Ask a Health Coach: Help! I Have a Hangover!

November 10, 2015
by Michelle Pellizzon for Thrive Market

The holidays are fast approaching, and as excited as I am about vacation time there's one thing I'm particularly worried about—holiday party hangovers. No matter how much water I drink with my eggnog, I still wake up the morning after the office Christmas party with a throbbing headache. Any natural ways to fight this awful side effect of a fun night out? - Matt B. 

Ah, the holidays. From decorations to Christmas cookies, we tend to do everything in excess—including drinks at every holiday party. And even if you do limit yourself to one glass of wine, sometimes you still inexplicably wake up with a hangover.

Don't worry—it happens to everyone over the age of 21. There are a few things you can do to prevent a hangover from happening, like making sure you've had enough to eat through the day and drinking tons of water, but what about when you #wokeuplikethis? Keep calm, watch this video, and follow these simple steps to feel better in no time.

Throw back the vitamin B and C.

Because alcohol depletes your body of vitamins, you've gotta find a way of renourishing your system. Enter vitamin B6: This little compound, along with vitamin B12, can lessen the effects of a hangover. B12 especially supports liver function, which the body needs when processing anything from a glass of Chianti to a shot of Fireball. Vitamin C is also necessary for those who wake up feeling less-than-fantastic—its presence helps block the metabolization of aldehyde, the compound that causes your hangover. Plus, drinking taxes the immune system, and vitamin C will help combat any nasty bugs that try to take advantage of you when you're feeling less than stellar.

Bring on the electrolytes.

You may not feel like a world-class athlete after a long night out, but you should rehydrate like one. Instead of reaching for a sugary sports drink that will actually make your hangover even worse, go with this simple hack: a pinch of Himalayan sea salt (it's loaded with more electrolytes and minerals than normal table salt) into water with a splash of fruit juice will deliver the electrolytes, fructose, and hydration cells need in order to repair.

Pick up a bottle of activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal is probably the closest thing you can get to a magic hangover pill. How does it work? The charcoal absorbs the toxins and nasty chemicals in your digestive system, and flushes them out of your body. The result? You feel way better much faster. Do yourself a favor and pop a few pills right before you go to bed when you've had a little too much—I promise, you'll feel so much better the next morning!

Become BFF with your liver.

Arguably the most important organ to pay attention to when you're trying to kick a bad hangover, you'll definitely want to invest in something that both helps the liver detox and increases its function—the faster you can get this organ working, the better you're going to feel. Get familiar with milk thistle seed: This herbal remedy has been used for nearly 2,000 years to help increase liver function, support the kidneys, and—you guessed it—heal a hangover. Milk thistle improves liver function and has been shown to repair liver damage. You can sip on it in tea form, or you can take it as a pill with your electrolyte water in the morning.

Permission to eat all the (protein and complex carb) snacks you want.

Alcohol aggravates the stomach lining, hence the nausea and lack of appetite you might experience after one too many hot toddies. Contrary to how you may feel, it's important to get some nourishment to soothe an upset stomach. Stick to foods that are high in healthy fats and complex carbs for slower digestion and sustaining energy. Check out the video for my favorite go-to healthy snack—whether you're hungover or just hungry!

Got questions? I've got answers. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Michelle Pellizzon received her bachelor's degree from New York University and is certified through Institute of Integrative Nutrition and the National Academy of  Sports Medicine. Check out her story here

Video credits
Produced & Directed by: Liza Glucoft
Director of Photography: Naeem Munaf
Editor: Stephanie Provence

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This article is related to: Ask a Health Coach, Detox, Nutrition, Vitamin c, Vitamins, Hangover, Electrolytes

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  • Thornton Melon

    turns out my foot was fractured. Charcoal seems cool though.

  • Do Your Best

    This is so interesting! I actually took Emergen-C after drinking the other night before I went to bed and noticed that I didn't have the normal hangover symptoms. Glad it's a confirmed hangover helper!