Feeling Overstuffed and Bloated? Here’s How to Get Relief From Your Food Hangover

When there’s such a delicious (and elaborate) meal on the table, it’s easy to go overboard during the holidays. Whether it’s a salt binge, too many sweets, or a combination of the two, don’t resign yourself to feeling uncomfortable all day long. These tips will help you feel better sooner.

Start chugging (water, that is): Be sure to hydrate before bed and have a full cup of water ready to drink as soon as you wake up. Former Canyon Ranch director and group fitness expert Aimee Nicotera also recommends drinking two to three liters of water throughout the day. It may feel counterintuitive to drink a lot of anything when you’re feeling full, but you’ll start feeling better immediately.

Freshen up: Aimee suggests starting out the morning with a hot shower, so there’s no time to sit around and succumb to that “blah state.” Taking the initiative ASAP will make everything else feel easier. Once you’re all cleaned up, don’t just reach for any old outfit; choose clothing that makes you feel confident and comfortable. “Feeling better mentally is an important part of feeling better physically,” says Aimee.

Fill up with morning fiber: One of the worst things you can do after overindulging is skip out on breakfast the next day and mess with your metabolism. Instead, enjoy a filling breakfast like a cup of oatmeal or bowl of high-fiber cereal. A breakfast that’s full of fiber will support healthy digestion and keep your stomach satisfied throughout the morning. This way, you won’t be ravenous for a huge lunch or snack on whatever’s in sight and stay stuck in the cycle.

Stretch and twist: According to yoga teacher Tara Stiles, it’s plain and simple: “Twists just get things moving.” After a big meal, get things moving with a fire-building yoga sequence full of twists that support digestion and release toxins. If you don’t have time for a full sequence, take two minutes to move through a handful of yoga poses for digestion ¡ª especially that Reclining Twist!

Get in some cardio: Even if you’re feeling bloated and sluggish, hitting up a quality cardio session to sweat things out is some of your best defense against the dreaded food hangover. Whether you head to your favorite cardio class or spend 30 minutes on the treadmill, you’ll feel 10 times better after a little exercise.

Keep your meals clean: You don’t have to go overboard with a liquid diet or crazy detox, but do your best to eat clean all day long. Reach for balanced, light meals full of fresh seasonal produce and whole grains. Steer clear of processed foods and too much sugar or salt ¡ª your body will thank you later.

Let it be: After you’ve had a fun night out, don’t be unkind to yourself. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a festive meal freely, so don’t allow negative self-talk to take over. The best thing you can do is move forward with a positive attitude and happy memories of your fun.

Related: A Spicy Ginger Smoothie to Help You Detox

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

Feeling Overstuffed and Bloated? Here’s How to Get Relief From Your Food Hangover

When there’s such a delicious (and elaborate) meal on the table| it’s easy to go overboard during the holidays. Whether it’s a salt binge| too many sweets| or a combination of the two| don’t resign yourself to feeling uncomfortable all day long. These tips will help you feel better sooner.

Start chugging (water| that is): Be sure to hydrate before bed and have a full cup of water ready to drink as soon as you wake up. Former Canyon Ranch director and group fitness expert Aimee Nicotera also recommends drinking two to three liters of water throughout the day. It may feel counterintuitive to drink a lot of anything when you’re feeling full| but you’ll start feeling better immediately.

Freshen up: Aimee suggests starting out the morning with a hot shower| so there’s no time to sit around and succumb to that “blah state.” Taking the initiative ASAP will make everything else feel easier. Once you’re all cleaned up| don’t just reach for any old outfit; choose clothing that makes you feel confident and comfortable. “Feeling better mentally is an important part of feeling better physically|” says Aimee.

Fill up with morning fiber: One of the worst things you can do after overindulging is skip out on breakfast the next day and mess with your metabolism. Instead| enjoy a filling breakfast like a cup of oatmeal or bowl of high-fiber cereal. A breakfast that’s full of fiber will support healthy digestion and keep your stomach satisfied throughout the morning. This way| you won’t be ravenous for a huge lunch or snack on whatever’s in sight and stay stuck in the cycle.

