Avoiding
Eat + Drink

Avoiding the Holiday Hangover!

Amy Wilson

The holidays are fast approaching and holiday parties have already begun. December is undoubtedly a difficult month to keep your health regime on track, and it would be great if making mindful food and beverage choices was always our practice, but sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we find ourselves loosening out belts. Hangovers are unquestionably the WORST, and no one wants to suffer with one during the holidays. When it comes to tackling the parties and get-togethers, here are some tips that might help prevent the dreaded holiday hangover!

Eat a protein rich snack before bed

Okay, so we all know eating before bed is not a great idea, but having alcoholic drinks late into the night actually counts as “eating”. Alcohol turns into sugar in our bodies, and having a protein-rich snack, such as nuts or seeds, before bed, helps to balance out blood sugar levels. This helps prevent a sugar ‘spike’ while you sleep, which will keep you tossing and turning. Metabolizing alcohol while you sleep, or any type of sugar, will prevent you from getting a deep and restful sleep. So, if you know you are having drinks into the evening hours, or indulging in mom's famous ‘mud pie’ desert, aim to top it all off with a protein-rich snack.

Hydrate

Be mindful of staying hydrated leading up to your holiday events. If you are cooking all day in the kitchen, it can be easy to forget to drink your water. Hydrate in fun ways this holiday season by adding a cup of bone broth to your day. Bone broth will not only hydrate you, but is also loaded with vitamins and minerals. You can also swap out your sugary drink from your favourite coffee shop with a healthier alternative such as Organika’s Mylk Lattes. These two examples are fun, creative and make it easy to help support your immune system during such a busy time! One of the best ways to avoid a dehydration headache from a hangover is to have a glass of water between each drink. This will help keep you hydrated, as well as potentially reduce the amount of alcohol you consume throughout the evening, which will reduce those nasty feelings the next day.

Supplement

When you pack your bags for your holiday vacay, don’t forget to pack your supplements! And if you are staying home, be sure to have them handy and easily accessible. Below is my go-to list of supplements I use during the holidays:

  • Charcoal: If I find I have eaten something too rich, or I have indulged in a few too many alcoholic beverages, I make sure to take charcoal. Just one tsp of charcoal can mop up a mess in the gut and help you feel better the following day. However, it is important to note that charcoal can prevent the absorption of some medications, so be sure to avoid taking it at the same time as other medications or supplements.
  • Probiotics: The bacteria in our gut are affected by too much sugar, stress and travel. I always take a probiotic during the holiday season so that my gut and immune system stay strong!

  • Curcumin, Milk Thistle, NAC: These three powerhouse supplements support the body in more ways than one. The first and most important way is with our liver! The liver is strong and mighty, but extra booze and food add on to the amount of work it has to do in a day. NAC, milk thistle and curcumin are well researched in the area of liver health and support. These supplements also provide antioxidant support and may help lower overall inflammation.

  • B vitamins: I never skip my B’s around the holidays! Alcohol consumption depletes our B vitamins, and supplementing is a must. Staying on top of my B vitamin supplement regime helps keep my energy up during this busy time!

As always, please consult your naturopathic doctor, or other registered health practitioner, for what supplementation is right for you.

Be happy, be healthy, and happy holidays!

Amy Wilson