How To: Prevent a Hangover


First and foremost – When we consume alcohol, it is absorbed from our digestive tract into the blood to begin the process of breaking down. Our liver then creates enzymes to break apart the molecules in order to eliminate them from the body. The resulting byproducts are both highly toxic and known carcinogens.

The best options are:

  • Preservative free or organic/natural red wines are higher in antioxidants and may prevent any headache, bloating or flushing associated with additives/sulphites.
  • Clear spirits (vodka, tequila and gin) are lower in congeners – a toxic byproduct that can aggravate hangovers.
  • Amaro’s (Aperol, Campari and dry vermouth) tend to be lower in alcohol and have an added health benefit – They are traditionally consumed due to their bitter quality to help promote digestion before / after a meal.
  • Low sugar mixers (Soda water, kombucha, small amounts of natural fruit juice or light tonic water) are lower in calories and help to balance blood sugar to prevent any energy dips or nausea.


Maintaining adequate hydration is the most important step before, during and after a night out. Ultimately, alcohol is a diuretic that causes the body to shed more water than usual. As most hangovers are the cause of dehydration, ensure you are well watered before commencing.

To maintain appropriate hydration:

  • Consume 2 glasses (250ml) prior to drinking, then an additional glass for every drink consumed
  • Consider an electrolyte supplement before bed and again the next morning to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid excessive consumption of coffee, tea and salt for 24 hours after a session


The sheer processing of alcohol requires significant utilisation of endogenously stored nutrients such as vitamin B1 (Thiamin), B12, folic acid and zinc. In order to promote proper alcohol metabolism and prevent fatigue, it is important to ensure nutrient intake is sufficient. Specific nutrient and herb based supplements have demonstrated the potential to reduce alcohol related effects, but remember, always consult a reputable Nutritionist to ensure safety and efficacy.

Effective additions to enhance natural detoxification in the body:

  • Vitamin B Complex – Taking before and after a night of drinking may help replenish stores and prevent associated fatigue
  • Zinc – May prevent liver injury and ward off unwanted hangover effects.
  • NAC – A precursor to the antioxidant Glutathione that promotes liver detoxification.
  • Brassica vegetables e.g. Broccoli, kale, cabbage, spinach and Brussels sprouts.
  • Bitter foods e.g. dandelion greens, liquorice tea, chicory root, rocket, artichokes and grapefruit.


We all know now how poor gut health is linked to a myriad of health ailments. Regular and excessive intakes of alcohol may encourage the growth of pathogenic bacteria whilst reducing the levels of healthy bacteria within the gut, causing Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).

Common signs indicating you may have an imbalance include abdominal discomfort, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, fatigue and nutrient deficiencies. If you are a regular drinker, it is important to ensure you’re protecting your delicate microbiome by:

  • Include one serving per day of probiotic foods e.g. organic yogurt, kefir or fermented vegetables.
  • Include an abundance of vegetables, fruit, legumes and whole grains within the diet.
  • Bone broth is rich in glutamine which can help to repair the gut after excessive alcohol intake.

If you suspect your gut health is not up to scratch, consult a Nutritionist to help you identify the root cause.


If you make this your one golden rule – NEVER drink on an empty stomach!
Without the presence of food, the ease in which alcohol enters the bloodstream is dramatically intensified. It is better to slow the absorption by eating a small meal or snack ideally 1-2 hours prior to drinking that contains a mix of protein, carbohydrates and fiber. This will help prime the stomach and prevent the liver from working overtime.

Ideas for pre-drinking meals/snacks:

  • 1 slice of sourdough/sprouted bread with almond butter, half sliced banana & some raw honey
  • A wholefood smoothie made with berries, protein powder, probiotic yogurt, leafy greens and flaxseeds
  • Seared wild salmon served with a side of asian greens and brown rice
  • Seeded crackers with hummus
  • Greek / coconut yogurt and berries


Although a regular nightcap may initially induce relaxation, it actually works in reverse by reducing the quality of your sleep. This is because alcohol disrupts the duration of our deeper and more restorative ‘REM’ sleep, often causing us to wake before truly rested. Ensure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep before and as much interrupted sleep as possible after to promote a healthy immune system and ward off any next day fatigue.

