You wake up to an ache and thick fog in your head. Your throat is dry and coarse. You’re drowsy. Not fully awake. You feel like you’re being punished for something you did…which was…what did you do anyway?
Oh, right. The alcohol. Booze. Was it the beer, wine, or hard alcohol?
Maybe you didn’t drink enough water? Or eat enough food? Or you just had 1 (or 2 or 3 or 4) too many? You weren’t planning on drinking that much. You had one drink and everyone else was drinking so another isn’t such a big deal. Than another. And another. You wish you could undo a few of those drinks…
But it’s too late now because you’re suffering. You may have thought that you were going to do something productive today. Like get outside and do something fun in the sun. Or something that requires a bit of brain power.
Unfortunately that power simply isn’t there. Instead you’re hung over and you would rather just go back to sleep so that you don’t have to deal with the pain – and you can give your body the rest it needs.
How can you avoid this the next time? So that you can celebrate, have fun, and not pay the price for it the next day?
Here are 7 ways to avoid your next hangover…
1) Just say, “No!”.
Just like Nancy Reagan told us. Just say NO and abstain from the alcohol. That’s probably your best bet. And the most obvious solution.
However, you want to partake, get your buzz on and have some fun. I get it. Lucky for you, you have some more options…
Because alcohol dehydrates you, you can help stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water with every drink. And you can add sea salt and lemon juice to mineralize and alkalize your water.
Also you’ll be losing a lot of potassium so you’ll want to supplement with potassium. You can do this by drinking unsweetened coconut water pre and post party.
To get even more benefit take some kind of electrolyte such as GU Hydration mixed with water every one to two drinks.
3) Get your vitamins.
When you drink alcohol, you’re putting toxins in your body. How does your body fight this? Partly with anti-oxidants. Partly by supporting your liver. Vitamins B1 and B6 are especially important for supporting your liver and kidney function. So take a B-vitamin supplement pre and post party.
Take a mega dose of vitamin C before you indulge to get the anti-oxidants your liver needs.
Another nutrient depleted by alcohol that you’re likely already deficient in is magnesium so take a magnesium supplement as well before the party starts.
4) Take N-acetyl cysteine (NAC).
NAC helps bump up your natural production of the super-antioxidant glutathione and reduce acetaldehyde toxicity that may cause hangover symptoms. Take at least 200 mg 30 minutes before you drink.
5) Eat food.
Having food in your stomach slows down the intake of alcohol so it’s a good idea to eat before and make sure you have some food in your stomach while you’re drinking.
Also avoid sweets because, let’s face it, you’re already getting more than you need with the alcohol and the food so there’s no reason to spike your insulin and blood sugar even further.
6) Limit your drinks.
If you know how many drinks it takes to get a buzz, you can plan ahead to limit yourself to that number and then stop. Switch to water, lemon water, unsweetened coconut water or something similar.
7) Extra credit.
Take activated charcoal before you drink to give your liver a break by adsorbing some of the toxins already in your body.
Milk thistle contains antioxidants that are known to help protect the liver from toxins.
Stick with clear alcohols like vodka, gin and white wine.
And, once you’re in the midst of your hang over, you can try a short bout of high-intensity exercise; take ginger for nausea; black coffee and curcumin to reduce swelling and relieve your headache; and of course continue to hydrate.