It’s official. The winter and holiday seasons have begun. Temperatures have dropped as colds and flus are on the rise. If this wasn’t bad enough (I know, I know, I’m all sunshine over here), festive excesses (I’m looking at you wine and mince pies) can leave us feeling bloated, tired and our livers overloaded.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year. The cold (read hot chocolate), the cheer, the endless parties and get-togethers are what December is all about, however after a while they can take their toll on the body.
The best way to approach this season is prevention. Be smart, look after yourself and you can have fun and not get run down in the process.
Take your probiotics
I’m a big fan of these digestive and immune boosting good bacteria, and during this time of increased alcohol and rich foods, your digestive system will need all the help it can get. By aiding the digestive process you can help to eliminate the bloat and constipation that is usually associated with overindulgence.
I know everyone says this but I can’t stress this enough. Hangovers are a result of dehydration caused by too much alcohol. You see, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it removes fluid from the body, so excessive drinking can leave you dehydrated, resulting in a hangover (as well as giving you a bad nights sleep).
Sip on water throughout the day and along side or either side of alcoholic drinks. This gives some much needed support to your kidneys who are working overtime flushing out excess waste after a big night out.
Stock up on B vitamins and Magnesium
During times of stress and excess, our bodies use up both of these. Now B vitamins help give us energy, and magnesium helps us sleep. If you don’t replenish your stores you will feel wiped pretty quickly.
Good sources of both of these are oats, brown rice, quinoa, nuts and seeds. I say continue to consume these throughout the festive season and especially the morning after the night before to give yourself some much needed energy.
Don’t run on empty
Drinking on an empty stomach means that alcohol enters your blood stream more quickly and is a sure fired way of getting hammered (for lack of a better word). Whilst this may be the object when you are university trying to get drunk as quickly (and cheaply) as possible, as we get older (and hopefully wiser) we should be looking after ourselves a little bit more. Drinking on an empty stomach places an immense strain on the liver and causes inflammation.
Eating something beforehand (especially foods rich in protein and healthy fats) can delay this reaction, meaning your blood stream won’t get immediately flooded with alcohol.