“Water? Surely she meant wine and wodka..” -You got me, of course that’s what I mean too. Weekend, Wine, Wodka AND WATER!
Now I’m not going to advocate alcohol here, but ‘conscious drinking’ . Let’s be honest, however healthy we want to be, we also want (and need) fun; sit back and relax or be dancing on the tables, forget about work, responsibilities, deadlines for the next week, etc. Most of us do it while drinking alcohol.
Trick is to know how to help your body get through those alcohol-ridden fun nights without harming yourself too much. The only thing most of us hate about alcohol is the hangover. But let’s not forget the hangover is just a symptom of a body in crisis. If we want to drink alcohol, there are ways to help our body not to get into that ‘state of shock’ in the first place.
And the FIRST aid is water. Water is one of our first lifelines, always, but especially in party weekends. I’m sure we all know that, but I hardly see people drinking water when I’m going out. I guess most of us underestimate how important it is; water after drinking, water after sleep, and at least 2 glasses of water every hour while drinking.
That means 1-2 glasses water with every drink, because our body can only take 1-2 glasses alcohol every hour. Our body can’t break down the alcohol molecules faster than that. If you drink faster, it will harm your body; system cries OVERLOAD (we don’t hear it, just feel tired and/or sick or just completely lose sanity ; ) ) and a lot of overloads will really cause the organs to give up faster, eventually..
I can write about all the chemical stuff here, how it all works with molecules etc, but I’m sure we can all see the sense and logic without explaining about the scientific process in detail. Alcohol drains the body from water because alcohol (especially beer) makes you go to the bathroom more often. But from the inside your body is also using up a lot of fluids. So you get a double whammy of H2O loss.
-And that’s without you going mad on the dance floor (water cools body down: dancing in a warm place makes you hot – no water makes you overheat – more sweat = even less fluid in the body. And then you’re drinking too). So if you’re out dancing & drinking its a triple whammy without water.
Water is vital for all of our organs.
-Our brain actually floats in water. Its soft tissue: our scalp is hard bone: imagine what our brain feels like without a layer of water surrounding it, scraping against that bone.. –oh wait, most of us DO know: it’s part of the hangover headache! ; )
When the body runs out of H2O it starts draining water from the brain. Apparently its the stem of the brain that dehydrates first (stem controls vital functions: temperature, blood pressure, breathing, heartbeat): it also affects neurotransmitters that send messages out through the body(cells) to function properly. So while the body is working hard to get rid of the alcohol, the brain is having a hard time controlling it all too. Picture a building site with 10.000 thirsty workers and 1 drunk leader; Chaos.
-our kidneys are the (blood)filters of our body. Think of your kitchen sieve; the more water you add, the less particles will clog the sieve. And here I’m talking about a simple sieve. Think of how complex kidneys need rinsing and the difference it makes diluting the alcohol with water.
-And of course there’s the liver, that does all the heavy work of actually breaking the alcohol down. It will still have a hard time, even if you do drink water. But at least your body will have to chance to focus on that part properly instead of multitasking on all levels in total chaos ; )
So in short: Mixing alcohol with water in your body will not make the amount of alcohol to break down less of course, but it does dilute it, making it easier for your liver and kidneys to process (percentage stays the same but the concentration is lower, so less ‘overload!’ at once). It also makes the alcohol less irritating to the lining of your stomach and intestines (taking a spoonful of olive-oil before drinking also helps here -really!). And it keeps the brain (the commander of all) more or less ‘in control’ of things.
The next day
Drink some more water. Actually it’s always good to start your day with a glass of water (because of the ‘kidney-rising’). And then there are some other things you can eat and drink to help compensate for nutrients your body lost the night before, giving you the energy and spirit to… go to the gym and get ready for the next party haha.