We’ve all (or at least most of us) been there. Your good intention is to go out after work with a couple of co-workers for just one drink, so you can get home early enough to cook nice dinner for the family, but in some mysterious way it ends up being six drinks and slowly rolling home after midnight feeling like crap. It used to happen to me quite often, because I’m a social drinker and I try to keep up with my companion’s speed. So sometimes I end up drinking a little more than I wanted to. This past year I’ve barely had any alcohol and I guess because of that I’m way less tolerant to alcohol. When I drink even a little bit I don’t sleep well, have anxiety, wake up feeling nauseous and down, and make bad food choices (pizza!!!!). For this reason I usually don’t have more than one drink and I make sure that for every sip I take, I have at least two sips of water.
What To Do Before You Have A Drink
Eat a healthy pre-drink meal to slow down the metabolism of alcohol by eating nutritious, protein- and fiber rich foods, like broccoli or other cruciferous veggies. I’m known to have a green smoothie before a girls night out to balance things out (and make me look cool :)).
Commit to a certain amount of drinks. When I’m going for drinks with friends I pre-decide that I’m having two drinks the most. I know that is my limit. I remind myself gently to drink plenty of water between the sips (minimum one glass of water per drink), and slow down when I’m enjoying my cocktail. It’s not cool to act like a sponge and pound drinks. I’ll leave that to dudes in fraternities.
Making plans for the next morning can also slow down the drinking and make you drink less, because you have made a commitment to be somewhere at a certain time and you don’t want to show up looking and feeling like a half zombie. It’s a magnificent excuse to leave the bar early. Your next morning plans might include going for a hike with a bunch of friends, an early brunch at your favorite healthy farm-to-table restaurant or going shopping at a sample sale (those ones where you need to get in early in order to get the best pieces).
What To Do After Drinking
Keep your diet clean even though that pizza on TV commercial looks sooo tempting. Eat high water-content fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated. You’ll most probably start craving for something heavy and warm as well, so make it a chili night with hearty three bean chili and rice with a side of sauerkraut or kimchi to aid digestion.
When you’re hangover it is not a good idea to do a vigorous workout, but it’s beneficial to get moving. Go on a peaceful, meditative stroll around the neighborhood. Fresh air is always uplifting and detoxifying for the mind and body.
9 Natural Hangover Cures
Here’s a couple of things to help you nurse back to the books of the living.
1. Coconut Water
When you drink you go to the toilet a lot, you sweat more than usual, and in some cases, you might even vomit. Yuck. Besides being dehydrating, alcohol causes electrolyte imbalances. Coconut water is filled with electrolytes and replenishes the body’s water levels after dehydration. For even more benefits, look for coconut water that’s unsweetened and unpasteurized.
Among its many roles, protein helps balance blood sugar and protects your immune system. Without sufficient protein, your liver can’t detoxify, which can spell problems after a hangover. If the thought of food makes you nauseous, make a superfood smoothie with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like berries, flaxseed, spirulina and raw kale.
9. Hangover Smoothie
Make a hangover smoothie when all the other breakfast foods sound too much to stomach. It’s easy to throw together and takes just under a minute to blend. What a perfect hangover food! Or even better, make it before the night out and store in an airtight container, so you have it ready to go in the morning. Green smoothie is alkaline, detoxifying, very nourishing, easy to digest, and easy to make. Use coconut water as the base for extra effective hydration and add plant protein powder, berries and some dark leafy green veggies. You can also add turmeric, ginger, cinnamon or cumin for extra healing help. This gets your digestive system going and moves all that icky stuff right out. Gatorade is not an option. Please don’t ever drink it. It’s filled with artificial sweeteners, coloring and other nasties. For extra boost: add chlorella.
- 2 cups coconut water (electrolytes for hydration)
- 1 cucumber (alkalizing)
- ½ avocado (healthy fat, protein, fiber)
- ½ lemon, juice (alkalizing)
- 1 cup frozen mangoes (beta-carotene, sweetness)
- 1 tsp chia seeds or 1 tbsp raw almond butter (healthy fats, protein, fiber)
- Small piece of ginger (helps nausea)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (balances blood sugar)
- 1 pinch Himalayan or Celtic sea salt (minerals)
- Big handful of spinach, collards or kale (alkalizing, detoxifying, vitamins, minerals)
Do you have any tips to share?