Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!
Let’s face it– no one can be a health-nut 100% of the time. And when St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend, there’s no denying it’s going to be tough to be good and not give in. So go on. Be safe. Have fun. Join in the celebrations. But be ready to face the consequences…
After a weekend of Irish bar hopping, dancing, singing and plenty of indulging in green beer (while you’re at it check out this list of vegan-friendly beers) your body is going to need some serious damage control. And as much as you’d like to stuff your face with greasy fries and a burrito at 9:00 AM the morning after the fun festivities…allow me to be that little conscious on your shoulder telling you “STOP!!! DON’T DO IT!”
Sorry… (not sorry).
You’ll thank me later.
So, instead of eating unhealthy foods, wasting the entire day away in bed, and pretty much hating yourself for doing so afterwards… grab a tall glass of water and allow me to share some of my healthy hangover tips that will help to get you back on your feet and feeling better in no time .
Have a Healthy Hangover:
Take your vitamins:
Alcohol causes inflammation. Inflammation causes health problems (including hangovers). Omega-3 fatty acids combat inflammation. So, the easy thing to do? Pop a couple of omega-3s to reduce inflammation. An added bonus? They’ll help with those questionable puffy, red eyes of yours as well. Another vitamin that helps with hangover symptoms is vitamin B. Vitamin B (which plays a key role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system) is known to speed up the metabolism of alcohol, so it’s a good idea to take a vitamin B complex before you go out and first thing in the morning when you wake up.
Sip peppermint tea:
Start your morning off with peppermint tea. Peppermint leaves have a soothing aroma and some pretty great therapeutic powers. When made into a tea, they settle the stomach and help with indigestion– two major hangover culprits. Peppermint also helps to cleanse and detoxify the liver, and by cleansing and detoxifying the liver you’ll able to speed up the hangover recovery process. Since the liver is in charge of filtering alcohol and other toxins from your body, it’s probably a good idea to give the poor guy a break (after all those green beers, it’s the least you can do). Lastly, peppermint tea contains antioxidants– while antioxidants may not help with your nausea, they do help to get your skin looking great–and chances are your skin could use a little boost after all that dehydrating alcohol anyways. So, drink up!
Have a green smoothie:
I know the idea of getting all the ingredients together to make a green smoothie is about as appealing as a shot of tequila right about now…but trust me on this one. You’ll feel 100x better after drinking this healthy concoction. After a night out, your poor body is already working hard enough to process all that poisonous alcohol filtering through your liver– so the last thing you should do is make it work even harder by filling up your belly with greasy, fatty junk food that takes extra time to break down (Please don’t cry. I know that’s what you really want, but it will do you no good). The better option? A healthy smoothie. My Green Superstar Smoothie is crammed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and hydrating nutrients that will help you to kiss your hangover goodbye. Detoxifying ingredients like lemon juice, parsley, and cilantro will have you feeling refreshed and revived in no time, the banana will level out your potassium levels, the pear and apple will give your system a healthy dose of vitamin C to stimulate the liver (and potentially fend off any germs you may have picked up the night before), the spinach is also full of hangover fighting vitamin C as well as sulfur and folic acid, and the water will rehydrate your very dehydrated body.
Order miso soup:
After a night out on the town, chances are you’re dehydrated and devoid of the proper sodium, water, and nutrients your body needs due to the diuretic effects of alcohol. Miso soup, the popular soup you can order in Japanese restaurants, is chock full of beneficial enzymes, nutrients and bacteria that can help to undo some of the damage you did the night before. Miso soup is also fermented and the healthy bacteria created through the fermentation process can help settle an uneasy stomach.
Drink kombucha tea:
Once again the Japanese have it right. Kombucha tea is that fancy bottled tea you can find at Whole Foods with weird stuff floating at the bottom. That weird “stuff” is actually a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, and when it’s fermented, the healthy bacteria created actually helps to settle a queasy stomach. It sounds a lot yuckier than it really is, and the slightly alcohol-y taste may take a little getting used to (there are trace amounts of alcohol in the tea as a result of the fermentation), but this tea contains probiotics which are great for your gut, especially after it’s been stripped down and abused by booze from the night before. I like GT’s Kombucha Tea best.
