Healthy Hangover Tips– a step by step guide to help get rid of that horrible hangover
Are you convinced that the birds chirping outside are Satan’s pets? Is your natural response to ‘Good morning’, ‘Be quiet!’? Or have you set aside the entire morning to spend quality time with your toilet? Chances are, that yep, you have a hangover. But what if I told you that you don’t need to suffer in this way?
Now that spring has sprung, and the good old BBQ is getting fired up, drinking is on the cards for a lot of people. By following a few of the handy tips below, you can hopefully avoid that horrid hangover and still go out and enjoy a few alcoholic beverages (in moderation of course) in these warmer months!
Step 1. Before you go
The key is preparation. Get your body ready the day before, if you know you may have a drink or two, to help enhance its ability to detoxify those nasty alcohol toxins.
Milk your Thistle Milk thistle, or St Mary’s thistle, is a herb that has a detoxifying action on the liver. It can help protect your liver and enhance the metabolism and excretion of alcohol from your body. Start taking the Milk thistle two days before you know you are going to be drinking alcohol, make sure you take a dose right before hitting the booze, and another dose the next day.
Please note – Milk thistle can interfere with some pharmaceutic medications, so please check with your health care professional if it is suitable for you to take.
Pre-pear A recent publication from the CSIRO talked about Korean (or Asian) pear juice consumed before a bout of drinking alcohol assisting in the prevention of a hangover. The pear juice is thought to help out by acting on the enzymes which are involved in alcohol metabolism, thereby increasing the elimination of alcohol and reducing blood acetaldehyde levels, which are thought to be the cause of hangover symptoms. The same effect is thought to occur when whole pears are consumed, similarly to the juice.
Line that stomach Yes, it’s true! It’s important to make sure you eat a healthy and decent sized meal before party time. A mix of healthy oils/fats, and slow release carbohydrates such as brown rice or sweet potato, will ‘line’ your digestive tract and slow the absorption of alcohol.
Step 2. At the Party
Make smart decisions, all the while having fun!
Don’t drink, or drink less Sounds obvious, but how many of us really do this? Make yourself a mocktail or have one less glass of wine. Your body will thank you! And you really don’t need alcohol in your system to have fun.
Keep it clear Choose clear alcohol to drink, such as gin or vodka, without the sugary mixers. These will give you a minimal hangover compared to darker alcohols, and your body won’t have to deal with the sugar and extra calories to process you might find in wine or beer. Also don’t mix different types of alcohol either.
Organic, biodynamic, YES! If your preferred poison is wine, then look at switching to either an organic or a biodynamic wine. These wines are made using no synthetic chemicals, herbicides, pesticides or fertilisers and even better are sustainable and environmentally friendly. They also contain less sulphur dioxide and contain no more than half the amount of preservatives found in regular wine. This is really good news, as it is often the preservatives that cause the horrendous hangover. P.S. Don’t worry the wine tastes great!
Water-Water everywhere! Alcohol dehydrates, so keep yourself hydrated. Try drinking a glass of water between each drink, be sure to have a big drink of water when you get home, and before you go to bed have a glass of coconut water and take a B complex supplement. This will also help with the detoxification process.
Step 3. The Next Day
The dreaded hungover day. Hopefully not so bad since you’ve followed the tips in Step 1 and Step 2. Now try some of these winners….
Even more water! Keep drinking water and flushing out that alcohol; we should be drinking 1.5-2L water daily. Coconut water is amazing for a hangover, as it contains many electrolytes including sodium and potassium which are depleted when we drink alcohol. Try a squeeze of lemon in a glass of hot water first thing in the morning, to alkalise the body and rehydrate, or add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and a pinch of turmeric to a glass of water to get that liver working.
Not so complex Pop a B-Complex supplement. The B vitamins will help your liver detoxify any excess alcohol sitting around in your system, and also increase your energy which is often lacking in that post drink haze. Gingery goodness Can’t stomach food just yet? If you are feeling a little nauseous why not try a ginger tea with freshly grated ginger, or some ginger tablets to help settle your stomach.
The Big Brekky No it doesn’t need to be a big, greasy meal. This will only put extra strain on your digestive system and liver. Try a high protein breakfast with healthy fats such as poached eggs with wilted spinach, and a smoothie with natural yogurt, almond milk, banana and kiwi fruit. The protein will aid in detoxifying the liver, and spinach, banana and kiwi are high in potassium, which your body is missing from the night before. Other foods to eat during the day that will boost up your depleted electrolytes and vitamins include miso soup, oats and home-made chicken soup.
Feed your Liver Foods from the Brassica plant family contain active plant constituents which support detoxification processes in the liver, so try and eat some kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower the day after your big night. Green juices with beetroot and carrot will do the same thing, and give you some added vitamins to boot. Top it all off with a Dandelion root tea and you will have one happy liver!
Sweat it out A nice brisk walk or run will work wonders in getting you sweating out all those toxins from last night. If you are feeling a bit down the day after, the extra endorphins released from the exercise will pick you up too. Try these great hangover tips the next time you over indulge, and support your body to find a happier and healthier hungover place! Cheers! Please note we do not support or condone binge drinking, or drinking in excess.
Please drink in moderation or not at all. If you are struggling with alcohol dependence please seek medical assistance or call one of the following help lines:
Life Line: 13 11 14
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): 1300 22 22 22
St John of God: 1300 857 427