Did you know that one quarter of the $49 billion the distilled spirits industry makes every year is earned between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
The holidays are a season of giving, and a lot of other things too.
It’s easy to get swept up into the “holiday spirit” and end-up feeling unbalanced and unhealthy during the holidays. But there is a way to fully enjoy the social aspect of the season while staying hydrated and healthy.
Here’s our holiday hydration tips guide.
Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach
Ensuring that your essential nutrient levels are high before you start drinking, will help your body stay balanced with the vitamins and minerals you need. Alcohol inhibits that body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Mixed with frequent urination means you’re depleting yourself of the key chemicals your body needs to stay energized and poised.
This means that even if you eat a nutritious meal while you’re drinking, your body won’t actually absorb its full potential until your alcohol levels have reduced. This is why you need to bulk up on healthy foods before you go out.
Stay Away from the Sugary, Processed Stuff
High blood sugar levels can cause the body to become dehydrated. As you might have guessed, sugary holiday treats and starchy party foods cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
Despite what your brain says, your body doesn’t really “like” sugar. When it experiences an excessive amount of sugar in the blood, is starts to urinate more frequently. This frequent urination causes your body to not only release sugar, but all the vitamins and minerals it actually needs too.
At the very least, stay away from the Egg Nog and opt for a vodka soda, or possibly one festive shot instead. If food is around, choose vegetables, nuts and other whole foods that will slow down the dehydration process.
Schedule Extra Sleep Time
We all know we could probably get more sleep, but how many of us actually schedule more sleep time?
It’s a fact that the bodies of people who sleep less are more dehydrated. Studies have concluded that people who sleep less than six hours every night are generally more dehydrated.
Many scientists believe that the reason for this is because of the role sleep plays in the body’s production of the hormone vasopressin. Vasopressin controls the body’s water levels, and it’s primarily released during the sleep cycle. Less sleep equals less vasopressin.
High alcohol levels might make it easier to fall asleep, but it actually inhibits the body’s ability to enter REM sleep.
So after a night of drinking, you actually need more sleep (or possibly a nap) to restore the essential hormones needed to keep your body hydrated.
Drink Electrolyte and Nutrient Enhanced Water
You can’t have too much water after a night of partying. You need water to restore the natural loss of fluids you just experienced. It also helps eliminate any access alcohol from your body.
But don’t stop at water alone, consider upping your water game with products that will also restore the loss of key nutrients.
Stocking up on a few bottles of Pedialyte is a smart call for the holiday season. The child’s beverage contains sugar, sodium and potassium which restores your body’s electrolyte levels.
Also consider adding hydration tabs like NUUN to your water. These products are made for people undergoing intense workouts like hot yoga and running, they are packed with electrolytes and vitamins to help keep your body regulated and invigorated.
Opt for a Hangover Smoothie Before You Binge Eat Fatty Breakfast Food
Kale isn’t often associated with classic hangover foods, but adding it to a superfood smoothie the day after a hangover can give your mind and body an extra boost.
Again, managing a hangover is about restoring your body’s nutrient levels. Since you probably don’t want to eat a kale salad for breakfast, a nutrient dense smoothie is an easy way to get most of the vitamins and minerals you need in one sitting.
Why are we obsessed with kale? Some studies point to vitamin E being helpful in the hangover recovery process. Kale, almonds and avocados are some of the foods with the highest amounts of the nutrient.
Bananas, orange, oats, beans, spinach, seeds, dark chocolate and a scoop of protein powder super charged with vitamin B12 are all great ingredients to add to the ultimate hangover smoothie.
Also consider adding herbs like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and cumin to the mix. All of these spices have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. You can also find them all easily in teas to drink separate from your smoothie.
Pro tip: prep your smoothie the day before, and place all the ingredients (except for the liquid you want to use) in a cup and store them in the freezer. That way it’s as easy as just emptying out a container into a blender, adding some liquid and pressing blend.
Love These Hydration Tips?
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