We all know hangovers are no good - not only for our productivity, but for our overall health and wellbeing. Hangovers not only wreak havoc on your entire body, they can also affect how you think and negatively impact your mental health.
Now, we all like to drink - it’s fun, it’s tasty, and we all need a break from life now and then. So instead of avoiding our favorite social activity, here are some suggestions on how to do it in healthy way so you can be your best self the next day:
Step 1: Prepare for Recovery Before You Start Drinking
We’ve all made the mistake of intending to rehydrate during or after we drink, but oftentimes that becomes the last thing we’re thinking about, especially after a few drinks.
Set yourself up for success by getting your recovery system ready before you start drinking. Stock your fridge or cooler with your favorite ORS (like, DrinkLyte - doh), or place it right by your bed. We have confidence in drunk-you that you’ll remember to down that beverage before you knock-out for the night. If you’re not as confident, then set a phone reminder. Remember to have one ready for the morning, too.
Step 2: Eat a Balanced Meal with Healthy Fats and Protein Before or While You Drink
Before or during your drinking, make sure to have a balanced meal that focuses on healthy fats, vegetables, and protein. Doing so will provide your body with key nutrients that alcohol may deplete like vitamins B and vitamin C, and help avoid rapid changes in blood sugar levels which can cause headaches, nausea, and fatigue.
Healthy fats, like those found in avocados can help slow the absorption of alcohol, helping avoid swings in blood sugar levels (which may leave you feeling tired and dizzy the next day).
Good sources of protein like salmon or eggs are also great foods to have before you drink. Their protein will also slow down absorption of alcohol, and provide key nutrients like B vitamins which are often depleted in a night of drinking.
Carbs are also important to a balanced meal before a night of drinking, but make sure they are complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, or another whole grain instead of fast-acting carbs like sugar or white bread.
Step 3: Keep Your Drinks Simple, Avoid Super Sugary and Chemical-y Drink Mixes
Sugar and alcohol can intensify symptoms of your hangover, or simply make it easier to drink more than you normally would. In order to not only try to avoid a hangover, but to also practice healthy drinking habits, avoid drinks with sugary sodas or mixers.
Instead, opt for drinks with sparkling water and fresh citrus like lemon or lime. If you’re making drinks at home, you can even find healthy soda alternatives to mix with your drinks. However, try to avoid mixes labelled “sugar free” as they are probably loaded with fake sugar chemicals that are not easy for your body to digest and may even be worse than the sugary beverage itself.
Step 4: If You Feel You’ve Had to Much, Switch to Water or an Electrolyte Beverage
We could advise you only have “x” amount of drinks, but you know your body best. When you feel you’ve had enough alcohol, switch to water, or your favorite canned electrolyte beverage (you know, probably the one that looks kinda like a White Claw so your friends don’t give you a hard time).
Rehydrating before you go to bed is key. If you don’t rehydrate before bed, you’re making a huge mistake. Your state of dehydration will worsen overnight, affecting your quality of sleep and overall health. If you did step #1, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Step 5: Rehydrate First Thing in the Morning & Eat a Healthy Meal
If you rehydrated before bed, you’re in good shape, but there’s more. Continue the recovery process by rehydrating again first thing in the morning. If you did Step 1 totally correctly, you’ll be golden here because your second rehydration beverage will be ready for you when you wake up.
In addition to rehydrating immediately in the morning, remember that your body is depleted of a lot of nutrients. Instead of eating greasy and carb-laden foods, shoot for yet again another healthy breakfast focusing on good fat sources (think avocados, olive oil, eggs), and protein (egg whites, protein powder, greek yogurt, etc.).
So, there you have it! A five-step process to helping you enjoy your nights out without completely wrecking your mind and body. Finding balance between health and fun is possible, you just have to plan ahead, be mindful, and make better choices when it comes to how you’re drinking.