A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Courchevel to celebrate the birthday of one of Monaco’s longest standing residents, Mr Eddie Jordan.
As you can imagine, it involved a fantastic crowd of people in an epic setting, with a bit of skiing and a lot of drinking. Despite all my efforts to follow my own “healthy drinking” advice of (read my last post), I did at times get a bit carried away and perhaps indulge a little more than I should have.
Given the packed program of festivities, there was no time to nurse a hangover so I applied the express “Detox to Retox” strategy I’ve developed over the years from attending the Monaco Grand Prix. A highly scientific approach, it’s based on the following principles:
1. HYDRATION! The headaches, the fatigue and the drowsiness caused by alcohol are mainly due to dehydration so making a point of drinking as much water as possible is key. My hydration strategy generally starts even before I leave a party as I tend to spend the last hour sipping water. Before going to bed, I down as much water as possible, at least one litre if I can, and then when I wake up, the first thing I do is to reach for another glass. The more water you drink, the better!
2. MOVEMENT! Movement increases circulation and toxin elimination and even though strenuous exercise is not recommended, doing something that involves moving your body is a good idea – try dancing the night away. Movement helps the morning after, too. Being in the mountains, I opted for snowshoeing and walking but during the Grand Prix, you’re more likely to find me doing laps in the sea.
3. HEALTHY EATING! I know most people crave greasy food after a night of drinking and while it may seem like a good idea at the time, it really does nothing to help your poor liver, which is already overwhelmed by trying to process the toxins from the alcohol.
So what’s a healthy hangover meal? As green vegetables and berries are packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, and bananas replenish the potassium lost to alcohol’s diuretic effect, having a smoothie combining the two is a good suggestion. Head over to our friends at EQvita or make your own using my hangover smoothie recipe (see below).
Eggs contain an amino acid called cysteine that helps break down acetaldehyde, the toxin producing your hangover. Eating an omelette or scrambled eggs is therefore a good idea, too!
4. RESTING! I know there is rarely time for this on a busy party weekend but besides dehydration, it’s also the lack of sleep that makes us suffer. I love to party but I also love to sleep so I’ve perfected the art of leaving a party once it’s at its peak in order to maximise the time I spend in my bed. If sleep is important to you, aim to head home once the party hit its climax, not when it’s completely fizzled out.
5. SWEATING! A good sauna can do wonders to sweat out the booze but make sure you hydrate before, during and after so you don’t get even more dehydrated.
6. CAFFEINATING! Coffee can be really helpful to ease the headache that can tag along with a hangover. Alcohol causes our blood vessels to swell, which is what makes our head hurt. Coffee is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it reduces the size of blood vessels and therefore counteracts the effect of the alcohol. Just like alcohol, coffee is a diuretic though so only drink coffee once you’ve had plenty of water!
Maddy’s Hangover Smoothie
¾ cup of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries are all good)
¼ of organic lemon with the rind (optional)
1 tablespoon of almond butter (check the label for nothing but almonds in the ingredients)
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
2 raw walnuts
1 cup of coconut water
Almond or peanut butter
1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth
2. Serve in a bowl and serve with toppings of your choice. Serves 1.
Maddy is the Founder of Nutrition For Naughty People, aimed at helping individuals find a better balance between the things that keep them healthy and the things that make them happy! Any questions? firstname.lastname@example.org Article first published April 22, 2018.