Blog & Updates
Nutrition Advice to Beat the Christmas Hangovers!!
Thursday 14th December 2017
I thought I would post something topical seen as we are in the middle of the party season. Now obviously the best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink so much alcohol, however as a 'grounded' paractitioner I understand everyone likes to let their hair down once in a while, myself included and obvioulsy this time of year it is extremly common.
Hangovers vary from person to person but usually involve a headache, nausea, dehydration, tiredness and dehydration. The main cause of the hangover is ethanol, the alcohol in your drinks. Alcohol is broken down in the body by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, high levels of this enzyme are present in both the liver and stomach. However when you drink a large amount in a short period of time (binge drinking) your body struggles to break the alcohol down, when it is broken down this puts alot of stress on the liver meaning it becomes 'over worked' causing alot of the tiredness symptoms. Alcohol is also a gastric irritant meaning it causes the stomach to become inflamed, this causes the nausea symptoms.
Here are a list of tips tips to lessen hangover symptoms.
1. Before you call it a night drink some water before you go to bed. Try and force 2 pints down yourself, this will help re-hydrate you, therfore lessen the sore head the following day!
2. Take Milk Thistle before bed. This helps protect the liver, the liver has to remove the alcohol from the body, milk thistle helps this process.
3. The morning after, consume coconut water, this is full of elctrolytes which help rehydrate you. Or you could make your on rehydration drink by dissolving 1 tespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar in 1 pint of water.
4. A glass of apple or cranberry juice is also a good idea to kick start the recovery process. The fructose in sweet fruity drinks gives the body some instant energy, and may even help boost metabolism to get rid of those horrible alcohol toxins. Juice also contains vitamins and plenty of water to get the body rehydrated.
4. AVOID COFFEE!! Many people drink coffee as they think it will help 'pick them up' however it will just make you more dehydrated!
5. If you can stomach it have a good quality breakfast. Alcohol strips vitamins and minerals from the body especially B vitamins. Many people wake up feeling rather depressed after a 'heavy' night this is often due to their B vitamins been depleted as B vits are involved in producing serotonin the 'happy hormone'. Therefore opt for some B vitamin rich wholegrains e.g. wholemeal toast, with poached or scrambled eggs. Eggs have the added benefit of being packed full of the amino acids Cysteine and Taurine. Taurine boosts liver function. Cysteine breaks down acetaldehyde, the yucky headache-causing chemical that's left over when the liver breaks down alcohol. Top the eggs with some vitamin C rich tomatoes. These contain lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the body. Tomatoes also contain fructose and vitamin C to give the liver a boost. Wash it all down with a glass of fresh orange juice, also high in vitamin C. If you really can't stomach this even a small bowl of cereal fortified with B vitamins should help redress some of the damage caused by the previous nights antics!
6. Eat bananas and kiwis for snacks, these brightly colored fruits are loaded with potassium, an important electrolyte that is often depleted due to alcohol's diuretic effect.
7. If you feel sick and/or have stomach cramps try ginger or peppermint tea. Studies show that ginger tea can reduce nausea and motion sickness. Peppermint tea can also ease stomach pain and decrease nausea.
8. Avoid ibuprofen as this will help your headache, but damage your stomach lining further, causing further gastrointestinal symptoms.
I hope this helps one morning or maybe 4 or 5 over the festive period!