Hung Over? Try This.

Published by Rebecca Baron on

Photo by: Gerd Altman

Hey, it happens! Life is a party, and we sometimes pay the price the next day. Here are some tips to help you the next time you decide to imbibe.

#1 Drink 2 glasses of water per alcoholic drink

Win the battle AND the war by combating the build-up of alcohol metabolites. The FDA recommends 1 alcoholic beverage per hour, as that is a tolerate rate for the liver to healthfully process. By pacing yourself with water in between cocktails, you will not only dilute the alcohol processing your in your system but giving your liver a fighting chance of letting you wake up pain-free.

Headaches the next morning, are typically the result of B vitamin deficiency, and overindulgence of alcohol beyond the liver’s ability to convert it to alcohol-dehydrogenase. When that occurs, the alcohol metabolites start running through the bloodstream and are able to cross the blood-brain barrier.

#2 Take a B-complex vitamin before you pass out

Your body will thank you! To convert alcohol (which is technically a poison to the body and the body treats it as such) into something it can metabolize, it will deplete a lot of your essential B vitamins along the way. Alcohol is one greedy little grubber.

So if you pop a B-complex supplement before you go to bed, you will supply your hardworking liver a big dose of the helpers it needs to convert alcohol into alcohol-dehydrogenase (ADH). This alone will significantly prevent you from even waking up with a hangover!

#3 Activated Charcoal in the morning

Activated Charcoal is made by high heat pressure of wood, peat or coconut shells and results in a very adsorptive fine black powder. Make sure you purchase food-grade activated charcoal, usually found in pill form in the supplement section of pharmacies or health food stores. Activated charcoal or bentonite clay are good to keep around the house for emergencies such as vomiting from substances.

Adsorptive, instead of “absorptive” means activated charcoal binds to substances, chemicals, negative ions and takes it INTO the activated charcoal. Absorptive means it would bind together. This helps the body flush out the harmful stuff more efficiently, with the toxin tucked into the clay or charcoal and not causes more irritation as it continues to be carried out the body. Regardless, activated charcoal has been used for centuries around the world for poison control, a toxin binding of many substances.


Activated charcoal is used in the culinary field to make especially dark foods and desserts.

Activated charcoal is so effective in binding, it’s important to take on an empty stomach a few hours between a meal or taking medication or supplements. It can affect the potency and usage of the drug. Wait around three hours after consuming activated charcoal before a serious meal or medication.

#4 Stay Hydrated

Still feeling bad, throwing up even? Gird your loins by drinking water, coconut water or good old fashion electrolyte sports drinks. If you are having difficulty keeping liquids down, take small sips in little amounts to at least prevent dry-heaving. You need to stay hydrated to flush all those alcohol metabolites out.

Once your stomach as tempered, get some sodium and potassium into your system. Vomiting and diarrhea will throw off your electrolyte balance, which is critical for most cellular functions.

Allow me to geek out for a moment and explain. Sodium and potassium work in the body as the “key-lock” system of cellular delivery. The cellular wall is like a moat around a castle. To enter the cell, the enzyme, nutrient, bacteria even needs to pass a key lock test to “open the gate.” The “gate” becomes open by an exchange in sodium and potassium levels fluctuating. Thus, you need to keep these electrolytes in balanced and plentiful.

Coconut water is GREAT for rehydrating.

Electrolyte water is a great thing to keep on hand at home for times like this. Ideally, it would be good to find a sports drink without high fructose corn-syrup but those can still do the trick. You can try a banana with a bit of nut butter and salt on top (or in smoothie form), coconut water is a good source of potassium and good for rehydrating but remember to get some salt in your system too.

#5 when in doubt..

The go-to cure for a hangover is still black coffee and aspirin ( caffeine or similar pain reliever). Good luck and feel better!

Rebecca Baron, Qualified Nutritionist


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