Posted by: Kennedy | January 1, 2012

Holiday hangover helpers

Happy New Year, dear reader!

Are you waking up feeling refreshed this morning? Or are you perhaps a little slow to get going after a bit too much celebrating last night?

Not to worry. I’ve got your New Year’s Hangover Helpers right here.

#1. Water. And lots of it.

Your body runs on water – on any given day, you need plenty of H20 to prevent dehydration and keep your body functioning well. But after you drink alcohol, you need even more. Alcohol dehydrates you as your body breaks it down. And dehydration is what makes you wake up with that nasty headache. The best trick is to drink lots of water throughout the day before you drink, then sip a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have – this will help replenish some of the water you’re losing and limit the effects of the booze the next day.

#2: Lemons.

While you’re guzzling down that water, squeeze some lemon juice into it. Lemons are chockfull of vitamin C, which is essential for cleansing and detoxifying the liver – something your body is begging you to do after a night of drinking. Lemons (or any fruit or vegetable) are also alkalinizing, which will help balance out the acidity from alcohol and sugars in pop, juice and other sweeteners added into your beverage of choice.

#3: Electrolytes. I’m not talking about sports drinks like Gatorade. Those drinks are full of artificial flavours and colours and will do nothing for your liver. Instead, sip some coconut water or mix an electrolyte powder into yet another glass of water to help re-hydrate you and replenish all the minerals depleted from the previous night’s shenanigans. I like Emergen-C or Endurlyte. Don’t have those in your cupboard? No worries – you can make your own! Just mix 2 cups of water, 1 Tbsp of a natural sweetener (honey or maple syrup), and ¼ tsp sea salt.

#4: B Vitamins.

When it comes to vitamins, there are no better ones for killing a nasty hangover like the B complexes. Bs help give you energy and reduce fatigue. Take a B complex supplement before bed to help minimize a next-day hangover. A great source of all the B vitamins is whole grains, such as whole wheat toast, oats, or quinoa. Cook yourself up a warm bowl of oatmeal (not the instant stuff) for breakfast. My all-time favourite oatmeal recipe (pictured above): Carrot Cake Oatmeal. Added bonus: there’s a whole carrot in there – a great source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that will help eliminate toxins from alcohol.

#5: Eggs.

These little breakfast superstars boast all kinds of health benefits. They contain choline (in the yolk, so please don’t skip out on it!), which help repair brain cells damaged by booze drinking. They also contain cysteine, which helps soak up acetaldehyde – the chemical produced by oxidation of ethanol, which is responsible for that “blah” feeling associated with a hangover.

Remember: the only surefire way to avoid a hangover is not to overindulge. But for those special occasions where you tend to overdo it, you now have a plan to help your body recover as best it can.

Here’s to 2012: the year of fewer hangovers!

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