Stretch and twist: According to yoga teacher Tara Stiles| it’s plain and simple: “Twists just get things moving.” After a big meal| get things moving with a fire-building yoga sequence full of twists that support digestion and release toxins. If you don’t have time for a full sequence| take two minutes to move through a handful of yoga poses for digestion especially that Reclining Twist!

Get in some cardio: Even if you’re feeling bloated and sluggish| hitting up a quality cardio session to sweat things out is some of your best defense against the dreaded food hangover. Whether you head to your favorite cardio class or spend 30 minutes on the treadmill| you’ll feel 10 times better after a little exercise.

Keep your meals clean: You don’t have to go overboard with a liquid diet or crazy detox| but do your best to eat clean all day long. Reach for balanced| light meals full of fresh seasonal produce and whole grains. Steer clear of processed foods and too much sugar or salt your body will thank you later.

Let it be: After you’ve had a fun night out| don’t be unkind to yourself. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a festive meal freely| so don’t allow negative self-talk to take over. The best thing you can do is move forward with a positive attitude and happy memories of your fun.

Related: A Spicy Ginger Smoothie to Help You Detox

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

Hangover Helpline: What to Do When You’ve Had Too Much

No one ever wants to drink too much, but sometimes festivities happen. Keep this guide handy for preventing and dealing with the horrible hangover.

Preventing a Hangover

Know this: if you’re going to go out and toss back more than a few drinks, you’re going to pay the price; the body isn’t designed to binge on bad stuff and feel great the next day. But before you even get to the worst-case scenario, there are a few things that can help you prevent a hangover altogether ¡ª or at least make it a bit more manageable.

Don’t drink, or at least drink less: Instead of giving yourself unlimited access to the champagne bar, limit yourself to one or two cocktails. Drink slowly, and as a rule, don’t consume more than one drink per hour, which helps give the body time to metabolize the alcohol. Also, one drink does not mean a Long Island Tea. We’re talking a beer, a glass of wine, or roughly one ounce of hard liquor. Drink water, and lots of it: Since alcohol dehydrates the body, begin and end your night of drinking with plenty of water, and for every alcoholic beverage you consume, match it with another glass of water. An easy trick is to alternate between a cocktail and a glass ¡ª or two! ¡ª of water while you are out for the night.Don’t drink on an empty stomach: Having food in your stomach helps dilute the concentration of alcohol in your belly. Fill up on good-for-you foods with an emphasis on complex carbs.Be choosy with what you drink: Whenever possible, stay away from sugary and carbonated drinks, since they speed up the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, and opt for choices that have a low alcohol content, like sake, soju, or low-cal vodka. Drink clear liquors over colored ones: darker alcohol like bourbon or red wine contain more congeners, a substance that help contribute to hangovers.Too Late! What to Eat Once a Hangover Hits

If the old adage everything in moderation was tossed out the window, next-day food choices can be your saving grace. Even if a greasy breakfast sandwich is the only thing you’re craving, make sure to eat; food helps break down the alcohol in your system. Once you’ve eaten, ward off a headache with some OTC ibuprofen (avoid pain relievers containing acetaminophen, like Tylenol, because they may cause liver damage), and don’t skip that cup of coffee; aside from being a little pick-me-up, it’s been shown to help ward off a hangover-induced headache. If you had a few drinks too many and are suffering from specific symptoms, here’s which foods to reach for.

Dehydration: You need to hydrate. Your throat and mouth are dry due to dehydration, which is caused by the diuretic properties of alcohol. Dehydration also affects your muscles, making them feel weak. Drink plenty of water, and replace lost electrolytes with a low-sugar electrolyte-replacement drink or coconut water.Upset stomach: Excessive alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach, causing nausea, digestive issues, or, in really bad cases, vomiting. Start with some Alka Seltzer, and eat bland and easily digested foods like bananas, saltine crackers, or broth. Irritability and fatigue: Because the liver gets backed up trying to metabolize the alcohol, you might be experiencing low blood sugar, which can result in you feeling irritable and moody. While most any food can help spike up sugar levels in the body, in small studies, fructose has been shown to speed up the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Give yourself a tall glass of orange juice after a night of drinking, or press your hangover away with this fresh juice recipe.

