We know, you’ve probably read a million different hangover articles this time of year. But seriously, a hangover can ruin your entire day. But, this time of year, who has time to languish in post-party discomfort? We spoke with nutritionist and founder of Food Coach NYC, Dana James, who also happens to be on the Charlotte’s Book advisory board, for the top 10 things she recommends to clients this time of year. So here you go, here are ten simple steps to prevent hangovers:
1. Drink hot water with lemon before you head out.
Hot water and lemon is the de rigueur morning drink of the wellness tribe, but it’s also a per-imbibing elixir if you want to ease a hangover. The lemon juice helps to stimulate the bile flow, which quickly clears incoming toxins (i.e ethanol), and the water hydrates cells so that your blood alcohol levels don’t skyrocket with your first boozy sip.
2. Skip the boozy brunches and enjoy that evening tipple!
Ever wondered why you get tipsier at brunch than you do at dinner, even though you’ve consumed the same amount of alcohol? During the day, you have less of the enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, which metabolizes alcohol. Drink Virgin Mary’s at brunch and the real thing in the evening.
3. Train in the morning, not the early evening.
In my 20’s, I’d run right before getting ready to go out. The theory was that I’d burn off the calories I was about to drink. But, no matter how much water I drank after my run, it wasn’t enough to fully hydrate me. Half a glass of wine later, I’d be ready to dance on the bar! Now a little wiser, I train in the morning and absolutely avoid hot yoga before a boozy night out.
4. Banish the brown booze! Drink organic wine instead.
If an Old Fashioned or Manhattan is your preferred party elixir, you’ll be reaching for the Advil sooner than your wine and vodka-sipping friends. Dark liquor contains more toxins than clear liquor, which delays how fast alcohol is removed from you body. In a study conducted at Brown University, volunteers who drank bourbon rated their hangovers as being worse than those who drank vodka, despite drinking the same amount of alcohol. The best choice: organic wine or champagne. You’ll consume less pesticide, meaning your liver will have fewer chemicals to eliminate, and you’ll get the antioxidants and flavonoids from the grapes.
5. Pass on pasta and pizza, and go for the greens.
Love pasta and red wine? Expect extra malaise and headaches the next day. Carbohydrate-based meals combined with alcohol challenge the liver’s detoxification mechanisms. Your liver will be in overdrive trying to metabolize the alcohol and regulate your blood glucose levels, and you’ll feel it. Instead, eat greens with fish, a grass-fed steak or a juicy burger, but hold the bun and fries.
6. Beat the boozy blues with bitter vegetables.
Bitter vegetables like artichoke, kale, arugula, broccoli rabe, dandelion greens, endive and radicchio contain glucosinolates, which increases glutathione: the body’s most hardworking antioxidant. Glutathione helps to quickly neutralize and clear alcohol from the body, reducing cellular inflammation, a common cause of post-drinking blues. A side of broccoli rabe? Yes, please!
7. Before going to bed, have a vitamin cocktail.
I know you want to go straight to bed! But, before you do, go to the kitchen and drink 16 oz of water spiked with cinnamon and turmeric. These spices help counter the effects of the organic compounds aldehydes, which are principally responsible for a hangover. Knock this back with a B Complex and alpha lipoic acid supplement, both vitamins which help metabolize alcohol and protect the liver from alcoholic damage.
8. When you wake up, take a shot of chlorophyll!
It’s a hangover eradicator in a green potion! Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants that helps boost vitality levels and re-alkalize the body. If you have probiotics, take those too. The gut microflora helps remove toxins, including ethanol, from the body.
9.The best post-boozing breakfast? Avocado on toast with lemon zest…
If your body is saying no to a green juice or fruit for breakfast, listen to it. It may want some monounsaturated fat. And, avocados have that in abundance! Monounsaturated fat increases a hormone called adiponectin, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels that were disrupted by drinking. Top the avocado toast with lemon zest to help your liver clear out the last remnants of last night’s alcohol.
10. Drink, drink and drink some more…
Drink alkaline water, coconut water and ginger tea to help appease a pounding head and nauseous stomach. Alkaline water, like Essentia, rehydrates the body faster than regular water due to the infusion of electrolytes and higher hydrogen content. Hydrogen mops up excess free radicals caused by intense imbibing. Coconut water similarly activates rehydration, while ginger tea helps to decrease inflammation and soothe an upset stomach.
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