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Holiday Hangover Remedies

posted Dec 21, 2011, 8:34 AM by Amanda Bontempo   [ updated Dec 21, 2011, 1:56 PM ]
(thank you
This is the season where many people find themselves up to their eyeballs in holiday parties and dinners, which usually involve toasting to your friends and family.  All that drinking will upset your upcoming New Year’s Resolution to live healthier for two reasons. The first is that it is easy to pack on the pounds with liquid calories from alcoholic beverages. I’m not worried because I know you already read the post below on skinny holiday beverages. (Refresh your knowledge here). 

The other reason is that a night of imbibing equals a morning that includes a throbbing headache, fatigue, weakness, achiness, nausea, the runs and an overall sense of feeling like poop.  These hangover symptoms are caused by dehydration and metabolic derangements caused by the ethanol content of that third eggnog…or was it the fourth?

These Holiday Hangover Remedies are likely already in your pantry and will help mitigate the need to hug the porcelain throne

  • Alcohol is a diuretic. You already figured this out when you needed the restroom 300 times last night. Hydrate yourself and replace lost electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride. Drink a glass of refreshing coconut water, which is the original and natural rehydration supplement. Or enjoy a hot lunch of chicken noodle or matzoh ball soup for lunch. (Sometimes I really hate it when Mom was right, but she was. Chicken soup is the great panacea). 

Going to another party this weekend? Be a smart cookie and drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage. When you get home, down 16-20 ounces of water before catching some ZZZs. 

Morning coffee is a common source of contention. Does it hydrate or does it act as a diuretic? One or two cups of coffee in the morning will help hydrate you! After all, it’s made from water. More than two cups though starts to concentrate the caffeine and will undermine your efforts to reach optimal rehydration.  If you choose to have a cup of joe, avoid extra trimmings like flavored syrups because this shot of sugar will leave you crashing and feeling worse. 

  • If the morning after, you’re left battling a sour stomach with nausea and the runs, fallback to an ancient failsafe. Ginger! It has been shown to lessen nausea and heartburn so dig in to that tin of homemade gingerbread cookies from your coworker. The crunchy carbs will also help settle your stomach. When stomachs are upset, water can be very harsh and actually make nausea worse! But don’t forget about the importance of hydration, opt for ginger tea to conquer nausea and dehydration at once.
  • A night of hitting the bottle depletes vitamins resulting in hangover symptoms. Try 1 cup of cold cereal, hot cereal or a whole, unrefined grain like brown rice, couscous or quinoa.  Whole grains and fortified cereals will replace these thiamin, folate and other B vitamins for a boost in energy.  A slice of 100% whole wheat toast or crackers with avocado will also replace lost potassium to help you feel back to normal.  These early morning carbs will help bring your blood sugar levels back to normal. Your liver usually does this for you but it’s busy right now metabolizing alcohol and detoxing your system.
  • Ease your headache woes with a pill (or two).  No food or beverage will help relieve pain. If you decide to head to the medicine cabinet, stick to NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is also metabolized in your liver, which is already working overtime. Give it a break.
  • Exercise! Light exercise like yoga or cycling will not cure your hangover but will produce feel-good endorphins that will mask some of your early morning aches and pains. If you choose to hit the gym, make sure you hit the water bottle as hard as you hit the bar last night. Revert to #1 and replace lost fluids and electrolytes to benefit from exercise induced hormones.  

Still not sober? Try this. Alcohol recommendations for women are 1-2 drinks, for men 2-3 drinks. This is considered “light drinking”. Anything more that that is considered “heavy drinking” by the American Medical Association.