Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) approximately 25.8% percent of individuals 18 or older engage in heavy drinking every month.6 While occasionally over-indulging in alcohol is usually not a big deal, drinking heavily on a regular basis, getting black out drunk, not being able to moderate your drinking and self-medicating are problematic behaviors. There are also many short-term and long-term health consequences of heavy drinking that can be detrimental to your health and quality of life. The next time you are thinking of going out for a night of heavy drinking–consider the trade-offs. Is binge drinking really worth the pain the day after. Hangovers can be nasty affairs: from the lingering nausea and dizziness to the headaches and stomach pain that follows. While there is no actual cure for a hangover, several remedies claim to significantly reduce these symptoms. Today we will be discussing the science behind hangover smoothies and answer many commonly asked questions such as: “Do smoothies help with hangovers?” and “What are the best smoothie ingredients for a hangover?”Most people at one point or another will experience a hangover after a night of heavy drinking. According to the National Institute on
Understanding The Alcohol HangoverYou may be asking yourself, why do we get hangovers when we drink too much? Thankfully, modern science has the answer: so, without further ado, here is the science behind the hangover.
- Excess urination and dehydration – Drinking excessive amounts leads to excessive urination. This drains the body of water and vital nutrients, leading to the characteristic hangover headache and fatigue.
- Sleeping Disturbances – While some may believe alcohol to be a sleep aid, people who drink alcohol before bed are found to sleep restlessly–thereby disrupting the critical cycles required for a well-rested state. It has also been found to exacerbate disorders like sleep apnea.3
- Disruption of Neurotransmitters – Consuming alcohol suppresses the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate and boosts levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA: creating a sense of tranquility and relaxation. As a person consumes more alcohol, however, the body adapts, producing less GABA. This results in excess levels of glutamate the day after which can make a person feel anxious or on edge.4
- Blood Vessel Dilation and Low Blood Sugar Levels – Blood vessel dilation can also be a contributing factor to hangover headaches. It is also associated with low blood pressure which can cause blurred vision, dizziness, and lethargy.5
- Irritation of The Stomach and Intestines – Stomach pain, nausea can occur after a night of heavy drinking. Scientists now believe that these symptoms are triggered by the production of pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines.
Important Ingredients of a Hangover Juice SmoothieGinger The compound gingerol has many positive health benefits that can help get you back on your feet after a hangover faster. For one ginger is a powerful antioxidant chock-full of essential vitamins that the body needs to combat a hangover like potassium and vitamins C and D. Coconut Coconut water’s main advantage in a hangover smoothie is its abundance of natural electrolytes–consisting not only of sodium and potassium, but calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus as well. Turmeric Turmeric is a spice found in many Asian cuisines. Because of this, it can sometimes be overlooked for use in smoothies. Turmeric, however, is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that works to protect the lining of the stomach. This can help with nausea and stomach distress. Banana Bananas are potassium powerhouses. They are also rich in vitamin C. Given their milky and creamy taste and texture, they also serve as a fantastic base for any smoothie Citrus Citrus fruits are great for hangover smoothies because they contain both essential vitamins, electrolytes, and fiber. Citrines such as oranges and lemons are regarded to be the most nutritious and easily available of which. If you don’t have time to make a smoothie, you can get main of the same benefits from a glass of orange juice or fresh-squeezed lemonade. Blueberry Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins like C and K. Antioxidants like those found in blueberries, reduce oxidative stress by rebalancing the ratio of free radicals in the brain. This can also boost immune system health and benefit the brain by potentially lessening the cognitive effects of a night of heavy drinking. Blueberries pair particularly well with bananas and other berries when used in a smoothie.
Favorable and heathy Smoothie CombinationsHere are some examples of tasty smoothie combinations you can try at home:
- Orange and Ginger Smoothie
- Blueberry Lemon Smoothie
- Ginger Banana and Turmeric Smoothie
- Berry Banana Smoothie (with or without Coconut)