With Labor Day Weekend coming up, Haute and Holistic wanted to share some tips on how to prevent a hangover, something many people will be facing in the days to come. Here are my tips and tricks to avoid the dreaded hangover.
I am always amazed by the number of patients who show up to their appointments with hangovers, especially around a holiday. If patients could take a few preventive steps before hitting parties, they most likely would wake up on the right side of the bed and not in the toilet.
The first tool is simply eating a healthy meal prior to going out. Make sure to eat both health fats like avocados, nuts or olives and fiber such as apples, vegetables or whole grains to delay transit time in the digestive system. Having both fiber and fat will keep your stomach full and keep you from getting completely smashed, which can happen on an empty stomach. Plus, by eating a good meal beforehand you are less likely to eat junk at parties (always a plus). Alcoholic drinks contain approximately 150 calories per drink and that doesn’t include mixers. These empty calories can quickly add up. After a season of parties, eating healthy meals prior to heading out may save you 5-10 pounds.
Another great tip I tell my patients is to rotate a huge glass of water between each drink. This will slow patients down and keep dehydrating effects of alcohol at bay. I also suggest avoiding dark colored alcohol like whiskey and red wine. Instead, stick with light colored alcohols like vodka, white wine, tequila and gin because they contain fewer chemicals called congeners, which can leave you with a splitting headache. Avoid add-ins like sour mix, which pack in preservatives that can make a hangover even worse and sugars that spike your blood glucose, then send it crashing leading you to crave more alcohol. Be aware of mixing diet drinks and alcohol. Research has shown that sugar substitutes may speed the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. My preference for alcoholic drinks is clear alcohol or Aperol which is a digestif and very low in sugar.
If you have over indulged, when you return home try to drink some coconut water or Gatorade that will replace electrolytes depleted by alcohol. My suggestion, drink at least 8 oz because alcohol dehydrates the system. Try to do this the minute you arrive home.
Lastly, if you were too drunk to take precautions the night before and wake up the next morning with your head splitting open, try the coconut water or the Gatorade trick before breakfast. You should also include eggs, bananas and fruit in your morning menu. These foods can help replenish electrolytes and other substances your alcohol-ravaged body needs.
Most importantly, be safe this Holiday Weekend.
~Dr. Elizabeth Trattner
*This article was originally featured on Prevention.com for 7 Ways To Prevent Hangovers*