If you have ever experienced a hangover, lack of hydration, and/or the need for a detox, you know it can feel like a cruel joke. As we enter the holiday season, we can expect to be eating on the go while shopping and to be tempted by sugary foods and adult beverages at parties. But indulging doesn’t have to end in headaches, stomach issues, and junk food cravings if you understand what is happening and what to do about it.
Alcohol causes dehydration for a couple of reasons. First, alcohol is a diuretic, which means It causes increased urination. Second, when people are drinking, they’re not always drinking enough water to balance what they are losing.
While dehydration is a factor in some of the hangover symptoms (dizziness, light headedness, and extreme thirst) it isn’t the only culprit in the awful aftermath of a great party.
One theory is that there can also be a buildup of acetaldehyde. As the body starts to process alcohol, acetaldehyde is the first by-product created. It has been estimated that acetaldehyde is up to 30 times more toxic than alcohol and can be responsible for the nausea, vomiting, and sweating associated with hangovers.
Believe it or not, hangovers can mess with your immune system too. In a 2003 study of “The effects of alcohol hangovers on cytokine production in healthy subjects,” a strong correlation was found between high levels of cytokines and hangover symptoms. In a non-alcohol related state, cytokines would normally trigger a fever (inflammatory response) to fight an infection.
It appears that excessive alcohol consumption can also provoke cytokine release, which leads to symptoms like fatigue, headache, and nausea.
No matter what the actual reason is for the hangover, when you experience the symptoms you just want to know how to make them go away!
Here are some suggestions to help you through the holidays.
Hang Over Prevention
- On the day of an event, eat nutrient dense, enzyme rich, organic, non-GMO foods. (This really is every day, right?) Don’t buy in to the “I’m saving my calories for later” idea; this will only cause you more problems the next day. Fruits and vegetables are your friends but be sure to also include lean protein with healthy fats.
- Remember to drink plenty of water! (Half your weight in ounces is the gold standard.) If you want to level up your water game, go with Pellegrino or Gerolsteiner to receive the amazing benefits of their trace minerals as well.
- The night of an event, the best thing to keep in mind is to sip slowly, reducing the total amount of alcohol you ingest. And alternating each alcoholic drink with a glass of water can help to keep you hydrated.
- Get in to see us for a Myers Push or Vitamin B12 injection BEFORE you go out.
Hang Over Cures and Remedies
- If you wake up with the dreaded hangover monster, be sure to hydrate. Infused water, herbal water, mineral water― they’re all must haves.
- Fight the “hair of the dog” urge and refrain from the Bloody Mary or Mimosa the day after – those will only delay the inevitable. Instead, start your day with a healthy protein and good fats. (Think warm herbal tea and an omelet or scramble with dark leafy greens, mushrooms, onions, garlic and sliced avocado.)
- Get in to see us for a saline drip AFTER when you realize how dehydrated you are.
Regardless of your choices, HAPPY HOLIDAYS and STAY SAFE!!
Zachary and DeeAnn Saber