The Best Exercise Remedies

Before you hit up that hour-long indoor cycling class, you may want to think twice. On its own, exercise is not an effective cure against a hangover, said Ruth C. Engs, RN, Ed.D., a professor at Indiana University who has done extensive research on the effects of drinking. While the endorphin rush can counteract the pain (albeit momentarily), the dehydration that comes along with an intense exercise session can worsen symptoms. Take into account how bad you’re feeling, and if you can’t bear to miss a workout, then opt for a light cardio session or restorative yoga class. But what your body probably needs right now is rest.

Alcohol does a number on sleep patterns; the pituitary gland becomes confused and releases the wrong amount of hormones that regulate sleep; the central nervous system also becomes overexcited, causing sensitivity to light, sound, and touch. All of the above means you do not get a good night of quality sleep. If your hangover is really bad, don’t feel guilty for taking the day off to relax and get some shut-eye.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

Hangover Helpline: What to Do When You’ve Had Too Much

No one ever wants to drink too much| but sometimes festivities happen. Keep this guide handy for preventing and dealing with the horrible hangover.

Preventing a Hangover

Know this: if you’re going to go out and toss back more than a few drinks| you’re going to pay the price; the body isn’t designed to binge on bad stuff and feel great the next day. But before you even get to the worst-case scenario| there are a few things that can help you prevent a hangover altogether or at least make it a bit more manageable.

Don’t drink| or at least drink less: Instead of giving yourself unlimited access to the champagne bar| limit yourself to one or two cocktails. Drink slowly| and as a rule| don’t consume more than one drink per hour| which helps give the body time to metabolize the alcohol. Also| one drink does not mean a Long Island Tea. We’re talking a beer| a glass of wine| or roughly one ounce of hard liquor. Drink water| and lots of it: Since alcohol dehydrates the body| begin and end your night of drinking with plenty of water| and for every alcoholic beverage you consume| match it with another glass of water. An easy trick is to alternate between a cocktail and a glass or two! of water while you are out for the night.Don’t drink on an empty stomach: Having food in your stomach helps dilute the concentration of alcohol in your belly. Fill up on good-for-you foods with an emphasis on complex carbs.Be choosy with what you drink: Whenever possible| stay away from sugary and carbonated drinks| since they speed up the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream| and opt for choices that have a low alcohol content| like sake| soju| or low-cal vodka. Drink clear liquors over colored ones: darker alcohol like bourbon or red wine contain more congeners| a substance that help contribute to hangovers.Too Late! What to Eat Once a Hangover Hits

If the old adage everything in moderation was tossed out the window| next-day food choices can be your saving grace. Even if a greasy breakfast sandwich is the only thing you’re craving| make sure to eat; food helps break down the alcohol in your system. Once you’ve eaten| ward off a headache with some OTC ibuprofen (avoid pain relievers containing acetaminophen| like Tylenol| because they may cause liver damage)| and don’t skip that cup of coffee; aside from being a little pick-me-up| it’s been shown to help ward off a hangover-induced headache. If you had a few drinks too many and are suffering from specific symptoms| here’s which foods to reach for.

Dehydration: You need to hydrate. Your throat and mouth are dry due to dehydration| which is caused by the diuretic properties of alcohol. Dehydration also affects your muscles| making them feel weak. Drink plenty of water| and replace lost electrolytes with a low-sugar electrolyte-replacement drink or coconut water.Upset stomach: Excessive alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach| causing nausea| digestive issues| or| in really bad cases| vomiting. Start with some Alka Seltzer| and eat bland and easily digested foods like bananas| saltine crackers| or broth. Irritability and fatigue: Because the liver gets backed up trying to metabolize the alcohol| you might be experiencing low blood sugar| which can result in you feeling irritable and moody. While most any food can help spike up sugar levels in the body| in small studies| fructose has been shown to speed up the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Give yourself a tall glass of orange juice after a night of drinking| or press your hangover away with this fresh juice recipe.

The Best Exercise Remedies

Before you hit up that hour-long indoor cycling class| you may want to think twice. On its own| exercise is not an effective cure against a hangover| said Ruth C. Engs| RN| Ed.D.| a professor at Indiana University who has done extensive research on the effects of drinking. While the endorphin rush can counteract the pain (albeit momentarily)| the dehydration that comes along with an intense exercise session can worsen symptoms. Take into account how bad you’re feeling| and if you can’t bear to miss a workout| then opt for a light cardio session or restorative yoga class. But what your body probably needs right now is rest.

