As the holidays are quickly approaching our calorie intake is starting to ramp up and of course, so is our alcohol consumption.
When it comes to the most benefit for your health, avoiding alcohol is obviously best. But for the population who enjoys some wine when wrapping presents or some Baileys in their coffee on Christmas morning, let’s talk about what we can do to battle that petrifying hangover. If you’re an athlete that works hard and plays hard and got a little too lit at the holiday party, we’ve got you covered.
Alcohol and Dehydration
Alcohol dehydrates the body by working as a diuresis (2). If enough alcohol is consumed, diuresis happens at the expense of all cellular components in the body and dehydration is the result (2). Therefore, either keeping hydrated while drinking (try a glass of water for every drink consumed) will help you avoid the pain the next morning that comes from that intense dehydration. Also, the next day (as you should every other day), sip water throughout the day, all day! A big sign of hydration is a pale-yellow urine. First thing in the morning when you wake up, grab a shower. Not only will it make you feel better by being clean and refreshed, it will also help you wake up. Avoid caffeine to wake up if possible as you want to avoid any further dehydration. Our BCAAs are a great way to rehydrate!
Activated Charcoal & Vitamin B6
A study was performed in the United States trying out different interventions related to curing a hangover by speeding the time of recovery for someone who has consumed large quantities of alcohol (1). Activated charcoal was used in this cure as it is used to help someone with its absorbent function. Absorbents work by collecting gasses, toxins and bacteria in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract (1). It is commonly used as an emergency treatment for drug and chemical poisonings (1). Another component of this curing method was Vitamin B6 because it works in the formation of proteins in the body, helps as a transmitter in the nervous system and has other beneficial uses such as hormonal balance and proper immune function (1). Vitamin B6 is used to help in reducing nervous disorders which is why it benefits the effect on alcohol in the nervous system (1).
Next up on the list, sleep. After a night of drinking you may think you are sleeping like a log, getting the best nights rest, but in reality, you’re not. Alcohol can mess with your circadian rhythm. As you’re most likely going to bed much later, and sleeping in the next day, your regular sleep and wake cycle is disrupted (3). Therefore, do what you can to get as much sleep as possible to feel rested and make up for the lack of that night, but ensure the following night you can get back into your normal sleep routine.
Finally, as difficult as it may be, eat a well-balanced breakfast! It may be a bit far-fetched with how you could be feeling, so if you can’t get in a nourishing breakfast try to at least eat something. A bagel, smoothie, cereal–whatever it may be–it’s important to have some sort of nutrients in your body to provide energy to help speed your recovery.
This holiday season, enjoy yourself but remain mindful of how much you are drinking. Sometimes it is easy to forget how often and how much we are consuming. Don’t feel you need to have a huge restart on January 1, instead, be careful while still having fun. Remember: you don’t have to drink at every party, or even at all! If you chose to however, stay safe and of course, drink responsibly.
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