The best hangover management plan is, of course, abstinence or moderation. However, if you’ve put a little too much “merry” into Merry Christmas and are likely to be checking into Hangover Hotel, here’s my strategy to help your body bounce back from overenthusiastic imbibing.
When you get home…
There’s no time like the present to get started on damage control.
Drink two large glasses of room temperature water and place one beside the bed for when you wake. Room temperature water is more readily absorbed by the stomach and will re-hydrate you faster.
Alcohol suppresses anti-diuretic hormone. This means that water and electrolytes will go straight to your bladder, increasing urination instead of hydrating your body. Mild dehydration will increase the likelihood of a headache in the morning.
Vitamin C is one of the nutrients needed for glutathione conjugation in the liver, the specific detoxification pathway that metabolizes ethyl alcohol. It is also a good all-round antioxidant to help counteract some of the damage and inflammation alcohol causes.
Zinc & B Vitamins
Zinc, vitamin B1 and B3 are required for the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase to work. These enzymes are crucial to the breakdown of alcohol (toxic) to acetaldehyde (very toxic) and then to acetate (less toxic) so it can be excreted by the body.
A cup of dandelion root and/or St Mary’s thistle tea will really start to get you back in your liver’s good books.
St Mary’s thistle contains the constituents silymarin and silybin that help increase the antioxidant glutathione that gets quickly depleted breaking down the toxic acetylaldehyde.
Dandelion Root also supports liver detoxification and reduces the inflammatory effects of alcohol.
Steep 2 teaspoons in a cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes.
The morning after…
Say hello to your hangover which may be accessorised by varying degrees of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache and general all-round lousiness.
(Repeat all steps from the night before.)
What to drink to ease your hangover
Ginger tea is helpful for nausea and re-hydration. Slice some fresh ginger, pour over boiling water and let steep for 5-10 minutes.
Have some more dandelion root and St Mary’s thistle tea because you’re not back in your liver’s good books quite yet. In fact, have about 4 cups of this during the day.
Coconut water contains a good dose of potassium and is a great option for re-hydration especially if you’ve spent the night hugging the porcelain bowl.
A cup of black coffee can help to dilate the blood vessels and make your aching head feel better. Don’t go too crazy on the coffee though as you don’t want to add extra burden on your liver.
What to eat to help your hangover
I know traditional hangover folklore considers a greasy burger or cold pizza the ultimate post-party meal but really that’s not your smartest option as it will merely prolong the agony.
They are easy to digest and another good source of potassium and B6 to reduce the impact of nausea.
Another easy to digest food and a good source of cysteine an amino acid that is needed to make the glutathione that you’ve depleted.
Avocado on wholegrain toast
Good fats and B vitamins to get your bounce back!
Resolve NEVER, EVER to do this again because drinking to excess increases your risk of a stroke, raises your cholesterol, damages your stomach lining, increases your likelihood of diabetes and mood disorders etc.…
Not to mention that you’ve also wasted a perfectly great day feeling less than fabulous.
Be jolly, but in a healthy way!
Need help with your health?
Norelle Hentschel is an experienced Naturopath with a clinic in Stones Corner, Brisbane who enjoys supporting her clients to reach their health goals.
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