With New Year's Eve coming up, I thought this article fight be helpful to some of you.
Now I know what you’re thinking from the title of this post.. a fitness professional goes out and drinks?! Yes, yes I do on an occasion. Balance is so important for everyone and it’s fun to get together with some friends and have a fun night out – and sometimes those nights include drinking.
I don’t drink very often, so my body isn’t used to alcohol. Whenever I go out drinking, I always suffer from a terrible hangover the next day. Nausea, throbbing headache, major dehydration, sometimes puking (sorry, TMI), you name it - I experience it. If you are like me and get really bad hangovers after drinking then what I’m about to tell you may help you out. Some of these steps may seem a little excessive, but taking care of your body takes work!
With the new year coming up, you may be going out so I thought I would give you the steps that I take to lessen the pain of my hangover:
DRINK WATER. We all know this, but most of us don’t actually do it. So make sure you are staying hydrated at all times. I usually drink 30 - 50 liters of water an hour before I start drinking. For an extra hydration boost, try coconut water!
EAT. Eat complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, or bread an hour or two before you plan to start drinking. Complex carbs digest slowly so they not only keep you fuller longer and give you energy, they also coat your stomach so the alcohol that you consume isn’t absorbed into your bloodstream as quickly.
VITAMINS. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it depletes your body of essential vitamins and nutrients when consumed in large amounts. People swear by taking vitamins C and B-complex to combat their hangovers. Sometimes I add an Emergen-c or Airbourne packet, which contains B & C, to my water before I drink.
PEDIALITE. If you only use one tip from this entire article, use this one. Pedialite is the miracle hangover helper! It’s meant to be used to restore electrolytes in sick children, so it can also be used to restore the electrolytes lost from drinking alcohol. I drink 2/3 of the bottle before and while drinking – sometimes I like to feed two birds with one hand and use it as my chaser.
Before going to sleep
HYDRATE. By the time you get home you’re probably too tired to do anything, but you have one simple task and it’s to drink water. Alcohol causes dehydration and you need to rehydrate your cells to avoid that nasty headache, and other hangover symptoms, the next morning. Aim for 24-48 oz. of water before hitting the pillow. You’ll be happy you did it the next day.
The next morning
DETOX WATER. As soon as you wake up, drink a glass of warm or hot lemon water. Warm or hot water is great for detoxification and adding fresh squeezed lemon juice to it can be beneficial. The most important thing is the temperature of the water, warm or hot water is great for digestion and flushing out your system of all the toxins that you consumed the night before. Alcohol causes a weakened immune system and can slow down your metabolic rate, so drinking warm or hot water with lemon will give your immune system and metabolism a boost.
PEDIALITE. Remember that Pedialite bottle from last night? Drink the remaining 1/3. Restore those electrolytes you lost.
REHYDRATE. I’m sure I’ve said this enough and you already know this, but it’s so important so I’m reminding you yet again to drink water! Aim for 36 oz. of water during the first few hours of waking and continue rehydrating your cells throughout the day. I also recommend drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.5 or higher.
CONSUME POTASSIUM. Drinking alcohol causes increased urination, which leads to potassium excretion. Eating foods that contain potassium, such as avocados, sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, apricots, or coconut water, may help ease your hangover symptoms.
SWEAT IT OUT. The last thing that you want to do after a night of drinking is workout. But if you did at least a few of the steps above, your hangover shouldn’t be too bad. Avoid lifting heavy weights, just go and do light cardio. Don't over stress out your body, it's been through enough - just take it easy and simply sweat. It will be torture while you’re doing it, but I promise that you will feel like a new person once you are done!
An extra tip if you’re feeling nauseated: Take a motion sickness medication of your choice, such as Bonine, or eat ginger. I’ll add some ginger drops to my hot water or eat a piece of fresh ginger if I ever feel nauseous.
I hope that at least a couple of these tips will help you with your hangover, or maybe even help you avoid one overall!
Have a safe and Happy New Year!