Hope everything is going well for each of you. I myself, have spent most of my week finishing some assignments, reading, lifting and eating a whole heap of sauerkraut.
...and trying to avoid my sick sister.
Last weekend, my Dad had his 50th birthday and it was really a great night. Lots of food, family and friends... and alcohol. My gosh was there alcohol. We started the night quite easy but we got to speeches and then cake cutting and eventually shots. Lets just say there were a lot of shots throughout the night.
So, today being Friday. Chances are most of you, or at least some of you may be hitting the turps at some point in the next three days. I'd like to point out a few things that may help you with the following morning. And thats not including the hair of the dog.
First and foremost. Alcohol and food really should go hand in hand. Thats pretty much a given. Studies from the University of Sussex suggest that alcohol consumption will increase appetite, I'm sure as we have all experienced that insane craving for a kebab after a night out.
Alcohol suppresses fatty acid oxidation, increases short-term thermogenesis and stimulates a number of neurochemical and peripheral systems implicated in appetite control, including inhibitory effects on leptin, glucagon-like peptide-1, and serotonin, and enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acid, endogenous opioids and neuropeptide Y.
Aiming for nutrient dense foods should not only fill you quicker, but will also help replenish vitamins that have been depleted throughout the night.
And yes, I realise how much harder it is to say, "No I don't want to eat this McChicken!" while intoxicated. I've been there myself.
Next on my list is B Vitamins.
B Vitamins are essential in a number of bodily functions. From RNA and DNA production, lipid oxidation, amino acid metabolism.
One of the things that alcohol does to our system is deplete our bodies levels of B vitamins. B9 (Folate) and B12 (Cobalamin) in particular.
A study published in QJM shows that, with alcohol consumption there is a decrease in folate and B12 concentration and an increase in homocysteine*.
A significant increase in plasma tHcy was observed after the 2-week red wine intervention (5%, P = 0.03)... increase in tHcy with vodka intervention (3%, P = 0.09)... There were significant decreases in serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations
*Homocysteine is a non-protein amino acid that some studies link to CVD.
With a decrease in B9 and B12 we are likely to see a reduction in cell growth, reproduction and function. Taking a good multi vitamin or a B Vitamin supplement before bed may reduce these problems, reducing the effects of a hangover.
If your looking for a wholefood source, you'll be looking at things like beef, lamb, oysters, cheese and eggs.
Vitamin C is a good vitamin that can be used therapeutically also.
A short study in rats and guinea pigs over at the Charles University in Czech Republic, shows that due to the oxidation process within the body when ethanols react with vitamin C, the body can become depleted. Vitamin C being a key antioxidant within the body and helping maintain homeostasis should help.
So, some vitamin C before bed too.
Finally. Im not going to link out an article to this, because you should all know this one.
Drink water! Stay hydrated! Alcohol is a diuretic and will cause you to excrete more fluids.
So, to summarise. Eat some nutritious foods. Get some B and C in before bed. And stay hydrated.
Also, on a side note. You may do well to choose your drinks wisely. Clear alcohol is usually going to not only calorically and often allergen wise, better for you. More often than not, sticking to that will reduce the severity of a hangover.
... I have no science for this, just personal experience.
Keep safe over the weekend everyone.