Basically, no matter the source, alcohol is alcohol. Although it is difficult to control its overall effects, it can be possible to prevent some of the additional side effects from one too many.

REMEMBER: The best way to prevent a hangover is by not drinking, so drink consciously and responsibly!


Rohsenow, D. J., & Howland, J. (2010). The role of beverage congeners in hangover and other residual effects of alcohol intoxication: a review. Current drug abuse reviews, 3(2), 76–79.

Howland, J., Rohsenow, D. J., Allensworth-Davies, D., Greece, J., Almeida, A., Minsky, S. J., Arnedt, J. T., & Hermos, J. (2008). The incidence and severity of hangover the morning after moderate alcohol intoxication. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 103(5), 758–765.

Verster, J. C., Vermeulen, S. A., Loo, A., Balikji, S., Kraneveld, A. D., Garssen, J., & Scholey, A. (2019). Dietary Nutrient Intake, Alcohol Metabolism, and Hangover Severity. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(9), 1316.

Coppersmith, V., Hudgins, S., Stoltzfus, J. et al. (2021). The use of N-acetylcysteine in the prevention of hangover: a randomized trial. Sci Rep 11, 13397

Bishehsari, F., Magno, E., Swanson, G., Desai, V., Voigt, R. M., Forsyth, C. B., & Keshavarzian, A. (2017). Alcohol and Gut-Derived Inflammation. Alcohol research : current reviews, 38(2), 163–171.Devenney, L. E., Coyle, K. B., Roth, T., & Verster, J. C. (2019). Sleep after Heavy Alcohol Consumption and Physical Activity Levels during Alcohol Hangover. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(5), 752.

Unfollow, Unlearn, Unleash


What we read, see, and engage with shapes our mindset, so it pays off to be mindful of the content we consume. Toxic and harmful influences can be disguised in a multitude of ways and can distort our perspective around our bodies and what fitness really is.

Harmful content can be hidden in workouts that magnify your supposed ‘troubled areas’. It’s in the fitness influencers that remind you it’s almost summer and your body is now the only commodity you have!!!!!!!! It’s in the 14 day bikini body challenge that leaves you more unsatisfied and exhausted than before you began. If this sounds all too familiar, it’s a ripe time to hit unfollow.

By actively selecting what we let into our digital landscape, we can ensure that our online experience is less of a self-comparison rabbit hole and more of a realistic hype girl.


There is a big difference between being obsessed and being disciplined. Discipline is controlled and rational and allows you to cultivate self esteem, confidence and build inner strength. It is like the put-together friend who always has your back. When you’re disciplined, you trust your own ability to, well, just do the thing. Obsession on the other hand is like that clingy ex who won’t stop calling you at 2 a.m. It intrudes on your thoughts and life and only leads to stress, self loathing and a whole lot of wasted time.

Check in with how your current routine feels. Does your self worth hang in the hands or a 5am workout in Perhaps the scales have tipped and it’s time to course correct. If you simply don’t have a routine, this is a great concept to keep in mind when you decide to take the first step.


Exercise is a tool to enhance. A tool to build, grow and learn. It is only when we stop fixating on shrinking our bodies that we can be present with the lessons exercise is offering us. One of the most empowering teachings we can take from exercise is our ability to challenge ourselves, push our limits and ~survive~. When we are faced with discomfort (hello, side plank) we are reminded that we can do hard things. Because it is in the hard things, the challenges, the I-don’t-wanna-run, run that we are reminded it’s sometimes not the situation we need to change, but instead, our approach to it.

Next time you hit the mat, the gym or mount a bike, take it as a mental workout. Ditch the idea that exercise is purely tied to the way that you look and simply celebrate showing up.

All in all, the perfect exercise regime is the one that brings you joy! Yep, cue eye roll. Life is hard enough, so it’s important to get on your own side. Go on, unfollow, rethink and reframe what it means to be fit. Your awesome, non-obsessive self has got this!

If you want to experience a conscious and consider approach to Pilates whilst still getting a kick-ass workout – try this.