Let’s face it — humans are social beings. We like to celebrate special occasions by gathering around feasts and drinks. We toast to milestones by clinking wine glasses and sometimes even shot glasses. We give in to the most absurd traditions (think green beer and Irish Car Bombs for St. Patrick’s Day) for the sake of holiday fun.
Even the most disciplined clean eaters are human. We get caught up in the festivities and put noble eating (and drinking!) intentions on hold. A night out turns into a late night, and the morning isn’t looking good. As we mature in age, hangovers seem to hang around longer.If you find yourself feeling tanked and needing a jump start after indulging in a few too many beers or Irish whiskeys this past St. Patrick’s Day weekend, here are a few healthy, natural ways to get back on your feet.
Although it might sound tempting, resist the urge to spring for a greasy meal. A big spicy breakfast burrito may seem like the solution, but there’s no scientific evidence that a heavy meal will help a hangover, and it may just lead to heartburn. Instead, do your body a favor and break out your blender.
There’s nothing like a smoothie packed nutrient-rich fruits and greens to help rehydrate and nourish. Dark leafy greens like kale or spinach are what makes smoothies “green” (and they’re quite a bit more beneficial than the green food coloring in the St. Patty’s beer that might have led to a hangover!). Keep the green theme going, but all-natural and leafy this time.
Other power ingredients to throw in the blender:
- bananas – packed with helpful potassium and a nice balance of fructose and glucose to help metabolize the toxins
- ginger – aids in digestion, calms the stomach, and adds a flavorful kick
- oatmeal – neutralizes the excess acidity in the body
- almonds – vitamin E content offers support to the liver, and proteins that balance blood sugar levels
- honey – full of good enzymes and antibacterial qualities
- coconut water – contains an all-star lineup of five different electrolytes
Soak and Sauna
If you own a bathtub, now is the time to use it! Rather than going for conventional bath bubbles, gels, or salts, try wasabi. Yes, wasabi. This fascinating relative of the cabbage is good for more than just spicing up your sushi. Its toxin-purging qualities actually work through the pores! This is key, considering up to a third of the body’s toxins are cleared through the skin. Mustard powder also increases circulation and draw toxins out of the body through the pores. A wasabi and/or mustard bath may not be the most aroma-therapeutic bath you’ve ever taken, but it works when it comes to hangover detox!
Saunas are also incredibly useful to sweat out the overindulgences of the night before. While most of us don’t have the luxury of a home sauna, they’re not hard to come by in gyms and spas. Both wet and dry saunas will help release toxins through the pores.
Nap it off
After the three S’s (smoothie, soak, and sauna), you’ll be feeling better, but the grogginess will kick in. Sleep quality suffers when blood alcohol levels are high, so even if you get enough hours that night, you’ll still be running a sleep deficit the next day. For better-quality rest, find a dark quiet room for taking a nap. Be sure to drink lots of water before you fall asleep and plenty once you wake up.