Healthy Q & A: Alcohol Overindulgence


I don’t drink a lot, but do sometimes with friends.  We always have a big St. Patrick’s Day party, and I’m hoping this year I can drink without feeling awful the next day.  Do you have anything that can help a hangover (or prevent one)?


 Hangovers are usually brought on by a combination of dehydration, and toxins released by the body trying to detoxify the alcohol.  The best “cure” is moderation, but many people will indulge from time to time and feel the negative effects the next day.  Thankfully, there are many natural products which can help.


Drink mixes like Emergen-C are easy to add to a bottle of water and will help to replace missing electrolytes.  Drinking a bottle of water with an Emergen-C packet added to it is an easy thing to do after getting home from a wild night, and it will help you to feel better in the morning.   A B complex supplement is also helpful when taken before or after drinking, since alcohol depletes the body of many nutrients, especially B vitamins, which are necessary for the body to detoxify the alcohol in your system.  Taking a quality multivitamin on a daily basis will also help to replenish and fortify your stores of nutrients.


On the morning of the day after drinking, have a banana or two.  Bananas are full of potassium, which is depleted after a night of drinking.  Bananas are also easy on the stomach, which can be nice if you’re feeling a bit queasy.  Ginger is also wonderful for nausea and upset stomach.  Ginger tea or candied ginger pieces can go a long way to help your stomach get back to normal.  Some hangover symptoms can be caused by low blood sugar, so a glass of apple juice in the morning may help since it’s easy on the digestive system, but has natural sugars which can make you feel better.


If you frequently indulge in alcohol, it might be a good idea to supplement with milk thistle on a regular basis.  Milk thistle helps to cleanse and regenerate the liver- the liver is the main detoxifying organ in the body which helps to filter and process alcohol and other toxic chemicals in the body.  Its one herb that has no real pharmaceutical equivalent, and works great to help keep the liver working in top shape.