You’ve been training really hard nutrition dialed in and you’ve been super consistent. Then there’s an occasion/event/ party/whatever. You gotta drink for it, no scratch that you wanna drink for it. Maybe its a friend/family members birthday, maybe your buddy has come back from Australia or about to head off there, fuck it maybe its just a sunny day and your gonna have a BBQ. Whatever the situation your choice is either stay sober and deal with that or have a few drinks.
Now I could write an article about why you shouldn’t drink and how its bad for you and gonna mess with everything you’ve worked hard for but fuck that you know that already! What I can do is give you a few tips on how to limit the damage of a wild night. So here are a few things to try the next time you have a few drinks.
At the end of the day the amount of calories you consume will be the deciding factor in any weight you put on or lose. You wont see any nutritional info on the side of a can or bottle but alcoholic drinks do have calories. Depending on the ingredients some have more than others. There is a myth that alcohol doesn’t cause weight gain that its the food afterwards but alcohol has its own calories and sugars that the body has to deal with like other food. Alcohol also effects the body differently than other foods such as hormonally, causing it to function sub optimally.
Anyway back to the tips,
Before you go out try eat less calories that day. The easy way to do this is simply eat less food. The smart way to do this is keep your protein intake high and cut out calories from carbs or fat that day. The protein will keep you from starving all day as well as help keep your muscles fed! For example if your at a BBQ, have the chicken, burgers, salad but stay away from the buns!
If your not overly attached to a particular drink you can pick one with less calories per drink. Beers, ciders, shots and wines have a high amount of sugar in them which leads to high calorie content. Light versions of these would be better. Liqueurs have a high alcohol content which leaves less room for sugar and overall generally less calories per drink. This site actually has a chart if you want to nerd out on it. http://getdrunknotfat.com/
While it may have been easier to stay away from the food before drinking, after drinking can be a whole other struggle! Somehow the alcohol has magically made the kebab shop that looked so shoddy and dirty a few hours ago light up like the pearly gates and like a fly you cant resist the greasy mystery meat they’re throwing out! But that’s the next tip try stay away from it! A good idea would be to have a snack ready for when you get home, something small like a protein bar, or leftovers from an earlier meal. Just aim for anything that’s gonna have less calories than the chipper and be enough to satisfy drunk you!
The day after can of course be a struggle. Willpower, motivation and energy are on the floor and last nights stale pizza can seem like a balanced breakfast! Then later feeling sorry for yourself you order a chinese which is the international hangover food am I right? How bad this day becomes is in your control. Have a plan in place and stick to it. Decide the day before how much your gonna allow yourself. Are you gonna put the foot down and get straight back on track the second you wake up? Or maybe your gonna let breakfast slide and start back with a healthy dinner in the evening? Or maybe your gonna write today off as a more chilled day and get back on the horse tomorrow.
Whichever it is have your plan in place and stick to it. Don’t drag the hangover out longer than a day though as one day can easily become a week.
When it comes time to shake off the last remainders of your hangover everyone has their own rituals but there are a few way to help.
Water: Its not rocket science, alcohol dehydrates you water re-hydrates you. Its pure and easy to drink to get plenty in for the day. Two litres minimum everyday and maybe extra if hungover.
Nutrient dense food: Nutrients, nutritious healthy whatever you call it = Good food. Fruit & veg easy place to start. I’m not for all these juice or smoothie detox diets but that is a nutrient dense way to get yourself going again. They aim is just to eat some sort of food that your gonna feel good and healthy afterwards.
Skipping breakfast should be avoided because what are you being fueled by then, last nights kebab. Eat something and re-fuel!
Exercise: That’s probably the last thing on your mind the day after drinking and maybe it should be. Your not gonna be hitting new PBs or even old ones probably. The quality of your session is going to suffer. There is no point in “sucking it up” or just “getting on with it” but….
There is certainly benefits to getting some sort of exercise or movement in to recover. A light walk or jog, a mobility session or a few body weight exercises in a circuit to get the blood flowing and clear the crap out of the body is certainly beneficial! Same idea as the food above, do something that’s going to to leave you feeling better and healthier afterwards not ready to throw up or go back to bed!
Sleep: Now I already told you not to waste your day away in bed but good quality sleep is of course one of the best ways to recover. If you didn’t get to bed until 5am then its doesn’t really make sense getting up for breakfast at 9 does it.
Alcohol can really mess with the quality of your sleep so if you find yourself awake early and unable to get some quality rest it may be best to go through some of the other methods mentioned above first. Get up, have your water, your nutritional food and get some blood-flow via movement then maybe have a nap in the afternoon or hang on until that night for a real quality long sleep. You’ll get way more out of that!
There you have it a thousand words plus that you’ll probably ignore anyway but hey thanks for reading and if anyone does actually learn anything from it or try it out then that’s a success for me.