As we are gradually going out again, and we are maybe sitting outside a nice bar or restaurant and getting our first glass of wine since lockdown…or two...or three, we can suddenly see who’s been drinking more than normal during this period of time!
Or are you the person that’s hardly touched a drop at all? You may find, if this is the case, that being a little over excited about being ‘out-out’, you suddenly consume one or two too many and end up feeling somewhat queasy!
What exactly causes a hangover and why does this make you feel so grim?
Dehydration is a major factor, and this can cause things like electrolyte changes, acetaldehyde accumulation, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can cause inflammatory hormonal change, which can then create sleep deprivation or cardiac output and vascular changes or metabolic acidosis. All of which can cause you to feel extremely rubbish!
The truth about what happens inside your bodies:
Alcohol stimulates the first phase of liver detoxification; this phase produces more reactive toxins and if the second phase can’t keep up particularly with binge drinking you end up with loads of oxidative stress and inflammation. Some alcohol types are more likely to increase the risk of hangover. Other factors that can exasperate a hangover is high-sugar and high-caffeine mixers, and for some people preservatives might increase the hangover experience even more. The ultimate ‘cure all’ is to avoid over-consuming alcohol in the first place, eating with the consumption of alcohol and keeping well hydrated or avoiding it all together!
There are lots of suggestions on what you can do to reduce the severity or stop it in its tracks with the right additions and tools.
What should we do?
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Take a B vitamin before bed.
3. Eat a full breakfast that includes protein, fat and carbohydrates.
4. Drink fresh juice!
Juice is the single most effective way to feel better because freshly squeezed juices help to support and hydrate your body. I would aim for 2-3 servings of these gorgeous suggestions to really get on top things:
The betalain pigments in beets support the second phase of liver detoxification which, helps to support the metabolism of alcohol and support the elimination via the bile, plus provides a high amount of antioxidants. Beets also contain nitric oxide which may help to reduce muscle aches and pains.
This delicious juice helps to reduce blood alcohol levels. Studies have showed that it was actually more effective before the consumption of alcohol rather than afterwards.
Coconut water is a fast and easy way to improve your electrolyte-balance after drinking. I would also suggest this drink in times of post-exercise fatigue, gastrointestinal infections where there has been vomiting or diarrhea, and of course a mighty hangover.
Oranges add natural sweetness for the correction of low blood sugar, they provide vitamin C to restore tissue loss and provide phytonutrient antioxidants to reduce inflammation.
Oh how I love ginger. It helps to calm digestive distress and supports liver detoxification. Ginger reduces feelings of nausea and vomiting, and it may also help to protect the memory and boost your immunity on a longer-term basis but also provides some benefit short-term.
There’s nothing more cooling than cucumber juice. It can help to reduce inflammation, soothe digestion and hydrate efficiently.
My personal summer favourite provides antioxidants and hydrates our bodies beautifully due to its high-water content. It also contains natural sugars to help improve blood sugar levels, making you feel more energised.
This wonder herb supports liver detoxification and exhibits a powerful anti-inflammatory benefit. Turmeric is also helpful for reducing pain and inflammation due to its very strong and effective compounds particularly curcumin. Curcumin helps protect the cells against alcohol damage and may also protect liver cells from other liver toxic substances.
Carrots are high in carotenoids that are believed to exhibit anti-inflammatory benefits along with providing natural sweetness.
Celery, like coconut water, supports electrolyte replenishment including sodium and hydration.
The bromelain found in pineapple may help to reduce the high levels of inflammation, along with the sweetness it provides to help correct the low blood sugar levels, plus add a whole heap pf other goodness.
Dark Leafy Greens
Spinach and other leafy greens provide minerals and most importantly B vitamins that can help prevent and treat a hangover, particularly vitamin B6.
Bloody Mary’s are a popular brunch drink for a reason! A good tomatoes-based juice with sea salt can also be very effective at helping ease a hangover.