Dry January may be in full swing but I was once a drinker. I know, come 1 February, most people will be giving themselves a big pat on the back for staying alcohol free for a month and treating themselves to a massive booze-filled blow out. Unless you are super human, the following day will mostly be spent nursing a major hangover. Lucky for you I have some information that may just keep the dreaded hangover at bay.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more. Urine is made up of water and electrolytes so, as you continue to drink, you are constantly becoming more and more dehydrated. Especially if you’re drinking shots as there isn’t much liquid involved there and it will still have a diuretic affect. Failing to replenish both of these nutrients will leave you with an insane headache.
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are ions comprised of four minerals – sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. The list of functions that electrolytes control is endless but include; temperature control, hydration, cardiac arrhythmia, respiratory rate, digestion, fluid transport across cells, ion transport, renal function (bladder control), neurological function, signal transduction, thoughts and memory. Basically all the senses gathering information and then transporting that message to the brain and to the muscles, including the sense of touch, energy production, glucose metabolism, etc, etc. But when we have a hangover we couldn’t really care less about most of that, the main reason we want to replenish electrolytes is to regulate hydration. Obviously this needs to be coupled with a lot of fluid.
Sources of electrolytes
Sports drinks – I’m guessing if you’re nursing a hangover you’re not going to be to bothered about the sugar content. So it’s a good idea, if you’re not too intoxicated, to get a sports drink or two down your neck before you hit the sack.
Coconut water – “Nature's Gatorade” contains 15 times more potassium than the average sports drink, along with sodium, magnesium and calcium which gives the full spectrum of electrolytes that we require to rehydrate.
An electrolyte-filled meal is also a good idea – Foods that are naturally higher in electrolytes include all plant-based foods, but particularly fruits and vegetables, and primarily those that are red, orange and/or yellow. These fruits and vegetables not only contain a rich source of potassium but are also a good source of magnesium. Nuts, seeds, and beans are also a good source of magnesium and calcium, but are not rich sources of potassium and sodium. Green leafy vegetables can also be a good source of calcium and potassium.
The perfect hangover breakfast
– ISOPURE Cocotein water with added Himalayan rock salt.
– 2 bananas chopped up and spread with almond or cashew butter.
– Extra big bowl of Shredded Wheat with organic whole milk.
– Frozen fruit and veg smoothie consisting of banana, oranges, mango, pineapple, spinach, kale, avocado, sesame seeds and coconut water.