Alcohol does a number on sleep patterns; the pituitary gland becomes confused and releases the wrong amount of hormones that regulate sleep; the central nervous system also becomes overexcited| causing sensitivity to light| sound| and touch. All of the above means you do not get a good night of quality sleep. If your hangover is really bad| don’t feel guilty for taking the day off to relax and get some shut-eye.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

The Fresh Juice You Need If You Had a Crazy Weekend

Hangovers happen. And while water, aspirin, and a little time are the best ways to deal with the after-effects of drinking, little things ¡ª?like what you eat ¡ª?can help. Take this pressed-juice recipe, for instance. At first glance, it may seem like just a Bloody Mary minus the vodka, but it’s exactly what you need to power through the day.

Full of the essential nutrients (think: vitamin C, lycopene, and hydrating water) that your body is depleted of from drinking, this pressed juice also gets a spicy kick from the added jalape?o. And when you’re feeling too miserable to move, a spicy boost of endorphins can make or break the day. Nauseated? There’s a little dose of stomach-soothing ginger to help you out too.

Hangover Juice

From Michele Foley, POPSUGAR Fitness

Hangover Juice

Hangover Juice Recipe

Ingredients

3 medium-size tomatoes2 celery stalks1 lemon1/2-inch piece of ginger1 jalape?o pepper (remove the seeds to make it less spicy)1/4 of one large cucumber

The Fresh Juice You Need If You Had a Crazy Weekend

Hangovers happen. And while water| aspirin| and a little time are the best ways to deal with the after-effects of drinking| little things ¡ª?like what you eat ¡ª?can help. Take this pressed-juice recipe| for instance. At first glance| it may seem like just a Bloody Mary minus the vodka| but it’s exactly what you need to power through the day.

Full of the essential nutrients (think: vitamin C| lycopene| and hydrating water) that your body is depleted of from drinking| this pressed juice also gets a spicy kick from the added jalape?o. And when you’re feeling too miserable to move| a spicy boost of endorphins can make or break the day. Nauseated? There’s a little dose of stomach-soothing ginger to help you out too.

Hangover Juice

From Michele Foley| POPSUGAR Fitness

Hangover Juice

Hangover Juice Recipe

Ingredients

3 medium-size tomatoes2 celery stalks1 lemon1/2-inch piece of ginger1 jalape?o pepper (remove the seeds to make it less spicy)1/4 of one large cucumber

5 Science-Based Hangover Helpers

If you’re planning on a big night out for New Year’s Eve, dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health is here to offer five hangover helpers that may help ensure that you’ll feel human the next day.

Google “hangover help,” and you’ll get more than 30 million results, most of which will provide little ¡ª if any ¡ª help. In fact, a scientific review of the most popular hangover “cures” published in the British Medical Journal reported that the so-called cures like specific foods ¡ª including pickled herring, miso soup, Orange Fanta, pills, or powders ¡ª?provide little (if any!) relief.

Most people who drink will have a hangover at some point. The symptoms associated with a hangover ¡ª throbbing headache, nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, and fatigue ¡ª are thought to stem from alcohol withdrawal, high acetaldehyde (a byproduct of alcohol metabolism), congeners (a byproduct present in red wines and dark liquors), and low blood sugar. A sobering fact is that abstinence is the only way to 100 percent guarantee that you won’t get a hangover. Here are five ways to help prevent or manage a hangover if you have one too many.

Hydrate . . . Then Rehydrate

Alcohol acts as a diuretic, so to help prevent a hangover, staying hydrated is key. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you drink alcohol. Instead of the 1:1 ratio of an eight-ounce glass of water for every alcoholic beverage, try a 2:1 ratio of water to alcohol. If your mouth feels like the Sahara when you wake up, rehydrate with liquids that provide carbs and electrolytes to get blood volume levels elevated more quickly than water alone and to lift blood sugar levels. Try sports drinks, broth-based soups, fruit or vegetable juices, fruit smoothies, Pedialyte, or coconut water.

