How to avoid a hangover By Nutritionist Liana Kent
As the year winds up and the festive season starts a lot of us blow off the stress of the year with a well deserved drink or two. After all we have deserved it right? or perhaps you are catching up with friends/ family you haven’t seen in a while, maybe the year didn’t quite go to plan. What ever the reason, follow these simple tips to help you not go so silly this silly season.
Before going out
Make sure you have something to eat before going out.
Having a full belly can help to slow gastric emptying and the absorption of alcohol by up to 57%.
Ensure you are adequately hydrated before you go out, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning you loose water, if your body is already dehydrated before you start drinking, this will only exacerbate the dehydration and feelings of a hangover the next day.
On the night
Remember the recommended intake of alcohol to stay under .05 is two drinks in the first hour for men one for women and one drink every hour after that. Although one drink is not always one drink, some glasses have more than one drink standard drink in them. Make sure you know how much you are actually drinking.
Avoid bubbles – Fizzy drinks such as champagne or carbonated mixers will created gas in the stomach, this gas speeds up the gastric emptying which will increase the amount of alcohol absorbed.
Just as eating before you go out can help to slow absorption, eating while you are drinking can also help to slow the intoxication rate. Snacking on cheese and vegetable sticks is a great way to slow gastric emptying.
Not every drink has to be an alcoholic one – having a juice or water in between drinks will help to rehydrate you.
The next day
So you have over done it and woken up with a jackhammer in your head and your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth.
Here are a few tips to help get you through the day.
Feeling tried – Alcohol inhibits energy metabolism by reducing the amount of NAD+, a substance needed for glucose to be converted to energy. A good B complex tablet can help to increase energy and combat the sleepiness.
Desert mouth – So you didn’t drink enough water and the dry horrors have hit, leaving you feeling as though you ingested a cup of sand. Coconut water being packed full of electrolytes is your friend. It will help to replace the lost fluids and rehydrate you at a cellular level.
Stomach churning – Ginger is an antispasmodic, meaning it helps with motion sickness, and yep hangovers. Ginger teas can be a great way to rehydrate and stop the stomach from turning inside out.
Choose eggs over bacon – A greasy fry up is the usual go to when the hunger hits, however fats will not only cause heart burn, they will also put extra pressure on the liver, which is already hard at work processing all that alcohol you put into it last night.
Eggs on the other hand contain cysteine, a substance that combats acetaldehyde (the nasty substance that is created when we consume alcohol) and will help combat the feelings of a hangover.
With these tips you should have a more enjoyable Christmas period.
Remember to always drink responsibly.
1 – Drink wise 2017, Standard drinks calculator, <https://drinkwise.org.au/standard-drinks-calculator/#>.
DrinkWise – committed to shaping a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia.
2 – Pub Chem 2017, Acetaldehyde <https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/acetaldehyde#section=Top>.
acetaldehyde | CH3CHO or C2H4O | CID 177 – structure, chemical names, physical and chemical properties, classification, patents, literature, biological activities …
3 – Roberts, C, & Robinson, S 2007, ‘Original Communication: Alcohol concentration and carbonation of drinks: The effect on blood alcohol levels’, Journal Of Forensic And Legal Medicine, 14, pp. 398-405, ScienceDirect, EBSCOhost.
4 – West Virginia University 2017, Alcohol Awareness <http://publichealth.hsc.wvu.edu/alcohol/effects-on-the-body/ways-to-decrease-absorption-of-alcohol/>
Ways to Decrease Absorption of Alcohol. It is imperative that alcohol not be consumed on an empty stomach. If planning to drink alcoholic beverages, it is essential …
5 – Whitney, E, Rolfes, S, Crowe, T, Cameron- Smith, D & Welsh, A, Understanding Nutrition: Australia and New Zealand edition. pp, 668 – 69 Cengage learning Australia