Our Guide on HOW to Drink Alcohol

Many people have asked us to write about HOW to Drink Alcohol, so here goes. We don’t drink much alcohol at all—we value our liver too much to overindulge, but we also don’t judge others who can handle it a lot better than we can, so we’re not being ‘holier than thou’ here—we just don’t feel good when even a little tipsy.

That being said, please bear in mind two things here:

  • We do NOT want to spoil your fun, but it would be remiss of us not to point out the health concerns about alcohol, and
  • There is no easy way to sugar-coat this – alcohol is a toxin/poison. Now that we have established that, let’s look at how to minimise damage during ‘party time’.

FATS ARE PART OF IT

It’s really important to bear in mind that if you’re exposed to a lot of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (as in margarine, canola oil, flaxseed oil, grape-seed oil, sunflower oil, chips at restaurants – junk fats in processed food), you will have increased liver damage in response to alcohol.  Stable fats like butter, coconut oil and animal fat protect against liver damage, and these are way more preferable to the damaged ones. Let’s be honest, liver damage is inevitable with junk fats anyway, but the damage will be exacerbated by alcohol.  Moral of the story: don’t eat junk fat, and of course—always limit alcohol.

So you have been invited to a big dinner party, wedding celebration, and you don’t want to be a party-pooper, but want to fully ‘take part’ – well here are some ideas to help you do the least damage to your precious liver along the way.

BEFORE THE PARTY

  1. Take extra antioxidants such as a glutathione precursor, or straight glutathione sachets, and add in at least 1000mg of vitamin C.  Glutathione is the most important antioxidant when it comes to metabolising alcohol. NAC as a precursor will work best with vitamin C as you enable the body to make glutathione from this concoction. When people are dangerously intoxicated, intravenous glutathione is used in hospitals to prevent death.
  2. Magnesium is another good nutrient to take—200-400mg of magnesium is advised as alcohol depletes magnesium; that’s why you often get leg cramps in the wee hours after a party.
  3. Have either some liver, a few eggs or a few egg yolks. These provide you with precious choline which your liver will use up very quickly if drinking alcohol. It’s excellent preparation for the party. Alcohol metabolism relies heavily on choline stores and to be extra sure, you could also take a choline supplement. Choline is also one of the ways to treat a fatty liver (usually brought on by alcohol). Choline is so powerful it’s said to protect a foetus in the womb against the effects of alcohol. However please don’t EVER drink alcohol if you are pregnant or think you might be.
  4. Just before you leave for your dinner party, take a tablespoon of coconut oil. If you have none of this, then extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin avocado oil will do. This protects against alcohol-induced oxidative stress while the healthy fats protect against alcohol-induced liver injury.  The oil also coats the stomach lining and reduces alcohol absorption there. Alcohol is one of the few things absorbed by the stomach so slowing its absorption allows the liver to neutralise its effects without being overwhelmed.
  5. Apart from the eggs/egg yolks try to eat a light meal so that you have food in your stomach before ingesting any alcohol—this is so And please add salt to your food too – this way you will prevent the conversion of alcohol into the highly toxic acetaldehyde which forms and completely overwhelms your body’s antioxidant defence.  Just don’t EVER drink on an empty stomach, E.V.E.R.
  6. Here’s one you’ll like! Have a few squares of very dark chocolate. The polyphenols in chocolate may help a little to prevent liver injury. If you can squeeze in some turmeric, ginger, berries or beets before leaving, this will help to fortify you well against the ethanol too.
  7. Another overlooked substance which is enormously protective is collagen. You can get this in powder form (We prefer our grass-fed Pure Hydrolysed Collagen from our online store at sallyanncreed.co.za) as the high glycine content reduces lipid peroxidation and antioxidant depletion.  If you can’t afford our collagen which is unadulterated, use gelatine instead – it will have a similar protective action.
  8. Lastly, have a cup of green tea – packed with beneficial and protective polyphenols.

