You wake up feeling like broken martini glass stems are sticking out of your eyes. Your mouth is drier than your grandmother’s cremation ashes. What should be the first thing you reach for to cure a hangover naturally?
Hangovers are your body’s warning system to remind you that it’s not a toxic waste site. However, knowing that you might be a repeat offender, here are some remedies author and nutritionist Esther Blum and Dr. Bradley Dyer of Premier Integrative Health in Kansas City shared with me.
Is There a Natural Hangover Cure?
There are 5 natural hangover cures and no, having a Bloody Mary or painkiller cocktail is not one of them. More booze is the last thing your body needs.
“The only cure for a hangover is death.” Robert Benchley
Remedy #1: Prevention
Blum knows the ins and outs of what foods and vitamins can do for our bodies, as well as the positive effects they after a night of being overserved.
According to her book, “Eat, Drink and Be Gorgeous,” you can stave off some of the aches, pains and general grossness that come with a hardy hangover before you even take your first sip of alcohol.
As a part of the hangover helper diet, Blum recommends the supplement DMAE (Dimethylethanolamine).
When DMAE was used in studies, patients reported not having the pesky hangover headaches they do after drinking. Try taking 200mg of this supplement and see how it helps your day-after experience.
In addition to supplements, Blum recommends maintaining a healthy diet that’s rich in greens and vegetables. The antioxidants in vegetables like brussels sprouts, onions, leeks, garlic, buckwheat, barley and alfalfa sprouts can keep your liver functioning at such a high level that it can tackle those unhealthy compounds more efficiently than if you live on fast food.
Binging on brussels sprouts helps detox your body. Kale and broccoli are also detoxifying green superheroes that help purge gross waste products like alcohol and tobacco out of your system.
Stock up on brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli recipes by going to Pinterest.
If you haven’t vegetable-loaded before a big night of drinking, fear not. Blum and Dr. Dyer recommend NAC, an acronym for N-Acetyl Cysteine. NAC is an amino acid supplement. Both experts recommend popping one before, during and after you quaff drinks. This curious compound will help your liver when it’s exposed to the toxicity of alcohol.
Remedy #2: Curb Caffeine
Caffeine and alcohol combos are not your friend. While a vodka Red Bull can certainly give you stamina for a night, it will kick your ass like a mule in the morning. The same goes for those sugary-drinks like rum punch, margaritas, or screwdrivers. They taste like liquid vacation in the moment, but the sugar will dehydrate your body twofold so stick to drinks served straight up or with a splash of water. The more dehydrated you become, the more hellish you will feel in the morning.
Remedy #3: Vitamins and Water
Water is a universal cure-all for many things, including hangovers. For every glass of alcohol, your body expels four times that amount in liquid. Alcohol also depletes a broad range of vitamins, amino acids fatty acids, enzymes, and proteins from your body, according to Dr. Dyer.
If you’ve dehydrated the heck out of your body with caffeine, sugar, and massive alcohol consumption, drink water and restore enzymes. Magnesium can help as well. Age and excessive alcohol consumption over time further depletes magnesium, increasing the impact of the hangover. If you’re a regular drinker, supplement your diet with daily doses of liquid magnesium, vitamin C, and milk thistle.
Before falling into bed after a night of drinking, take 900mg of NAC and chug, chug, all the water you can before you doze off. Your body and liver will thank you.
Dr. Dyer doesn’t suggest taking Ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). NSAIDs can cause stomach discomfort and make the liver work harder.
Dr. Dyer does recommend curcumin and turmeric to reduce aches, pains and inflammation. Seek out quality brands such as Pure or Designs for Health. If you live in Kansas City you can drop by Premier Integrative Health located on Armour in North Kansas City to purchase supplements that have been vetted by Dr. Dyer and his colleagues.
Remedy #4: Sleep
Sleep like time, fixes everything. You can’t feel a hungover if you’re sleeping. Sleeping helps your body to relax and recuperate. Sleep allows your body to release hormones that can slow breathing, and relax other muscles perhaps from doing the macarena. Sleeping can reduce inflammation and assist with healing.
Remedy #5: Tomato Juice or Tonic
Dr. Dyer says drinking 7-Up or Sprite are not scientifically proven help shorten a hangover. However, he gives a thumbs up to drinking tonic water with citrus juice or even tomato juice. Because tomato juice is 90% water, it will help hydrate you and restore essential vitamins.
The next time you go to happy hour, rotate a glass of water between each drink or order a non-alcoholic substitute. Most bars offer one or two beer substitutes and more and more companies are riding the sober-curious trend as is Curious Elixers.
Kin Euphorias is a new non-alcoholic beverage loaded with adaptogens, nootropics, and botanics, and no booze. The makers claim the drinks will help dial you up or down naturally with the big perk of waking up feeling great.
I hope this helps you minimize your next hangover while maximizing your fun in the Midwest.
May your next happy hour or holiday party be filled with Evian, NAC, and a free day to rest and recover the morning after.
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