magnesium is also responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Too much magnesium can lead to loose stools, so start with a low dose initially.
Skip The “House Margarita"
It probably is made with cheap tequila and a premade mix. A lot of premade mixers contain preservatives, artificial colors, HFCS, and other chemicals that will just add to the toxic load on your liver. Fructose was shown in multiple studies to boost alcohol metabolism by as much as 80%, so using fresh fruit juice and/or organic agave nectar in place of processed mixers to sweeten your drinks is a better choice than a premade mix with chemicals and preservatives.
Share with us your hangover tips and tricks in the comments below!!