With summer come patios, parties, and weddings. With patios, parties, and weddings come alcohol. And it’s all fun and games until the next morning, when you’re shaking your head and swearing to yourself you’ll never drink again because your hangover is so bad. After a night of drinking, vitamins and minerals have been leached from your body, your liver is overburdened, you’re dehydrated, and chances are your stomach lining is irritated.
This leaves those of us who enjoy a drink or two here and there wondering, “Are there any ways to mitigate the negative effects of drinking on the body?” and “How can I prevent a hangover?”
Well, it’s not an easy feat my friend. However, as a holistic nutritionist who embraces both healthy living and moderation, I have learned a few tricks over the years to enjoy a few drinks without heavily compromising my health goals and wellbeing.
1. When it comes down to WHAT to drink, stick with clear hard liquor. The fact is you have to drink less of it to feel inebriated and you get to choose what you mix it with- versus beer, which is loaded with yeast and additives, not to mention you have to drink quite a few more ounces to get the same feeling.
- Clear liquors, in particular gin and vodka, have less calories (73 and 64 respectively per fl oz) and are made from ingredients that are less damaging than all the others. Gin is a juniper flavoured spirit and specifically London Gin does not have sweetening exceeding 0.1 grams of sugar per litre of the final product. It’s only other ingredient is water.
- Vodka is distilled from fermented grains, potatoes and sometimes fruits and sugars. Rum is made from sugarcane, which could be why it makes you feel so terrible. Sugar shuts down your immune response and steals vitamins and minerals from your body when consumed. This leads me to my next tip…
2. Stay away from sugary cocktails! The best part about gin is it’s tolerable with just water and lemon. This is a low calorie, low hangover drink. You could even mix one shot of gin with some good quality fruit juice or soda water, add some fresh summer fruit and you have yourself a beautiful and refreshing summer cocktail.
3. Stay away from cocktails on the menu at the bar. These drinks are not only expensive for your wallet but also your health. Why? Well, the first thing a bartender does generally is muddle sugar and alcohol together.
4. Replenish your system to make up for any stress you put on your body with the consumption of alcohol by doing the following:
- Take a multivitamin before, during and after drinking alcohol. If you can, take extra B vitamins and magnesium.
- For your liver you can drink fresh squeezed lemon juice with your drinks and especially the day after. You can also take milk thistle capsules to help your liver regain its strength the next day (available at Naturmend.)
- Drink LOTS of water. This one is a no brainer. For even better results, add electrolytes to your water to rehydrate your cells and even help your heart. EmergenC is a great addition.
- Take digestive enzymes before you eat meals. Alcohol depletes stomach enzymes so the bacon we eat for hangover breakfast has a hard time digesting because the alcohol all ready robbed all of your stomachs power. Take digestive enzymes the night before and the morning after consuming alcohol and your stomach will thank you.
I will finish by sharing a few healthy cocktail recipes I’ve developed:
- 1 mango
- ½ banana
- 1 oz vodka
- A tad of fruit juice
- Extra water if needed
Blend all the ingredients up in a blender and enjoy this sweet and filling cocktail.
If you have a chocolate craving:
- 1oz Espresso vodka
- Almond milk
- Coconut water
- Cacao Nibs
- ½ banana
Blend this up and you have yourself a energy booster, magnesium filled cocktail that will have you dancing till the sun comes up!
Stay safe, have fun, and enjoy responsibly!!
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, CHN™ and have a transcript in Iridology from the Canadian Institute of Iridology. I achieved my diploma with honors in holistic nutrition at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Calgary, Alberta. My vast knowledge of supplementation has been acquired from working in naturopathic clinics, health food stores and ongoing education through webinars, books and podcasts. It is important to me to have up to date information on the newest nutritional research and popular diets. I have also completed my 200hr yoga teacher training in Brazil in 2013 with Define Yoga.