How to combat the effects of a hangover

While we all know the damaging effects that alcohol has on our health and fitness goals, this doesn’t always stop us indulging.

Although we’re sure you know the not so great effects that alcohol can have on your training and results, here’s a wee reminder in case we need some extra incentive to cut down for when the mind-numbing hangover just isn’t enough…

  1. Alcohol slows down our metabolism of fat – causing weight gain 🙁
  2. Alcohol disrupts the patterns of our REM sleep (rapid eye movement)
  3. Alcohol has almost as many calories per gram as fat does – and provides little nutritious benefit
  4. Alcohol can make us lethargic, apathetic, lacking motivation and even miserable and depressed the following day… Not the types of feelings we want if we are to look and feel our best!

There are of course many many more reasons, but sometimes once you’ve started on your first tipple, all the logical reasons not to over-drink can easily go out the window. So here are some strategies to help you get through…

The Prevention Plan

  1. If you drink a glass of wine, you will lose twice that much in water. To avoid a dehydration headache, drink two large glasses of water every hour that you are drinking. Sure, you’ll be bloated – but at least you’ll feel better the whole of the next day. Every time you go to the bathroom, have some more water before settling back down with your bevvy.
  2. If you wake in the night, have a large glass of water and another one as soon as you get up.
  3. Take B vitamins to help your body dilute the alcohol and remove some of the toxins. They can help you body relax and you can get some rest. But you MUST take them BEFORE you go to bed. Keep them sitting out on your table or by your bed before you go out – or in your handbag for the journey home.
  4. Alcohol can cause stomach damage which can make it difficult to absorb minerals. To help with stomach damage as well as headaches, take 1000mg of vitamin C and 1-2 magnesium tablets BEFORE BED.
  5.  To help prevent muscle break-down, take 1 tsp L-glutamine in a full glass of water.

The Day After Plan

  1. If you forgot your prevention plan, start your day by taking Vitamin B12 and magnesium.
  2. Drink some freshly squeezed juice – preferably tomato or carrot, and drink lots of water – try for 1-2 glasses every hour for the whole morning.
  3. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, drink ginger tea.
  4.  Take in some omega-3′s such as walnuts, salmon, avocado or take fish oil capsules. Scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast with avocado and tomato is a good choice for your morning meal.
  5. Try and get some fresh air and take a walk. If you plan to exercise, aim to do it in the evening after you have given your body a chance to do its healing work and rest throughout the day.
  6. To help prevent muscle break-down, take 1 tsp L-glutamine morning, afternoon and night.
  7. Other supplements that can help flush out your liver or repair the damage include antioxidants, flaxseed oil, magnesium, milk thistle, vitamin E, turmeric and zinc.

With all this in mind, deciding on a weekly limit is probably more beneficial than the ‘I’m never drinking again’ statements.

And remember, you can’t change the past – only the future. If you’ve over-indulged, get stuck straight in to your ‘damage control’ plan and get back on track to the best you that you can be.

Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – photostock

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