- Jeff Taraday
How To Avoid A Hangover After Super Bowl Sunday
So, the Big Game is nearly upon us, and that means several things; you'll see moderately funny but insanely expensive commercials, a lot of unhealthy food will be consumed (I'll be writing a post on this on my nutrition site theplanteater.blog), and it's also very likely that you're going to consume a copious amount of alcohol - whether it be beer, cider, hard kombucha (if you haven't had it you're missing out) or anything else.
Rather than talking about ways to avoid drinking during the Super Bowl - let's face it, unless you're completely sober, there's a good chance you're going to end up overdoing it - I thought I'd share some of the tips and tricks I've picked up when it comes to hangover prevention.
Unfortunately, while some alcohol is okay in small amounts, beer is the most toxic of all alcohols to drink. So in addition to combatting the effects of alcohol, you've got the toxic load that beer carries along with it to deal with. And honestly, who's going to be sitting around drinking a vodka during the Super Bowl? That just seems weird.
There's a lot of bad information out there about hangovers. For example, "hair of the dog" is quite possibly the WORST thing you can do to combat a hangover. Luckily, for the purposes of this post, it might be irrelevant since I'm assuming most of you aren't going to drink on a Monday morning.
Simply drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages is likely not going to do it for you, either. While dehydration is a component of why you get hungover (alcohol is a diuretic after all), you're losing a lot more than just liquid when you drink. There's the inflammation, the toxic substances, the poor quality sleep, and more. And the bad news is that hangovers really do get worse with age. I've CERTAINLY noticed that. Throw a couple of kids in the mix and you're in for a real nightmare.
So what can you do that will actually help you to not feel absolutely terrible on Monday after the Super Bowl? Here are my tried-and-true (and scientifically-sound) suggestions.
GET SOME SLEEP.
The first way to prevent a hangover actually begins days BEFORE (hence why I'm getting this article out now). Stocking up on good sleep for several days before the big game has been shown to help with sleep deprivation later.
If you're not the best sleeper, there are some easy things you can do to improve sleep quality, from wearing blue light blocking glasses at night, to using white noise, to meditation, and even taking a cold shower before bed. If you REALLY want to geek out on sleep quality, Ben Greenfield has a really good post about improving deep sleep percentages here.
AVOID INFLAMMATORY FOODS.
This might be a tough one to do during the actual game, but if you just tighten up on your diet for a few days beforehand, it may have a significant impact. Most importantly, avoiding refined flours, vegetable oils, and omega-6 fatty acids.
EAT HEALTHY FATS.
While you're avoiding inflammatory foods, stock up on some healthy ones, especially healthy fats such as avocados, or even some high quality olive oil. This can be effective even right before drinking, as the polyphenols in these fats can actually help combat alcohol-induced oxidative stress (which causes inflammation).
HYDRATE (WITH SOMETHING EXTRA).
It IS true that drinking a glass of water in between drinks is effective, but you're also losing electrolytes as well. So you can do a couple of things... add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of Himalayan salt in your water, or even better, drink hydrogen-rich water (if you have a hydrogen water generator, amazing, but if not you can find some pre-made water at health food stores) or buy some hydrogen tablets online.
GET A (REALLY) GOOD WORK OUT IN.
This is especially important if you're drinking beer (which of course you are). HIIT training has been shown to help improve glycemic response, which is going to help you out with all the beer and carb-heavy foods you'll probably be mindlessly snacking on all afternoon.
DRINK GREEN TEA OR MATCHA.
In the morning before the game, have a nice cup of matcha. Green tea contains polyphenols that help combat ethanol-induced oxidative stress.
After The Super Bowl...
TAKE ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
This one is key, especially when drinking beer. Contrary to popular belief, activated charcoal does not bind to alcohol molecules, but it will bind to any other toxins in your gut. This will help not only with the beer but whatever deliciously deep-fried or heavily-processed foods you're likely to be eating. You can get some charcoal tablets from Bulletproof, which are effective and mess-free.
TAKE MOLECULAR HYDROGEN TABLETS
Obviously I'm going to recommend this one. A double-dose of hydrogen will really help with inflammation, not only in your gut but in your head as well. I've found that if you do anything on this list, molecular hydrogen tablets and charcoal are a powerful combination for fending off feeling horrendous.
DRINK WATER WITH ELECTROLYTES
Since alcohol depletes you of minerals, adding some electrolytes like Liquid IV to your water after you're finished drinking can really help... not only at night but in the morning as well. If you're willing to deal with the taste of seawater, an even better option is Quicksilver's Quintessential Hypertonic Elixir, which is a potent shot of minerals, electrolytes, and trace elements.
TAKE MELATONIN BEFORE BED
One of the biggest reasons you'll might feel like crap the next day is the effect drinking has on sleep. Alcohol actually has been shown to reduce melatonin secretion, so supplementing with some melatonin before bed might help to prevent you from waking up too early.
So there it is. Lots of stuff you can do to help prevent a hangover. If you're in your early 20's and reading this, God bless you... you have no idea how much harder it gets to recover from alcohol when you get older. If you're like me and struggle with recovering from even a couple drinks, this list could be a lifesaver for you.