It’s the season to be jolly, sloppy, toasted, rotten, sloshed, messy, tanked, smashed, maggotted or any other unflattering term used to describe ourselves or others when they have simply drunk too much. Australians tend to pride themselves on their ability to hold their drink, it could be seen as a badge of honour to survive a huge bender. We all hear the mantra, “Work hard, play hard!”. As a practitioner I am seeing more and more people who are seeking advice on how to prevent themselves falling into a drunken stupor and ultimately a regrettable hangover. Here are some simple suggestions that will help you get through the festive period without reaching for the painkillers.
Eat something before you venture out: you can’t predict if there will be nibbles or dinner will be served promptly but you can rely on the certainty of a glass of bubbly being handed to you as soon as you arrive. Low blood sugar and high sugar alcohol are a recipe for social humiliation. Consider having a small light snack such as a sushi roll, tub of natural yoghurt with nuts, whole wheat crackers with nut butter or my pre-party favourite a protein smoothie.
Consider alternating your drinks: understandably this is socially difficult when someone yells at you “its your shout” and you feel compelled to keep the game up. However, no one needs to know that you may just be having straight soda water with lime. Including glasses of water throughout the night is the best way to stay hydrated. Some of the worse effects of alcohol are related to its dehydrating effects.
Make plans for the next day: fortunately for me having children are a great reality check for considering how you are get through a painful hangover. For those without children, make plans to go to enjoy an active day out. Consider activities such as harbour kayaking or stand up paddling. Maintaining fitness goals is a great way to keep life in balance. The festive season is not the time to forget about exercise and physical activity.
Eat balanced diet: during the festive season try to maintain a good diet. It will make the new year’s resolutions so much easier. Avoid the fast food snack after a big night, it’s not going to make tomorrow any easier. Consume foods which are restorative, for example bone broths or a Vietnamese Pho. A bacon and egg breakfast isn’t a bad idea as the protein can help repair some of the damage and balance the blood sugars.
Supplementation: the key nutrients to support your wellbeing when overindulgence is the name of the season are:
B-Group Vitamins: are depleted due to alcohol consumption. Sorry but a fizzy Berocca is not quite enough, therapeutic doses of B’s are needed to reduce the suffering.
Vitamin C: as alcohol depletes our vitamin C we start to present symptoms of cold and flu, our skin looks pasty and we generally become run down. As humans we don’t make our vitamin C so in times of stress or increased partying supplementing vitamin C makes good sense.
Magnesium: taking some magnesium before bed and in the morning will assist in reducing headaches.
Prebiotics and Probiotics: definitely a must for reducing nausea and reducing candida like symptoms caused by high sugar alcohol. Yes, ladies the champagne is causing you to “itch”! Also if you have food poisoning then probiotics can help restore balance in the gut. Poor intestinal health accelerates alcohol absorption and reduces toxicity threshold. Consider stocking up on kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut, these prebiotic foods can really help to pick ourselves up after too much festive indulgence.
Sodium Sulphate + Potassium Chloride: these minerals used as a celloid assist in relieving biliousness and nausea.
All the best for the festive season and wishing you a happy healthy new year. Macole Wassef
For tailored advice on balancing diet, health and lifestyle make an appointment with Holy Mackerel Health – www.holymackerelhealth.com