The Morning After:
How to be a Healthy Party Girl
It’s Friday night at 8pm. Songza is churning out a playlist for “putting on your party dress”, potential outfits are strewn about my apartment, and I’m perplexed as I stare into my bathroom mirror trying to decide if the bordeaux coloured lips are too much when…. my phone rings. It’s my bestie, calling with the ever so important party night question “What are we doing tonight??”
We live in Toronto where you can find talented musicians playing live shows every night of the week, DJs spinning the latest electronic craze, and
any type of food your little heart desires from 24hr diners, to lavish exclusive restaurants overlooking the city skyline. Being single, in your 20s, and living in the city inevitably means you have ample opportunity to take advantage of these trendy recreational establishments.
Though it may not be everyone’s cup of vodka – I am a girl who enjoys cocktails, starting dance parties in the kitchen, and laughing hysterically sharing gossip on a Saturday night with my girls. While my party girl desires may have subsided over the years, I doubt they will ever leave me. So here they are…my tips for being a healthy party girl...
We need to pay mad respect to our liver when we talk about alcohol metabolism. The liver is a large organ that rests underneath our lungs and diaphragm mostly protected by the ribcage. The largest part sits on the right side of our abdomen, but the organ stretches into a tail towards the left side. The liver has MANY important functions, one very important one being detoxification. The liver is responsible for filtering waste products and toxins from our blood – including alcohol!
It takes approximately 1 – 1.5 hours for your liver to metabolize each alcoholic drink you consume. Which means that too many margaritas is exactly why you’re still feeling drunk at brunch the next morning.
We all know the symptoms…throbbing headache, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, shakiness, increased sensitivity to light and sound, changes to mood …it’s called a hangover kids (just ask the 20 year olds still wearing their shades inside at 2pm).
It’s therefore important to educate ourselves and modify risks of our behaviour by making healthy…errr healthier choices that reflect our best interest.So what do you do when you want to enjoy a big night without the unwanted side effects??
Keep hydrated. Alcohol is dehydrating, so it’s a good idea to drink a cup of water in between each alcoholic beverage. It also helps to pace yourself! By the end of the night you probably won’t notice what’s inside the martini glass – but you WILL notice the next day when you’re feeling fine and your friends are squeezing their temples praying for the pounding to stop! Another trick I like is to order a mixed drink in a tall glass, another way to pace yourself by increasing the mix:alcohol ratio.
Never underestimate the importance of a “good base”…ie. do not drink on an empty stomach and try to eat snacks during the night! Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream and prevents episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Having a snack before you crash can also improve your sleep quality since hypoglycemic episodes can trigger insomnia.
Feeling nauseous? Try boiled ginger root. Ginger has long been used as an antiemetic. Take 1 inch piece of ginger and boil it in 2 cups of water. Add a tsp of honey as sweetener. Chill it out for an iced delight or drink it hot as a tea. If you don’t wanna go all hardcore, you can visit your local pharmacy to find the gingerroot version of Gravol®, the popular over the counter antiemetic.
If you can muster the energy to go to the gym – do it! Even if for a 20 min walk on the treadmill followed by a 20 min sauna sesh. A little bit of exercise will stimulate your metabolism and the sauna can help detox. Just make sure you’re hydrating appropriately!
Alcohol consumption can deplete precious B vitamins as these are used up in biochemical reactions required to break down alcohol and its byproducts (ex. Acetaldehyde). Taking a B complex supplement can help maintain appropriate levels!
Last but not least…try this “Feel good smoothie recipe” to start the day after right:
Blend together 1 can coconut water, 1 frozen banana, ½ cup frozen berries, and 1 scoop vanilla protein. You’re hydrating with electrolytes, infusing your body with antioxidants, and adding some quality protein to support your liver’s detox mechanisms!
Introduce these tips to your party night routine to keep that hangover at bay. Party well and treat your body with love!