With Christmas just around the corner, a seemingly endless parade of parties and other social events are beckoning on the horizon for many people. Whether it’s office Christmas parties, drinks with friends and distant family members, Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, one thing is guaranteed – the alcohol will be free-flowing and it is generally the one time of year that even the most sensible of drinkers can have one too many.
Whilst the best cure for a hangover is not to drink alcohol at all, here are some tips and tricks you can use to minimise the effects of overdoing it this party season:
#1. Take Supplements
Love Your Liver – Indigo Herbs exclusively stock this proprietary herbal and superfood blend that is specifically formulated to protect and nurture the liver and to support detoxification. Add this to your morning smoothie each day for maximum liver support.
Milk Thistle Extract - taking this daily will help to protect and detoxify your liver – the active ingredient, silymarin, specifically works to repair liver cell damage from alcohol and other toxins. (If you are taking “Love Your Liver”, this already contains Milk Thistle.)
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) - enhances glutathione levels which are important for optimum liver function. It also lowers the acetaldehyde toxicity that causes a lot of hangover symptoms. One 600mg capsule is recommended around an hour before you start drinking to minimise the toxic effects of alcohol.
B Vitamins - vitamin B1 works well with NAC. Taking a multi-B-vitamin supplement is a good call as drinking alcohol depletes your body of these important nutrients. B vitamins help the body to rid itself of alcohol and by ensuring your levels are topped up before you go out you can help your body deal with the morning after.
Chlorella - Taking a good dose of this super-green algae 2 hours before a drinking session will flood the body with the nutrients that alcohol robs from it, whilst protecting the liver. Furthermore, a study conducted at the Sapporo Medical University in Japan found that 96% of the participants who took 5 grams of chlorella before drinking reported a significant reduction in hangover symptoms.
Vitamin C - Alcohol depletes the body of vitamin C, which is important for reducing alcohol-induced oxidative stress in the liver. If you already supplement vitamin C it might be worth taking extra on the days you will be drinking alcohol.
Probiotics - Help you gut recover by taking a multi strain probiotic everyday over the party season.
Activated Charcoal – taking this supplement before you go to bed can break down and mop up the toxic acetaldehyde that is produced by alcohol in the body. Pop a couple of capsules by your bed with a big glass of water to remind you when you get home.
#2. Drink Water
It's no surprise to hear that drinking lots of water is effective, as most people are aware, over consumption of alcohol causes dehydration. The ideal scenario would be to match each alcoholic drink with a glass of water, although that kind of discipline tends to fly out of the window when we are enjoying ourselves.
Try to drink a large glass of pure water before bedtime and a glass of pure water with the juice of a freshly squeezed organic lemon first thing in the morning- this will flush out toxins, alkalise your body and aid digestion.
Coconut Water is fantastic to replace lost electrolytes so make sure you are well stocked up.
#3. Eat Before You Drink
The golden rule of alcohol is to never drink on an empty stomach. Alcohol is absorbed straight through the stomach lining, which is why its effects are felt so quickly. The difference between feeling normal versus waking up the next morning feeling nauseous with a throbbing head could be as simple as just one good meal.
If it's not possible to eat a good meal before drinking, then have some superfood snacks with you that contain protein. Super Greens Seeded Energy Bars, Raw Spirulina Energy Balls or Spirulina and Hemp Protein Balls are the perfect, protein packed snacks before a big night out!
Increasing your fibre intake will help to strengthen and cleanse your digestive system against any possible onslaughts. A great way to do this is supplementing with Psyllium Husks - these are pure dietary fibre which will cleanse and eliminate toxins from the bowel.
#4. Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Avoid caffeine after 3pm on the day of each party, caffeine can put extra strain on your liver which will need to be in tip top condition before a night of partying. Better still drink no caffeine - employ the either or strategy (alcohol or caffeine)!
#5. Choose Your Poison With Care
Some drinks have a much more dramatic effect on how you feel the next day. This is due to sugar and additives, such as colours and preservatives, that put a strain on your pancreas and other detoxification organs.
If you drink colourless drinks, the severity of hangovers can be significantly reduced. Additionally, if you can get sulphite free, organic alcoholic drinks this may mitigate your hangover due to a reduction in the chemicals consumed.
Have a green smoothie for breakfast the morning after, this will provide much needed nourishment, stabilise your blood sugar and keep you full until lunchtime. Check out our Super Greens Detox Smoothie - substitute the water for coconut water as this will restore the electrolyte balance in your body and boost hydration.
#7. Get Active
A brisk walk, light jog or swim the morning after will help to work off any second helpings you may have succumbed to, kick start your metabolism and help you to feel normal again.
#8. Sweat It Out
Take saunas or steam baths once or twice a week, this will help your body to quickly sweat out toxins as well as enhancing your metabolic process, circulation and boosting the supply of oxygen to cells and tissues.
#9. Get Enough Sleep
This might seem like a no-brainer, but just one alcoholic drink disrupts your sleep patterns. Make sure you are getting enough quality sleep on the nights you are not drinking - this means that a night's sleep here and there lost to alcohol is less perceptible, thus helping to reduce the tiredness and irritability that comes with a hangover.
Don’t forget to indulge in some serious self-care over the holidays – give your body regular breaks to recover and indulge in a candlelit aromatherapy bath with a good book, or whatever else floats your boat.
Here at Indigo Herbs we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!