HEALTHY HANGOVER | PREVENTION AND CURE

Listen, it happens to the best of us.

And it happened to me last week!

On Thursday I was invited by a new friend, to enjoy the Art Walk in my new town of San Jose del Cabo.

We met downtown, where we sat outside enjoying in the evening breeze and admiring the orange sunset. The sunsets are AmAzing here, by the way.

It was one of those evenings where everything feels right in the world, and nothing matters more than the moment.

And that moment felt like tequila!

We’re in Mexico right?

Now, I am no stranger to tequila. Several years ago my husband and I were on a bit of a tequila kick. If we ever had a cocktail with friends it was almost always a tequila on the rocks with a splash of club soda and lime.

I liked it.

But I kicked tequila to the curb several years ago, opting instead for a glass of wine or beer when we’d go out. I like to change things up! So this urge for tequila came out of nowhere. And I decided to go with it.

My new friend did too! Sign of a good friendship in the making. 🙂

So…we sipped our tequila shot with a side of salad. Gotta keep a balance, right?

We both agreed, “This tequila is so smooth!”

And well, you know how the saying goes.

And that moment felt like tequila!

Okay, nobody hit the floor. Not even close.

But we did have three tequila’s.

Now, we’re talking three little 1.5 oz tequilas, that we sipped throughout the evening.

This wasn’t some shot slugging drink fest that went on into the wee hours of the morning. In fact, I was home before 10 pm, 9:50 to be exact.

A late night for me.

My husband always says, “Nothing good happens after ten.”

I don’t know if it’s true, but it makes us feel better about being early birds.

Anyway, I felt fine when I arrived home. I was cheerful, relaxed (well duh), and thankfully clear headed enough to transition right over to my “Operation Healthy Hangover”. 

Because believe it or not, 5 ounces of tequila IS enough to give some of us a hangover. ?

The Goel

The goal of my routine is first and foremost, to PREVENT that dry foggy feeling in the morning, which could sometimes be accompanied by a headache or queazy stomach.

Which brings me to this important point.

Since I have been following this routine I have never awoken with a headache or a queazy stomach. And that’s mainly because of steps 1-4, which are accomplished the night of.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t still wake up with less energy, and feeling a little dryer or slightly congested. Because those are the simple side effects of alcohol (particularly liquor and wine) that almost no one can avoid. If you have, let me know!

But the point is, to first prevent the headache and upset stomach, while also greatly diminishing the morning after fatigue and dryness.

So, now that you know the goal, here is how you accomplish it.

Healthy Hangover Rutine

The Night Of

1. Water
My routine begins while I am drinking my tequila (or wine, or beer, or whatever your drink of choice is), and it begins by having one large glass of water for every alcoholic beverage I have. Yes, even the 1.5 ounce shot!

2. Electrolytes
My routine continues when I arrive home. I immediately mix up one – two scoops (depending the damage) of electrolyte powder with 20-30 ounces of water and chug it down. I use Ultima Replenisher (from Amazon) simply because someone suggested this powder to me years ago as an alternative to sugary sports drinks. This is the same powder I mix up with my plain BCAA’s and drink during and after my workouts.

3. Oil nose drops
If you’ve never heard of this one, it will undoubtedly seem strange to you. But bare with me. It works! One of the downsides of alcohol is that it is very drying and dehydrating. Applying oil drops to the inside of your nose will help to lubricate your nasal passage and improve your breathing, as well as decrease fatigue in the body. I actually do this routine daily, but it is even more important to perform on nights like this.

3.Sleep
Try to still get 7-8 hours of sleep after a night out. An extra hour than you normally get would even be better, particularly since sleep is usually restless if you’ve been drinking.

The Morning After

1. More Electrolytes
Same mixture as the night before. Drink this as soon as you wake up.

2. More Water
Chug down as much as you can handle. I have a full gallon of room temperature (cold is not good for drinking fast) water sitting on the counter waiting for me in the morning. The more you drink throughout the day, the better you will feel and the quicker you will eliminate any brain fog.

