Medically Reviewed by Dr. Bryan Seigel D.C., P.L.C.
Ok, so you had a few too many drinks last night. Sure they were tasty, and you had a ton of fun with your friends! But right now, the hangover headache isn’t so fun, and your body feels like it’s been run over with a steam roller. What do you do now?
Friends, I cannot stress this enough. Alcohol is a diuretic, and when it takes water out of you, it takes valuable minerals with it. Your very first drink of the morning must be water with electrolytes in it. Using an electrolyte drink mix is the easiest and tastiest option. Pickle juice can be a backup plan if you enjoy it. If you’re a coffee drinker, and a monster hangover might turn you into one, have your coffee second, after your electrolyte drink. You might want to skip the cream in your coffee though, since dairy can be a little too irritating to your stomach after you’ve already done some damage.
Keep making electrolyte drinks through the day, since this is the biggest thing that will help you feel like a human. Why do electrolytes help hangovers? The electrolyte minerals improve water absorption into your tissues, and the minerals themselves serve very important functions like keeping nerves and muscles functioning properly. If you only take one thing away from what you read today, it’s this: electrolytes will not only make you feel better, they will actually make your body work better.
Should I eat with a hangover?
Are you getting cravings for snacks? Want a big greasy breakfast from the diner you went to in college? Put down the jar of Nutella and don’t even think about getting those French fries delivered. Your first priority is to stick with your normal, healthy, whole foods ketogenic diet. If you don’t feel like eating, that’s just fine! It’s an intermittent fasting kind of day, and you’ll give your body a longer time to decrease inflammation and remove toxic byproducts without needing to digest anything new.
When you’re ready to eat, choose lighter foods and smaller portions. You might think you want a double bacon cheeseburger, but you do not. Go for the single burger in a lettuce wrap and see how you feel. A soothing and mineral filled choice is bone broth, which can include some meat and vegetables. Celery is a great option, since you can use it as a vehicle for some of your favorite things like peanut butter and cream cheese, and it has a high water content. Your carbs on a hangover day will come from veggies and fruits, not from starchy or heavy foods, since you want to maximize your fluid and mineral intake.
You’re allowed to nap! If you’re lucky, you won’t have a high demand day when you have a hangover and you can focus on restful self-care. Take a nap, a restorative walk, and watch a couple of episodes of your current favorite show. Your brain won’t be firing on all cylinders, so try not to do any important work today. Your emotional state might not be the best either, so be patient with yourself and your loved ones. They’re not trying to start fights with you, so take a breath before you respond.
Stay on the wagon
One night of indulgence does not undo all the work you’ve put in until now. You had a great time, now back to your regularly scheduled nutrient dense way of eating, smart sleep schedule, and training plan. Celebrate the fact that you can lead the kind of disciplined life that will keep you healthy for a very long time, and indulge in excess every once in a while.