Some of us have not yet fully recovered or gotten back into our fitness routine after the New Year festivities, and we are already entering the Chinese New Year festival and Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a festival, birthday, job promotion or a wedding, we often celebrate with a party of good friends, food and booze. Amidst all this, do we actually give our bodies a chance to fully recover? Does our liver get enough rest and nourishment after taking on a heavy load? Let’s take a few moments to talk about this today, and learn how to prepare ourselves so that we can continue to join parties and festivities for many years to come.
Don’t go on an empty stomach.
It’s been said, particularly in Asia, that fried and spicy foods go hand-in-hand with parties because they taste good and work well as hors d’oeuvres. Therefore, having a little something healthy to eat ahead of time will help to reduce hunger, allowing you to eat less while at the party as well as help to slow down the absorption of alcohol into the body. It’s also good to be aware that drinking alcohol with sweetened mixers will further stimulate the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, causing you to feel drowsy and drunk, resulting in unwanted hangover the next day.
Start with the Salads: Salads should be your first food choice when at a party. Choose green leafy vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and don’t forget to avoid those thick, creamy salad dressings.
Avoid Sweet, Salty, and Greasy Snack Foods: Fried chicken wings, 3-layered pork fried in fish sauce, etc.—these are both salty and greasy. Eating these kinds of foods, especially in conjunction with alcohol, may mean you’ll have a crazy fun night, but the negative effects on your liver are sure to follow. To reduce your fat intake, the best choices are foods that are baked, boiled or steamed.
Eat in Moderation: In addition to making you feel stuffed and uncomfortable, eating too much also forces your liver to work harder. What’s more, eating foods that are high in fat is a risk factor for developing the dreaded fatty liver disease.
With Just 2 Glasses, You Can Still Have Fun: Sipping your drinks slowly will help you drink less. Keep your alcohol consumption down to 2 glasses per event. This way, you’ll prevent liver damage while still enjoying yourself.
Have a Glass of Water Every Hour: Drinking clean, pure water not just helps replace lost fluids from urination, but also reduces alcohol concentration in the blood.
Get Enough Rest: This allows your body, especially your liver, which needs time for recuperation and respite, to fully recover.
Drink Lots of Water: Replace the water and fluids lost while partying.
Medication and Warm Ginger Can Help: Take some mild pain relievers if you have a headache, or, if you’re feeling nauseous, try sipping a hot ginger drink which can help refresh you.
Boost the Vitamin Content in Your Body: You can do this by drinking some fruit or vegetable juice or by taking some B-complex vitamins. This will help to minimize vitamin loss.
Eat Avocado and Asparagus: This will help to replenish and restore your liver cells, and eliminate any leftover substances in your system that could cause a hangover.
Medical technology continues to develop and advance quickly. Today, we even have a modern screening device known as a FibroScan to detect fatty liver disease. Still, the best course of action is to prevent your liver from overworking by taking the time to prepare before, during, and after a party. This will help to preserve your liver, and keep it working efficiently in your body for a long, long time to come.
Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University , 2009