“Recover” Food – February 2016 Focus on Food

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What up party people?! We all know what you did last night, and how horrible you feel today. Water and essential nutrients have been flushed out of your body, leaving you dehydrated and with a headache. Your liver is in overdrive trying to metabolize all of that ethanol and the drastic blood sugar spikes and dips are causing major sugar cravings, heavy sweats, dizziness, shakiness, and blurred vision. Plus, you’re exhausted. The price of a rockin night out!

The good news is that expediting your hangover is as easy as drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine/more alcohol, eating helpful foods (see recipes at bottom), and drinking plenty of helpful fluids.

 


 

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Helpful Hangover Foods

Avocado

Heavy drinking can deplete the mineral potassium, which is an essential electrolyte that maintains cellular fluid homeostasis. This can lead to muscle spasms, dizziness, and weakness, but luckily, this superfood will counteract that. It’s also full of fiber, B6, carotenoids, and heart-healthy fats, and as an added bonus, enables neuromuscular function, proper heart function, muscle contraction, and keeps sodium under control.

Ginger lemon herbal tea

There’s a reason your mom always made you drink ginger ale during a stomach virus – ginger works wonders for nausea relief and contains anti-inflammatory compounds. But skip the super-sugary soda and opt for the fresh root and slices of lemon in hot water instead. The vitamin C and potassium boost from the lemons will soothe your nerves.

Eggs

This breakfast staple is a brunch all-star for a reason. Eggs are full of hardworking amino acids like cysteine and taurine. Taurine boosts liver function and may help prevent liver disease. Cysteine breaks down acetaldehyde, the yucky headache-causing chemical that’s left over when the liver breaks down ethanol.

Coconut water

For a quick pick-me-up and major potassium boost, sip on a cold glass of coconut water. With more potassium than a banana or a sports drink, coconut water works like magic. Abracadabra, hangover be gone! The sweet, nutty taste will curb your sugar craving with just the right amount of carbs and calories to prevent sugar overload.

Green juice

A night of over-indulging can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritability due to dehydration and a loss of electrolytes and sodium. A vegetable cocktail can solve this, though preferably one without alcohol — hair of the dog is a myth! Aim for something with celery and get a boost from its natural sodium.

 

Top Tips for Healing Quickly

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Take a Long Nap

During sleep after drinking, the problem is that alpha wave patterns are heightened, which doesn’t happen during normal sleep. Alpha activity tends to occur when the brain is awake but quietly resting, in metabolic break mode. Having both delta and alpha activity together therefore leads to disrupted sleep, since the alpha functions tend to offset any restorative efforts the brain neurons are trying to squeeze in.

Napping the afternoon away can help your body heal and pass the time that it will take to feel better.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it encourages the body to lose more water than it takes in, which can lead to dehydration.

This can result in fatigue, thirst, headache, and dizziness or lightheadedness. To help prevent dehydration while drinking alcohol, experts recommend alternating each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water. Drinking water before bed can also help relieve dehydration.

If you wake up dehydrated from a night of drinking, try guzzling some electrolyte-rich fluids, including sports drinks, coconut water, or even Pedialyte, in addition to regular water.

Fuel Up on Food

While you may have heard that filling up on greasy foods can help fight off a hangover, experts say that’s not the best move.

Fruits like mangoes, grapes, pears, watermelon, and plantains have natural sugars that may help get alcohol out of your system a little faster. Salmon, rich in B6 and B12 vitamins, may also be a good boost, since lower levels of B vitamins are said to intensify hangovers.

If you’re feeling queasy, try to stick to bland foods. This is what we call the ‘BRAT’ diet: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast, and some ginger tea. These plain foods are easy for the body to digest and can help settle an upset stomach, a common symptom of a hangover. They also tend to contain carbohydrates, which can help boost your blood sugar.

 

What NOT To Do

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Greasy Food

Contrary to popular knowledge, heading to the local greasy spoon is not a great idea. Turns out, a large, fatty meal is better at preventing a hangover than curing one, since fried foods can irritate the stomach. But, chowing down on a big burger before the liquor starts flowing can help insulate the stomach, preventing alcohol from being absorbed into the stomach lining and bloodstream.

Orange Juice

Lay off the OJ after a night on the town. Sour citrus like orange and grapefruit can irritate an already sensitive stomach. Also, skip tomato juice; it is also acidic, making a Bloody Mary at brunch probably the worst choice for a hungover morning.

Hair of the Dog

This wacky expression comes from a Norwegian folk-saying that claims the best cure incorporates the substance that did the damage in the first place. Scandinavian wisdom aside, boozing in the morning is not the solution to a hangover. An alcoholic beverage can help take the edge off in the morning, but it will further dehydrate the body and lead to even worse hangover symptoms later in the day.

 

Below are 3 recipes that will support your recovery day:

https://pipandlittleblue.com/2013/03/20/soothing-ginger-lemon-tea/

https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2144745 (use whole eggs instead of egg beaters).

http://thebettyrocker.com/kale-aid-green-smoothie/

 

Doctors also say to take an anti-inflammatory prior to going to bed (with food) after a night of drinking to help with some of the symptoms you might feel in the morning. Always check with your doctor prior to any new medications.

 

Bottom line, if you drink in excess, do some healthful things for yourself the following day.

I got you guys,

MJ

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