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Beat your hangover with healthy choices

Posted on December 27 2012

The best remedy for a hangover is to not drink at all. The second best (and healthier choice) is to limit yourself to one or two drinks. Although the Trailer Boutique team has never imbibed beyond their limit (wink wink), we have learned from years of experience there are a few healthy ways to combat the terrible hangovers that follow a night of fun. As Orange County natives, we also know how Del Taco can soothe the hungover soul the next morning, but a breakfast burrito with extra red sauce and chili cheese fries may not be the best choice for your healthy lifestyle. Here are a few recommendations in case you find yourself with a nasty hangover after a few too many drinks when you bring in the new year.
To clarify, Trailer Boutique recommends designating a driver, encourages all readers to make smart and safe decisions before, after and during drinking and does not endorse excessive drinking.
The first step to avoiding a hangover is to make sure you eat before you begin drinking. While many may recommend pasta or rice, make sure you choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice. Not only will this help absorb the alcohol, but most are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. When you are ordering your drink of choice, opt for clear liquids, such as vodka, white wine or gin over bourbon, spiced rum and whiskey. Darker liquors can cause inflammation because they generally contain more congeners, which can intensify your hangover. While you are drinking, alternate between drinking a glass of alcohol and drinking a glass of water. Alcohol dehydrates your system (in case you have ever gotten the shakes the next morning) and you can start combating this early by staying hydrated while you are celebrating. Fizzy drinks, such as sodas, can help your body absorb alcohol faster, so it is best to avoid them while out drinking. Also, drink an entire glass of water before you go to bed for the night to prep your body for the morning. In case these steps do not prevent your hangover entirely, make sure to have healthy food on hand. If the rum and cokes were flowing or your good friend convinced you to spend the night drinking whiskey sours, have plenty of anti-inflammatory foods or ingredients in your cupboard. Spices such as ginger, tumeric and chili power can help your body fight the inflammation. As with any healthy recommendation, raw fruits and vegetables are great to have available for their anti-inflammatory properties, as well as their many antioxidants. Bananas will restore needed potassium, which you lose after "breaking the seal" (frequent trips to the bathroom), while sodium can be replaced with soothing broth. For ambitious sufferers, light exercise can help jumpstart your energy for the day. Be careful - your body is already dehydrated so do not overdo it and make sure to remain hydrated. If your food choices are not effective enough for your symptoms, choose ibuprofen over acetaminophen or aspirin. Ibuprofen will help ease the inflammation while the other choices may wreak havoc on your stomach and overworked liver. Although you may have witnessed otherwise, it is not the healthy (or smart) choice to have the "hair of the dog" the next morning. Your liver is already in overdrive from the night before and you will simply be delaying your symptoms. However, having a virgin bloody mary with plenty of 100 percent fruit juice is an excellent choice the next morning. Good luck! Photo credit: Flickr user MRB-MMX. Used with permission through Creative Commons.

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