Hangovers — as annoying as they can be, there are definitely some healthy, useful steps you can take, to lessen the pain of the inevitable next morning. Unsurprisingly, one of the best preventative steps is to eat as healthy as possible, normally. Once your body has this nutritional baseline, it will make it much easier to snap back to your regimen, the next day. And if you’re planning on drinking while out an event, please make sure you have a designated driver. But all this serious talk doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Just be sure to drink responsibly, and follow these steps to maximize your fun, and minimize the pain of the next day!
This may be the best first step. Alcohol can quickly dehydrate your body, so try to drink as much water as possible: before, during, and after the alcohol. How much water? Well, this works like a simple math equation. The more alcohol you drink, the more water you need. And if you don’t drink enough before and during your alcohol consumption, you will need to drink even more afterwards.
Another good rule of thumb is to drink one glass of water for every equivalent serving of alcohol you consume. This might even help to prevent a hangover, the next day. If you forget to do this, at least drink two to three 8-0z. glasses right before bed. This amount should help combat all but the most serious nights of partying. Why 2-3 cups? Because alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it helps to flush water from your body. So 2-3 cups should suffice for most nights of moderate drinking. The more hydrated your body is in the immediate window around your alcohol consumption, the better off you will be. P.S.: Not all alcohol is created equally. So, if you’re doing to drink, make sure you know the best and worst alcohol for your health.
Drink Coconut Water
Coconut water is great to consume after a hard workout, but its unique hydration properties make it and excellent hangover remedy, too. This is because coconut water is very high in electrolytes, and contains more potassium than even bananas. You may even want to add some lemon juice (just a dab) and a touch of salt, if you want to experiment. Typically we feel awful after a night of drinking due to the lack of antioxidants in our bodies, as well as low amounts of electrolytes. Coconut water contains both, making it ideal for the “morning after.” If you want to step up your hangover game even more, add some high-antioxidant fruits, like blueberries or blackberries. A green smoothie will also provide electrolytes, as well as minerals, so you may want to mix one up, using coconut water as the base.
One word: potassium. Have you gotten the importance of this mineral yet? When it comes to hangovers, there is no limit to potassium’s benefits. Bananas contain a good amount of potassium, which will help you greatly, since your body will hold on to sodium, and quickly lose potassium, during a hangover. Bananas also contain some antioxidants, so make sure to grab one (if you can muster it). Even half of a banana before you pass out, can help.
Sweat It Out!
Exercise, unsurprisingly, is a staple of hangover remedies. Not only will you get some sweet, sweet endorphins, but you will literally start excreting toxins (like alcohol) due to the stimulation exercise provides to your lymphatic system. You may also want to try yoga. I’d recommend the hot kind, which will obviously increase how much you sweat. Just make sure you are well hydrated, first. Swimming can also be a nice relief from a hangover. You can also try a very warm bath, or a nice steam in a sauna. Anything to get you up and moving, as well as sweating, will help lessen the pain.
Tomatoes offer some extra benefits for those who may have had one too many. With a nutritional profile completely the opposite of alcohol (in essence, replacing what alcohol depletes) tomatoes also have fructose, which aids your body in metabolizing leftover booze. You can drink tomato juice, and even add some extra goodies, like lime, cayenne pepper, or turmeric. I wouldn’t recommend the Bloody Mary approach, as the “hair of the dog” effect will only temporarily relieve your pain. Other fruits that contain fructose may also help metabolize the alcohol.
I always recommend honey in my hangover cure, since the fructose contained within it helps to metabolize the alcohol leftover from the previous night’s drinking. On top of that, it contains potassium, which is the quintessential hangover mineral. If you’re really wiped out, a few tablespoons of honey should help you within 30 minutes. But beware – it is very high in sugar. Don’t forget to eat a very sound diet with it and hydrate like a champ!
Take B-Complex Vitamins
Popping a B-complex vitamin is a good idea on most days, but it is absolutely critical for curing a hangover! This is because alcohol depletes your B vitamins, leaving you feeling tired and grumpy. Your liver will also thank you, since it relies on B vitamins to properly do its job of detoxification. One of these vitamins right before bed can give you a jumpstart on overcoming the hangover of the following morning.
Take a Wasabi Bath
Want to get that alcohol out — and fast? A wasabi bath is your new friend. Wasabi has the somewhat unique ability to increase blood circulation, as well as increase oxygenation of cellular tissue, which ultimately helps to clear cells of waste. Wasabi bath salts or a spoonful of wasabi powder in your tub, can help get rid of that alcohol as quickly as possible. Remember, alcohol is a toxin, and humans absolutely do not need it. Your body lets you know this the day after a night of heavy drinking.
Don’t Skip the Carbs
While a low or moderate carb diet is a great guideline for general health, you’re going to want to load up on carbs after you drink. That’s because they help to soak up the alcohol in your system, just like the wasabi bath helps to get it out via your skin (it is a permeable organ, after all).
Eat Some Brassica Vegetables
While many realize the importance of broccoli, kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts, they may not realize that all of these vegetables fall into the same family. All of these superfoods are brassica veggies, and they support liver detoxification, making them a perfect hangover choice. And if you’ve indulged in sugary drinks, make sure you load up on even more vegetables here.
The Bottom Line
The main points to remember when it comes to curing a hangover are: potassium, hydration, nutrient rich foods, a B-complex vitamin, and exercise. If you hit these bullet points, you will have a much easier go of things. And if you need extra help, try honey and a wasabi bath. Of course, remember: the best offense is sometimes a great defense. That means drinking lots of water while indulging, and maintaining a normal, healthy diet. Both of these things will help make the recovery process much, much easier! So the next time you indulge, do so a little healthier, with these natural hangover remedies!
About the Author: This article was contributed by PaleoHacks, a top source for amazing Paleo recipes, fitness tips, and wellness advice to help you live life to the fullest.