Use Science to Help Your Holiday Hangover

Use Science to Help Your Holiday Hangover

Fall is here which means that the holiday season is just around the corner. Holiday hangovers are inevitable for most of us but if you understand what a hangover is at a cellular level (as well as understanding what your body needs before, during and after drinking) you can start to reduce the damage of hangovers before they start. We know that a major reason for hangovers is INFLAMMATION in the body that is caused by the toxins in alcohol (which is why I try to avoid alcohol a lot of the time) but there are other things that drive the pain of a hangover too, mainly dehydration (alcohol is a diuretic that reduces hormones that prevent your kidneys from holding onto water), electrolyte depletion, gastrointestinal irritation, poor and interrupted sleep, inflammatory responses from the body, blood sugar destabilization, an impact on our cytokine production and also suppression of our nervous system.

There is no one cure that can alleviate the negative impacts that alcohol has on our physiology. However, there are some science-backed options to reduce the misery and increase your recovery to make the party season a little more fun this year!

First up, before drinking, hydration is key - but not just hydrating with water - topping up minerals and electrolytes is really important too. This article here on what hydration *really* is, is important. So, stock up on your minerals and electrolytes. Things like the Quinton Isotonic Mineral Supplement in the cute little glass vials are great because they are easy to take and an organic-based, bioavailable and complete mineral supplement extracted from the center of a protected vortex plankton bloom in the Atlantic Ocean. I love it for the total mineral hit that it gives you. Electrolyte wise, LMNT is one of my favorite electrolyte products because it delivers the value of electrolytes without the hit of sugar in so many electrolyte drinks. They taste good too!
Before drinking, you can also consider taking:

  • Activated charcoal to start to mop up the toxins in your bloodstream ready for when the alcohol hits
  • Prickly pear extract. I love the study linked here on the impact it has on helping our body battle a hangover and how it can reduce hangover symptoms by 62%. It’s anti inflammatory and also helps with blood sugar stabilization
  • A potent B complex supplement (because these B vits are hit hard by drinking) and Vitamin C too to prep your body for the way that these will deplete when you start drinking
  • Milk Thistle to help prepare your liver to detox and cleanse (the active chemical in Milk Thistle called silymarinhelps the liver repair itself)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is great too. It is a potent antioxidant and precursor to glutathione that aids the body in producing glutathione and then supports the body in detoxing. 400 mg is about right.

Next up, when you’re drinking, you need to consider *what* you are drinking. Here are my top tips:

  • Clear and distilled alcohol like tequila, vodka and gin are easiest for the body to process
  • The darker the liquor, the more dangerous and the more sugar in the drink, the equally damaging
  • Try to drink your liquors straight, but if you have to add a mixer, go with something like soda and fresh lime that will help with hydration
  • Avoid wines packed with sulfates and always go for organic biodynamic wines if wine is your drink of choice
  • Also, remember to drink high quality water alongside your alcoholic drinks (ideally filtered or distilled and avoiding tap water always)

Before you go to bed, make sure you take an additional dosage of binders or activated charcoal. At this point, the toxins will have flooded your system and it’s important to soak them up before you wake up feeling awful.

The next day, when you aren’t feeling your best, hydration is again key (if you’re really struggling I’d advise an IV drip for ultra fast hydration) but if that is not possible, I’d always advise taking:

  • Electrolytes and minerals (If you can access coconut water (the fresher the better), it’s also a great way to replenish your electrolytes too)
  • THC for the nausea and ginger tea for this too
  • Another hit of B Vitamins, Vitamin C and activated charcoal to help your body replenish what it lost as well as to continue to break down the alcohol and toxins in the body and remove it from your system
  • Cranberry supplements (to help cleanse the bladder too)

Food is important as well. Since alcohol destroys your stomach bacteria, it’s important to replenish with probiotics the next day rather than grabbing for a greasy burger. Be sure to supplement with your normal probiotic but also be careful what you eat after drinking. Alcohol flushes sodium from our body so we crave things like bacon, eggs and cheese, but if you replenish this at the source you can help keep these damaging cravings under control. Adding pink himalayan salt to your meal the next day can help to support the body's recovery (as well as taking another Quinton Isotonic vial). Kombucha is a good post-hangover drink too instead of grabbing for the soda - and ever, lots of clean, distilled water.

For me, stocking up on supplements and understanding the concept of before / during and after drinking helps you get one step closer to avoiding the horrendous holiday hangover.

Love Jena x