3. My Medicinal Blender Recipe
The herbs and veggies ARE the medicine. This clean fresh drink will have you feeling new in no time. Drink this after you’ve had your electrolytes and water, and before you have any other food or drinks. 

Ingredients

1. 1-2 cups of Leafy greens (romaine, kale, spinach, or collards)
2. 1 bunch of cilantro leaves
3. 1 small to medium carrot
4. 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
5. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (or drops)
6. Water, just enough to cover your ingredients about 3/4 of the way
7. Blend in blender of Nutri-bullet
8. Drink immediately
*Why ginger
– prevent or relieve nausea
– decrease indigestion
– decrease inflammation
*Why turmeric
– decrease inflammation
– natural coagulant (aspirin)
– anti-depressant (alcohol is a depressant)
*Why the greens and carrots
-vitamins
-minerals
– antioxidants
– fiber

1. Repeat Oil Nose Drops.

2. Sweat it Out, but Just a LITTLE

Depending on how much you drank, exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing. And I But even just a normal paced 20 minute walk outdoors, or on the treadmill, can help you to “sweat it out” a little, and at least clear your head.

Sound like a lot of work?

Well, you could just avoid “over drinking”, which is most certainly how I suggest we all approach alcohol 98% of the time. But if you want a little wiggle room to have that 3rd drink 2% of the time, at least now you have a solid strategy.

What to Avoid

 1. Tylenol (aspirin).
Although I have done it before, I would not suggest taking this before or after a night of drinking, because consistent studies show that taking aspirin before drinking alcohol actually increases the effects of alcohol by 30% and decreases the stomach’s ability to break down the alcohol. Additionally, Tylenol further taxes the liver, which is what the alcohol is already doing.

2. Coffee.
Even though it seems counter intuitive, you will want to avoid coffee the night of and the morning after. Why? Simple. Because coffee is a diuretic, which will lead to further dehydration, which is responsible for that awful headache that typically accompanies hangovers.

3. Sauna.
Contrary to what you may have heard, sweating it out in a sauna is one of the worse things you can do. Just one word. Dehydration. Wait, two words. Serious dehydration. Don’t do it!

4. Intense exercise.
While a nice little low-intensity workout is a good thing, an intense workout, run, or heavy lifting session is not! Again, consider how much sweating this kind of workout will induce. The point, all day, is it to re-hydrate yourself. Additionally, you run the risk of getting a headache and/or a stomach ache from all the bouncing around and constriction of blood vessels. And those are two of the things we set out to avoid. This is just one of the reasons why regularly drinking alcohol, particularly to the point of inducing a hangover, is a bad idea all around for your health. Not only do you have to deal with all the side effects listed above, but you also end up skipping good workouts!

Helpful Food

1.  If you hit it really hard the night before and find yourself shaky and sweaty with lots of sweet cravings (all due to the drastic sugar spikes and dips), here’s a list of foods that can help.

  • Avocado (for potassium)
    Coconut water (for more potassium)
    Salmon (for B12 and fatty acids)
    Dried and cooked beans, not canned (for magnesium)

My Morning After

On Friday morning I woke up feeling about a 7 (on a scale of 10) in terms of energy and clarity, which is really not bad considering I drank more hard alcohol than I am used to drinking, and also experienced some interrupted sleep. Normal days I almost always wake up feeling like a 10.

I followed the routine exactly as laid out for you, and even went to the gym at my normal 7:30 a.m. time, opting to walk on a slow treadmill incline for about 40 minutes. Unfortunately, I had to skip my planned heavy lifting day (for the reasons lifted above) and saved it instead for the following day.

By the time 11:00 am rolled around I had moved up a point on the scale and made it through the rest of the day on a level 8.

Now wouldn’t you like to feel like an 8, in terms of energy and clarity, on your worst hangover days?

Of course you would! So go ahead and print this quick reference list, and begin planning your next night out!

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