Updated: May 27, 2020
No matter how healthy you are, there will always be the inevitable night or day of one (or two) too many drinks. Whether it be an afternoon of multiple aperol spritzs or a night of toasting with spicy margaritas... it happens to the best of us. As fun as these days/nights are, it can seriously throw off your entire next day. Recently, I had a friend ask exactly what she should do the next day when she finds herself on the other side of a bottle of wine - and I realized that this is information we all could use!
Today I'm sharing my routine to help get you back on track after a night of indulging so that you can bounce back faster, feeling better!
Step 1: HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes you to lose water. For example, studies show that 250mL of an alcoholic beverage causes your body to release up to 1000mL of water! That's 4x the amount of liquid that you consumed! This is why hydration after (and preferably, during) a night of drinking is priority numero uno. So if you had 2 glasses of wine totaling at about 375mL, then you need to have a minimum of 1500mL of water just to break even. Right when you wake up the morning after, start pouring yourself up some H2O.
Step 2: Replenish your electrolytes
When you're drinking this much water, balancing your electrolytes is really important to prevent hyponatremia. Sipping on a sugary "sports drink" isn't the best route to balance your electrolyte levels. These drinks are usually high in sugars like high fructose corn syrup that can contribute to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Considering your liver is already busy processing the alcohol from the night before, opt out of these. Try adding a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt to your water instead. This will provide all of the natural minerals your body needs to recover.
Step 3: Sooth your GI Tract
Alcohol acts as an irritant to your gut lining, increases gastric acids, and decreases digestion. This can lead to that upset stomach that leaves you feeling queasy all day long. The best way to combat this is with some natural anti-inflammatories: ginger and mint. Make a soothing ginger or mint tea by boiling water and allowing a few slices of fresh ginger or a handful of organic mint leaves to steep in the water for 5-10 minutes. Avoid taking ginger shots at a local juice shop ~ this high concentration of ginger can cause your stomach to become even more irritated.
Step 4: Eat a small, easy to digest meal
Your body is in a state of healing after a night of drinking. Eating a large meal during your hangover will take energy away from the healing process. However, your body is also in a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) state after a night out. This can lead to feeling faint or confused, which makes the hangover even worse. I recommend eating a small meal or snack to help combat the hypoglycemia without taking too much energy away from the healing process. Try 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa with some steamed veggies, a few small organic corn tortillas, or 1/2 serving of one of the smoothies from my THRIVING Cookbook (the Antioxidant Booster Smoothie is great for assisting with phase 2 liver detox).
Step 5: Take a detoxing shower
With all of the liver detoxification going on, your body is releasing a lot of compounds, including through your skin! Hop in the shower and assist the detox process by scrubbing these compounds off. You can even add a few drops of lavender essential oils to your shower to help reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Have extra time? Draw a bath and add a bubbly bath bomb. Make sure to bring your water + Celtic Sea Salt with you!
Step 6: Help your liver out with Chlorella
You've probably already heard of Spirulina... maybe you even make some beautiful smoothie bowls with it! Chlorella is the cousin of blue-green algae spirulina. It's a powerhouse when it comes to heavy metal detoxification and boosting your immune system. You can take 5-10 tablets of "cracked cell-wall" chlorella in the morning with your water to help cleanse your liver. This type of chlorella is much easier to digest so that you get the full benefits.
Step 7: Take time to heal
Although there are many things that can help assist your body during a hangover, the one true cure is time. Hangovers usually last between 8-24 hours - or longer depending on just how much fun you had ;) Don't push yourself while your body recovers. Take naps, watch Netflix, meditate, walk in the sun, and just relax. This isn't the time to book a HIIT class or circuit training workout - this is the time to heal. How you treat your body during this process will help your body to feel better during the hangover and after.