We all want to start 2018 the same way: invigorated, positive, and focused on achieving our goals. And yet, every New Year’s Day, most of us wake up feeling like we’ve been hit by a truck (of tequila). Why lose the first day of the year to a hangover when we have the Ultimate Alcohol Recovery Plan? A little forethought and strategy can allow you to party down on December 31st and still get up on January 1 feeling like a champ.
The following three-part, post-binge comeback was selected from our founder and CEO Aubrey Marcus’ new book, Own The Day, Own Your Life, available for pre-order now on Amazon.
3 Steps to the Ultimate Alcohol Recovery Plan
You know the expressions, “You don’t buy beer; you rent it,” and “break the seal.” They describe the dehydrating effect that alcohol has on the body. Drinking suppresses the antidiuretic hormone (ADH)—the brain chemical that tells your body to conserve water by reducing the amount you pee. This is why it can feel like your bladder is swollen again moments after you return to your barstool from a bathroom break.
Pissing like a racehorse depletes not only your water stores but the electrolytes in them, contributing to the headache and general malaise of a hangover. The solution: Hydrate in advance of your binge and keep the water coming as often as you can through the night. Try ordering a glass of water with every drink or two to keep the ratio close. The next morning, add five grams of Himalayan salt to a liter of natural spring water and drink it all up within two hours of waking. The salt packs trace minerals that help boost electrolyte levels. Keep drinking water regularly until you urinate at least two times during the day—this is a sign that you’re restoring the body’s water/electrolyte balance.
#2 Stop Acetaldehyde
When your body has to metabolize alcohol, it creates a toxic byproduct called acetaldehyde. Molybdenum is an essential mineral that helps the body produce chemicals that assist in regulating acetaldehyde, but its levels are depleted with the dehydration that comes from boozing. If you crave foods like burritos, nachos, or hummus when you’re hungover, it’s actually your body’s way of telling you it needs molybdenum, which exists in high levels in beans.
Rather than crush a plate of unhealthy food (made doubly problematic if you have trouble digesting beans), reach for a molybdenum supplement, which will give you a concentrated dose without extra calories. Take it at the end of your bender before you go to bed, and then again the next morning. A study in the Journal of Nutrition & Environmental Medicine found that a molybdenum supplement promoted relief of aches and pains.
Other supplements to try: calcium and magnesium. A study in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior found that they support acetaldehyde metabolism. All of these supplements can be found in Onnit’s Key Minerals.
#3 Drink Tea
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that slows the brain down. It’s critical for relaxation. As alcohol is classified as a depressant drug, it increases your brain’s production of GABA, leading to the chilled out, sometimes disoriented feeling you get from drinking.
The counterpart to GABA is glutamate, another neurotransmitter that excites the brain and promotes alertness. After the GABA bath your brain takes from excessive drinking, the body releases a flood of glutamate in an effort to restore balance, and this is the reason you wake up easily, sleep badly, and feel anxious the night of and day after getting wasted.
A little more GABA in your system at this time can actually be a good thing, and explains why the “hair of the dog” strategy—drinking a little more during a hangover—can bring relief. But there’s a way to get that fix that won’t cost you any more brain cells (or more sugar and empty calories). L-theanine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in green tea, and particularly matcha (a more potent type of green tea). It mimics the effects of GABA, and studies have shown that, when combined with caffeine, it can help you stay focused without the jitters you might get from caffeine alone.
Research published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that a combination of caffeine and L-theanine boosted cognitive performance during demanding tasks. Furthermore, a 2012 trial in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology concluded that L-theanine helped reduce the anxiety that often accompanies caffeine use.
Bonus: Take A Shot
Glutathione is a molecule that promotes cellular health, and it plays a big role in fighting acetaldehyde. It’s present in food, but stomach acids largely boil glutathione away, preventing its absorption in the body. The most effective way to boost your intake is with an injection straight into the veins. To combat future hangovers, look for an IV vitamin therapy clinic in your area that can hook you up. While they can be pricey (treatments can cost several hundred dollars and last under an hour), they often offer all-in-one cocktails of vitamins and minerals that—because they bypass the digestive system—can have you feeling better in minutes. As a bonus, the extra saline solution is also incredibly rehydrating.
Pre-order, Own The Day, Own Your Life, HERE.