AT THE PARTY

  1. Always choose the best quality alcohol (ie. Organic wine or other alcoholic beverages) – don’t drink rubbish. It’s like eating junk food, only worse.
  2. Dilute it with sparkling water – it improves hydration and even improves the taste of red wine. It’s interesting to note that the Romans declared undiluted wine was only for Barbarians! For every glass of alcohol, drink a glass of mineral water or sparkling water with a pinch of salt. Preferably only have one glass, but if you do have more, have a glass of water in between each glass.  Women usually have smaller bodies than men so an equivalent amount of alcohol in a man is diluted by his larger body fluid volume whereas the smaller women with a smaller body fluid volume will feel the effects of the alcohol more as it is less diluted so women generally can become more intoxicated than men drink for drink. Drinking water with, or between drinks, will help both men and women for its diluting effect.
  3. Try to ALWAYS have alcohol WITH food.

AFTER THE PARTY

  1. Mix ½ teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt, the juice of one lemon, ½ – 1 teaspoon honey and a good large glass of water together – it can be mineral water or coconut water. Drink this around ½ to 1 hour before bed. Alcohol has a diuretic effect meaning it makes you produce more urine than necessary so alcohol dehydrates you.
  2. Take a magnesium supplement of at least 200mg, more if you are used to taking more.
  3. Eat a spoon of macadamia nut butter
  4. Alcohol is an anaesthetic and will make you tired. However it will also wake you up in the middle of the night or very early in the morning. Usually you will awaken with ‘droogies’ or extreme thirst from its dehydrating diuretic effect. Take a 3mg melatonin tablet with a large glass of water as alcohol reduces melatonin secretion – it will help you sleep through, is totally natural and also reduces alcohol-induced oxidative stress.

THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE

If you are not feeling wonderful – which you should if you have not overdone it and if you’ve followed the suggestions above, then try these added recommendations:

  1. Make up another batch of lemon, Himalayan salt, water ec. that you would have had last night.
  2. Have eggs for brekkie.
  3. Have a brisk walk and then a hot shower followed by a cold shower blast.

It’s not necessary to drink when you go to a party—sparkling water is fine and looks like vodka. People will think you are drinking anyway.  However, there are some celebrations which you may wish to partake in. An outing with friends, a wedding, Christmas, New Years’ day etc.  Try to keep the celebrating to a minimum and if possible no more than one glass. Many people (especially Paleo enthusiasts) don’t touch alcohol so you’ll be in good company if your friends are Paleo people. But if you wish to indulge do so mindfully and don’t over-do it.

Cheers!

Share this article

Related articles

Blog_HairHelp2

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Mmm, not funny when you have hair loss or thinning hair. There are a lot of complex mechanisms at work here, but some of you can deal with it to stop the process worsening and in fact give you back that lovely full head of hair. Hair loss can be...
Sally-Ann Creed blog image-4

The different types of stress

Our bodies are wonderfully and beautifully made. They are also incredibly complex systems. When something disrupts your body’s balance, it causes stress. The things that cause stress are called stressors, and how your body reacts to them is called the stress response. This response involves your nervous, hormonal, and immune...
Blog_FluToolkit

3 change-of-season flu & virus toolkits

We are now officially entering a change of season world wide – either going into Autumn or Spring, depending in which hemisphere you live. Even the healthiest people seem to fall prey to the sniffles, respiratory and gut viruses, and a host of other miseries at this time of year....
visual representation of an immune system

What is an immune system?

  The immune system has a vital role to play. It protects your body from harmful substances, germs and cell changes that could make you ill, and is made up of various organs, cells, and proteins. If your immune system is running smoothly, you don’t even notice that it’s there! ...
magnafizz

What is MagnaFizz?

Do your days sometimes need a little pep in their step? Today’s world has us running at a million kilometres an hour. Between getting the kids to school, working from home, and modern life in general, most of us need an extra bit of energy in the mornings. While coffee...
Blog_Alopacea

Androgenetic alopecia AKA pattern baldness

Losing one’s hair is a scary and often shameful experience. First off, there is NOTHING to be ashamed of! So many of us suffer from hair-loss in various forms, but the good news is that there are solutions available to all of us! First, let’s unpack androgenetic alopecia, commonly known...