Sur­viv­ing the hol­i­day party sea­son

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

“I learned at our re­cent of­fice hol­i­day soirée, af­ter I stayed in bed un­til 4 p.m. the next day, that hang­overs are an un­for­tu­nate part of my midlife.”

I used to be able to en­joy my­self at Christ­mas par­ties and re­main pro­duc­tive the fol­low­ing day, but no more. I learned at our re­cent of­fice hol­i­day soirée, af­ter I stayed in bed un­til 4 p.m. the next day, that hang­overs are an un­for­tu­nate part of my midlife. So I thought I would use my ridicu­lous ex­pe­ri­ence to help you through the next month.

First un­der­stand that typ­i­cal hang­over symp­toms like nau­sea, headaches, sen­si­tiv­ity to light and sound are caused by changes in body chem­istry from the toxic chem­i­cals in al­co­hol. No one food item or drink can cure a hang­over, but cer­tain foods are bet­ter for re­cov­ery than oth­ers. Flu­ids and nu­tri­ents like fruc­tose, vi­ta­mins, an­imo acids, and min­er­als can help lessen the body’s neg­a­tive re­ac­tion to the chem­i­cals in what you are drink­ing.

Your first pri­or­ity should be to drink wa­ter. Al­co­hol is a di­uretic, which means it pushes liq­uids out of the body. That headache is caused by the body draw­ing wa­ter from the brain dur­ing this de­hy­dra­tion. Sug­ary sports drinks can re­store liq­uids, as can co­conut wa­ter. Pe­di­a­lyte may be made for de­hy­drated chil­dren, but it can also help adults in this kind of bind too. If you are up for it, some swear by pickle juice, which con­tains vine­gar, salt, and wa­ter that can help re­hy­drate and re­plen­ish elec­trolyte and sodium lev­els.

Foods to eat while feel­ing yucky in­clude eggs. This break­fast sta­ple is full of amino acids like cys­teine and tau­rine that boost liver func­tion. Ba­nanas, dates, and leafy greens con­tain po­tas­sium that is of­ten de­pleted by drink­ing, and chicken noo­dle soup can re­build sodium and wa­ter lev­els.

Another su­per­food to try is oat­meal, which has nu­tri­ents like B vi­ta­mins, cal­cium, mag­ne­sium, and iron. It can also give you an instant en­ergy boost by neu­tral­iz­ing acids in the body and rais­ing blood sugar lev­els.

Know there are things you have done in the past to help that hang­over that you need to avoid. Drink­ing more al­co­hol will not help you re­cover. The ‘hair of the dog” might take the edge off im­me­di­ately but will fur­ther de­hy­drate your body and give you worse hang­over symp­toms later in the day. Or­ange juice isn’t a good idea ei­ther, since sour cit­rus can ir­ri­tate an al­ready sen­si­tive stom­ach. Be­lieve it or not, greasy foods are not the so­lu­tion to mak­ing you feel bet­ter. Good news is if you have that burger be­fore you drink, it can in­su­late your stom­ach and help slow down the al­co­hol ab­sorp­tion. How­ever, it won’t do you any good af­ter-the-fact.

For those of you am­bi­tious enough to work out af­ter a night out, there are spe­cific things you can do to help a hang­over. Start with a 10-minute walk to get the blood flow­ing, fol­lowed by a body-weight squat with push-up, five sets of five. Fol­low that up with a ca­ble curl su­per­set with ca­ble push­down, five sets of five. At this point, you should have less of a headache and a small burst of en­ergy.

I wish you luck in the en­durance event that is the hol­i­day party sea­son. May my pain be your gain.

Melissa Carter is one of the Morn­ing Show hosts on B98.5. In ad­di­tion, she is a writer for the Huff­in­g­ton Post. She is rec­og­nized as one of the first out ra­dio personalities in At­lanta and one of the few in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter@Melis­saCarter

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