8 Ways to Avoid Holiday Hangovers

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Tis the season for plenty of holiday parties, too much bad food and probably a few too many drinks too!  If you are serious about your fitness results, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that drinking alcohol does one thing and one thing only – hinder your results! 

Tis the season for plenty of holiday parties, too much bad food and probably a few too many drinks too!  If you are serious about your fitness results, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that drinking alcohol does one thing and one thing only – hinder your results!

In fact, anytime you drink alcohol your body immediately shuts off all other metabolic processes and switches to metabolizing that alcohol out of your body.  That means everything else is switched off – muscle building and fat burning screech to a halt! But just in case you decide to part-take in a drink this holiday season, consider the following ways to avoid a holiday hangover, and enjoy a drink or two without the guilt!

  1. Drink Plenty Water

Kind of a no-brainer, alcohol is a diuretic that dehydrates you.  Be sure to drink plenty of water before you step out for the evening.  Also, consider having one glass of water for every glass of alcohol you drink.  Before you fall into your bed, down at least a couple of glasses of water.  Staying hydrated will keep a holiday hangover away come morning time!

  1. Carb Load

Carbs can help keep your blood sugar levels balanced.  When you drink alcohol, your body is busy metabolizing alcohol, and can’t switch to metabolize carbs; as a result your blood sugar levels can dip, along with your mood.  Eat complex carbs such as brown rice, quinoa or whole grain bread before you go out, to help keep your blood sugar levels stabilized.  Whole grains are also a great source of detoxifying B-Vitamins that can help reduce hangovers.  So instead of reaching for something sugary and sweet the day after a night out, have a whole grain piece of toast topped with natural almond butter.

  1. Avoid Sugary Drinks

Although some believe that sugary, sweet drinks can contribute to dehydration and a holiday hangover the next day, it’s actually more likely the loss of minerals that can cause this.  The problem with sugary drinks is that they can cause thirst, which can in-turn make you drink more.  Even worse, sugary drinks are higher in calories and sugar versus simpler drinks like gin and tonic. So whenever possible, go for simpler, less calorie, less sugary options.

healthy holiday guide

  1. Mineral Up

Too much alcohol can leave your body depleted of vitamins, minerals, and salt. This is because alcohol consumption increases urine production, causing the body to dehydrate, leading to many common hangover symptoms including thirst, weakness, dry mouth, dizziness and lightheadedness.

Don’t go for fast food post holiday party.  Yes it is loaded in salt, but all that alcohol you drank has done enough damage to your body, don’t make it worse.  Instead of reaching for fries or potato chips reach for a few pickles.  Pickles are rich in nutrients including vitamin A, iron, potassium, vitamin K, calcium and manganese.  And if you can stomach it, try a mineral-rich fish such as tuna, which can help replenish depleted nutrients. Consider also using a mineral supplement or electrolyte drink.

  1. Sweat it Out

Although sweating it out is actually a myth; your body can metabolize alcohol quickly.  About 1 oz of hard liquor in approximately one hour.  You should still go to the gym the next day.  Don’t let your holiday celebrations interfere with what else is important to you.  Yeah, you might not feel so great, but a little exercise can go a long way.  Remember dehydration is what’s usually the root cause of a hangover – so drink lots of water and go burn off those extra calories you consumed.  Not only that but the endorphin release, may actually make you feel better.

  1. Avoid Coffee

Come morning time, you may not want to reach for your usual cup of coffee.  I know it’s tempting, but don’t do it.  Remember coffee contains caffeine, which is a diuretic, which can make you more dehydrated and your holiday hangover worse.  It you do choose to kick-start your day with a jolt of coffee, be sure to drink a glass or two of water with it.

  1. Have a Protein Shake or Two

When you drink your body produces a toxic substance called acetaldehyde, which is part of the reason you are suffering from the symptoms of a hangover.  As a result the body produces its strongest antioxidant – glutathione, to rid the body of this toxin – but this antioxidant can be depleted quickly.  One of the best ways to up your natural supply of glutathione is by taking in whey protein. Quality whey protein, or an Essential Amino Acid drink can provides all the key amino acids for glutathione production including Cysteine, Glycine and Glutamate.  You can also supplement with a high bioavailable glutathione supplement.

  1. Switch Up Your Drink

If you choose to partake in some form of holiday libations the best thing to do is to be sure you choose less calorie-loaded drinks.  If going for cocktails stick with mineral waters or diet sodas mixed with hard liquors such as vodka or gin.  Avoid juice, cream based liquors, or condiment toppers like cherries, candy canes, sugar-rimmed glasses or whip cream.  If you’re a wine drinker, mix half wine with a sparkling water to reduce calories.

Calorie Reduced Cocktails:

Cosmopolitan

Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese and flavonoids, but due to the extreme bitterness of the fruit most cranberry juices are loaded with sugar.  Pick a light cranberry juice that is usually blended with a few other juices and even sweetened with a non-calorie sweetener such as sucralose.  Mix: 1 cup light cranberry juice, 3 oz of vodka, 1 oz of cointreau, 1 oz of lime juice.  Shake with Ice and serve!  Makes 2. Calories Per Serving: 181 kCal, Carbs: 11 g, Sugar: 5 g

Pomegranate Sangria

This Holiday fruit is full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, B6 and potassium.  The concentrated juice packs a powerful punch, and doesn’t require too much either!  Mix: 1 cup of chilled pomegranate juice, ¼ cup of soda, 10 oz of sparkling wine.  Add lime, orange slices and pomegranate seeds to garnish.  Makes 2.  Calories Per Serving: 187 kCal, Carbs: 22 g, Sugar: 17 g

Light Eggnog

Although a favorite holiday treat, Eggnog can be loaded in calories!  High in fat and sugar! Choose a light version of pre-made Eggnog and add your choice of brandy! Mix 4 cups of Eggnog, with 4 oz of Brandy.  Calories Per Serving: 195 Kcal, Carbs: 23 g, Sugar: 23g, Fat: 2 g, Protein: 3 g.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

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