For many, the 1st of January marks the start of new, healthy habits. However, after a long night out on New Year’s Eve, resolutions are put on hold for a couple of days as we recover from dreaded hangovers.
Cure a hangover
To ensure that you feel human and ready to smash your New Year’s resolutions (or evolutions) on January 1st, here are three of our top anti-hangover tips.
1. Water up!
We can’t stress this enough: Water is literally the elixir of life. As humans, we can survive up to 3 weeks without food, but we can only go 3 days without water because water is involved in every bodily process.
It’s especially important to drink water when we consume alcohol because alcohol dehydrates our bodies and decreases our body’s production of the antidiuretic hormone (ADH), the hormone responsible for maintaining the proper balance of fluid in our bodies. This, coupled with alcohol-induced vomiting, can lead to severe dehydration.
Tip: Before a night of drinking, consume two or more liters of water. Carry a 1-2 liter bottle around with you all day to keep track of water consumption. Then, drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume that night.
2. Avoid high intensity exercise.
Yes, you read correctly. For once, your trainer is telling you to take it easy. When we exercise at an intense level, our bodies need sweat to cool us down. This sweat contains important electrolytes, sodium and potassium, that our muscles need during exercise and our bodies need in order to recover from a hangover.
Electrolytes are essential for proper muscle function. They provide the energy to support muscle contraction and relaxation. Dehydration and the depletion of key electrolytes (via sweat) causes impaired performance when exercising and makes our muscles more susceptible to strains and sprains since they are unable to fire and work properly.
Tip: Avoid high-intensity exercise while hungover and instead go for a walk outside, do gentle stretching, or try a restorative yoga class on the 8fit app.
3. Eat right
Have you ever wondered why you crave greasy, unhealthy foods while drinking or hungover? It’s our bodies demanding more sodium. Alcohol consumption leads to dehydration which in turn lowers our sodium and potassium levels. These low sodium and potassium levels make our bodies ache and crave comfort foods.
In addition to consuming more water, it’s important to increase our consumption of these nutrients to help us feel better.
Tip: Instead of filling up on unhealthy junk food and empty calories (e.g. Chinese food, fast food burgers and pizza), get your sodium in a healthy, nutritious way. Try scrambled tofu with whole wheat bread or salmon-dressed in soy sauce with spinach and rice. To get adequate amounts of potassium, reach for bananas, leafy greens, and dates. Why not start your morning with 8fit’s Popeye’s protein smoothie (available in the 8fit app) or watermelon banana smoothie.
Here at 8fit, we advise enjoying alcohol in moderation. But, for those nights you want to let loose, follow these tips to recover from a nasty hangover and stay on track to meet your fitness and nutrition goals. Treat your body with love, kindness, and compassion and it will bounce back fast.