Choose the Right Drinks

While all types of alcohol can lead to a hangover, darker drinks like red wine, whiskey, bourbon, and brandy contain congeners that make hangovers more severe. Choose white wine and clear spirits instead. It has also been found that mixing hard liquor with fruit or vegetable juices may provide some protection possibly by offering fructose and glucose. Fructose, which is the main sugar in fruits, vegetables, honey, and agave, has been linked with speedier metabolism of alcohol, which can reduce hangover risk. In addition, alcohol lowers blood sugar levels, so eating simple carbs helps return blood sugar levels to normal.

Take Aspirin or Ibuprofen

An aspirin or ibuprofen (don’t take Tylenol, as it’s harder on your stomach) can help with your headache and other hard-night-related aches and pains.

Eat Eggs and Toast

While people claim eggs and toast help the body “soak up the alcohol” so you feel better, the fact is eggs are rich in the amino acid cysteine, which may help the liver break down acetaldehyde, the byproduct of alcohol metabolism that makes us feel ill. And toast is carb-rich to help boost blood sugar levels that have plummeted from too much alcohol.

Sleep

If you have the luxury to do so, the best remedy for a hangover is sleep. Alcohol disrupts sleep and robs you of precious REM sleep time, so you don’t feel rested when you wake up. Additional zzz’s are just what the doctor ordered.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

5 Science-Based Hangover Helpers

If you’re planning on a big night out for New Year’s Eve| dietitian Julie Upton| MS| RD| of Appetite For Health is here to offer five hangover helpers that may help ensure that you’ll feel human the next day.

Google “hangover help|” and you’ll get more than 30 million results| most of which will provide little ¡ª if any ¡ª help. In fact| a scientific review of the most popular hangover “cures” published in the British Medical Journal reported that the so-called cures like specific foods including pickled herring| miso soup| Orange Fanta| pills| or powders ?provide little (if any!) relief.

Most people who drink will have a hangover at some point. The symptoms associated with a hangover throbbing headache| nausea| dry mouth| dizziness| and fatigue are thought to stem from alcohol withdrawal| high acetaldehyde (a byproduct of alcohol metabolism)| congeners (a byproduct present in red wines and dark liquors)| and low blood sugar. A sobering fact is that abstinence is the only way to 100 percent guarantee that you won’t get a hangover. Here are five ways to help prevent or manage a hangover if you have one too many.

Hydrate . . . Then Rehydrate

Alcohol acts as a diuretic| so to help prevent a hangover| staying hydrated is key. Drink plenty of water before| during| and after you drink alcohol. Instead of the 1:1 ratio of an eight-ounce glass of water for every alcoholic beverage| try a 2:1 ratio of water to alcohol. If your mouth feels like the Sahara when you wake up| rehydrate with liquids that provide carbs and electrolytes to get blood volume levels elevated more quickly than water alone and to lift blood sugar levels. Try sports drinks| broth-based soups| fruit or vegetable juices| fruit smoothies| Pedialyte| or coconut water.

Choose the Right Drinks

While all types of alcohol can lead to a hangover| darker drinks like red wine| whiskey| bourbon| and brandy contain congeners that make hangovers more severe. Choose white wine and clear spirits instead. It has also been found that mixing hard liquor with fruit or vegetable juices may provide some protection possibly by offering fructose and glucose. Fructose| which is the main sugar in fruits| vegetables| honey| and agave| has been linked with speedier metabolism of alcohol| which can reduce hangover risk. In addition| alcohol lowers blood sugar levels| so eating simple carbs helps return blood sugar levels to normal.

Take Aspirin or Ibuprofen

An aspirin or ibuprofen (don’t take Tylenol| as it’s harder on your stomach) can help with your headache and other hard-night-related aches and pains.

Eat Eggs and Toast

While people claim eggs and toast help the body “soak up the alcohol” so you feel better| the fact is eggs are rich in the amino acid cysteine| which may help the liver break down acetaldehyde| the byproduct of alcohol metabolism that makes us feel ill. And toast is carb-rich to help boost blood sugar levels that have plummeted from too much alcohol.

Sleep

If you have the luxury to do so| the best remedy for a hangover is sleep. Alcohol disrupts sleep and robs you of precious REM sleep time| so you don’t feel rested when you wake up. Additional zzz’s are just what the doctor ordered.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography