A couple of weeks ago I travelled to the stunning city of Lisbon in Portugal…for a stag do. This meant a staggering level of alcohol consumption, nutrition on a par with my University days, and sleep on a par with my father-to-a-three-week-old-baby phase. So before leaving I came up with a plan to lessen the damage, which I will share with you now. This is in no way an endorsement of such behaviour…but with the greatest will in the world we all have a blowout sometimes, and hopefully this will mean you don’t get blown too far off course.
Have A Plan
In order for this to really work you will need to plan at least a couple of days ahead – this is not going to help you with an impromptu Thursday post-work drinking session gone wrong. This is about pre-arranged special and RARE events, such as a hen or birthday party.
The first point I want to make is that the healthier you are from day to day, exercising and eating well, the better your body and all your organs are able to function. This includes ridding toxins from your body, so the better your starting point is, the better you will cope and the quicker you will recover.
Supplementation is a great way to prepare and protect your body against the damage that excessive alcohol consumption causes. To save yourself some money think ahead and order online, Amazon now offers most decent supplement brands, and at a much better price than you’ll find in your local health-food store.
Here are your essentials:
- NAC (N-acetyle cysteine for you closet geeks) – This metabolises into an antioxidant called glutathione which your poor liver can use to detoxify alcohol.
- B Vitamins – Vitamin B1 actually helps the NAC to work it’s magic, but alcohol depletes your B vitamin stores, so this is a good one to take before and after drinking.
- Vitamin C – Again – there’s a theme emerging here – this helps the liver by reducing oxidative stress, and can be depleted when you have a few drinks. Pass on the Berocca (it’s ascorbic, therefore not very gut-friendly, and can act as a laxative!) and opt for Solgar or Biocare instead. Also, ensure you’re consuming plenty of Vitamin C rich foods (peppers, dark leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes and berries).
- Magnesium – If you’re not using this already, it is an absolute belter and something I’ve used daily for a couple of years. When taken before bed it helps reduce brain activity by deactivating neurotransmitters and lowering adrenaline levels, giving you a better chance of slipping straight off into a deep sleep. It’s also anti-inflammatory so will help reduce hangover symptoms, and again our body’s supply of it is depleted by alcohol consumption. Magnesium spray is the best way to absorb the stuff, a couple of squirts behind each knee does the trick. If you find that it stings when you first use it, this is a sign that you are magnesium deficient, so suck it up and trust that it should disappear within a week!
- Freezer meal – No, not that sort. At some point in the weeks before do a big batch cook of one of your favourite healthy recipes, anything you can easily bag up, freeze and reheat later. Also make sure you’ve got plenty of eggs, good quality sausages and bacon in the fridge, you’re probably going to need them.
On the day
So the big day has arrived. You’ve been looking after yourself, eating your greens, and your kitchen side looks like an upmarket branch of Holland & Barrett. First off, get that batch-cooked meal out of the freezer to defrost so it’s ready to go tomorrow.
The mistake many people make is approaching the whole day as a write off. You know you’re going to be drinking and eating all manner of crap later, why bother with your eggs, bacon and avocado breakfast?
Step away from the cheerios, and make sure you eat well for as long as possible before things go downhill.
Include some fermented foods with any meals, so some good quality raw sauerkraut, keffir or my favourite – bone broth. The probiotics in these will help your gut digest any poor food choices you’re might (will) make while under the influence.
Last up, an obvious one but I have to say it – drink plenty of water. This is something you should maintain right through the day and into the night where possible.
Ok, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. Get out there, have a wild time but stay safe and remember that you’ll probably be at your peak after 4 or 5 drinks. After that if you’re anything like me you’ll become gradually less fun/attractive/coherent/reasonable, just bear it in mind.
There you have it, the first part of your guide to surviving a boozy weekend. Part 2 will be on it’s way soon so be sure to check it out. In the meantime please hit subscribe below if you want more of the same, and if you’ve got any questions or want to find out more about what we do feel free to get in touch. Remember, sharing is caring!
Thanks, and stay safe!