As the holidays approach, we need to be mindful about alcohol consumption. It may be hard to avoid those festive cocktails, so when you do indulge, follow these tips to avoid a hangover.
First of all, it is important to take your vitamins, antioxidants and other supplements on a regular basis, as most of them are water soluble and your body needs them to be replenished daily. They are especially important since we are likely to experience additional metabolic insults from holiday food, alcohol and emotional stressors.
If you plan on drinking alcohol during a holiday shindig, follow these tips to help avoid a hangover:
- Make sure you are well-hydrated ahead of time.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Make an effort to limit your consumption.
- Space out your drinks by drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage. Drinking more in a shorter period of time will make for a worse hangover.
Congeners are by-products of alcohol fermentation and exaggerate the symptoms of hangover. Dark spirits, such as brandy and whisky, contain more congeners than lighter spirits, such as vodka. Less expensive products have fewer impurities removed and are more likely to cause a hangover. Therefore, try to go for top-shelf products!
Alcohol impairs the liver’s ability to supply glucose to the tissues, especially the brain, causing fatigue, weakness, moodiness, and decreased attention.
If you do suffer from a hangover, remedies include:
- Replenish glucose and fluid with fruit juice (i.e. orange juice or Gatorade and additional water)
- Eat mineral-rich foods like canned fish, nuts and green leafy vegetables
- Replenish B-vitamins and vitamin C
- Avoid or limit caffeine as it will dehydrate you further
- Avoid aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen until you are well hydrated
Cheers and have a happy holiday!
-Dr. Brian Miles