Brew a cup of green tea:
Instead of making the trek to Dunkin Donuts or immediately reaching for that pot of coffee to get your caffeine fix, brew up a nice warm cup of green tea instead. Green tea is chock full of antioxidants that can help to fight free-radicals (which are released by alcohol) and the caffeine in green tea can help to ease your headache. Another trick that may ease your hangover? Drink a cup of green tea when you get home from a night out and about and let those anti-oxidants do their restorative work while you sleep.
Sweat it out with exercise:
Okay people. I know you are probably rolling your eyes at me right about now, but hear me out. Exercise gets the blood circulating, and the sweat going which helps to eliminate waste and all of those nasty toxins produced by the alcohol that makes you feel so gosh darn awful in the first place. Plus, exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you feel happy. And let’s be serious–when you’re hungover, you need all the happy feelings you can get. (I also know I don’t need to remind you that alcohol isn’t exactly figure-friendly…so it’s a good idea to get moving in order to balance out those unhealthy calories).
Crack open a coconut water:
When you’re hungover, don’t reach for the Gatorade (have you read about the scary ingredient in the popular drink that’s also found in flame retardants?). Coconut water is nature’s sports drink. It’s low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol-free and has far less sugar than other juices or recovery drinks. It’s also full of vitamins, minerals and those all-important electrolytes that the human body needs to function properly. Electrolyte imbalance (too much or too little) can cause the muscles in your body–including your heart–to malfunction. When this happens illness can occur. Thankfully, coconut water has five of the same electrolytes also found in human blood. Potassium, one of the most important electrolytes, regulates the body’s water level so you don’t retain too much water or dehydrate. Potassium also conducts electrical impulses for heart contractions, nerve conduction, and skeletal muscle movement. Just one serving of coconut water contains 250 mg of potassium (the recommended daily allowance is 2,000 mg). Need more proof that this stuff is amazing? Fun Fact: 100% coconut water has been used intravenously when conventional hydration fluids were not available. Talk about healthy!
Chew on some crystallized ginger:
Ginger has been used to treat nausea, morning sickness, and inflammation for years, but its strong flavor may not be pleasant to everyone. If you like the taste of ginger tea, drink a cup first thing in the morning to settle your uneasy stomach. I’m not a huge fan of ginger tea myself, but crystallized ginger (which is sugar-cured ginger root) is a much more palatable way to enjoy the benefits of this potent spice, especially first thing in the morning. This is a much better alternative to drinking ginger ale, which often has caramel color and high fructose corn syrup– unhealthy ingredients that won’t help your overall health or ease your hangover one bit. You can find crystallized ginger in health food stores or the natural section of most supermarkets.
Jump in a hot shower/bath:
Peel yourself off the couch or roll out of bed and get into a steamy hot shower or a nice relaxing bath. Not only is it soothing for your feet, your head, and your belly, but maybe (just mayyybe) you’ll be motivated to get out of the house at some point during the day if you wash off the scent of booze from the night before. An added bonus? The steam will open up your pores, get your skin breathing, and increase circulation so you can get that healthy, pre-hangover glow back.
Take a nap:
PHEW! Aren’t you happy to see this fun activity on the list? Consider this one a gift. After you’ve worked out, eaten well, and taken a shower…GET YOUR REST! I’m giving you permission to nap and watch all the trashy TV you want (preferably anything on Lifetime, TLC, Bravo, The Food Network, or E!). Enjoy .
Rest up, relax, and feel better soon everybody!
Potassium Levels in Coconut Water
Time Magazine: Coconut water is nature’s hangover relief
Livestrong: Crystallized Ginger
Glamour Magazine: Hangover cures
Hangover Cures You’ll Need for the Holidays
Bon Appetit: Healthy Smoothies