When Choosing To Drink
If you are choosing to have an alcoholic beverage, there are a few things you can do to help maintain your health goals, reduce the chances of a hangover, inhibit body fat accumulation, and to keep your blood sugar stable.
- Limit to 1-2 Drinks.
No matter what research you look at, the benefits of alcohol consumption suddenly halt once consumption exceeds 2 drinks a day. With 3 or more, diseases and inflammation become much more likely. This is also when drinking may begin to impede on other aspects of your Paleo lifestyle.
- Eat Well
To minimize any chances of extra fat accumulation, spend the day eating only lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables. As mentioned earlier, your body will be expending much energy trying to detoxify and metabolize the alcohol in your system, and may not have the time or the necessary reserves to process the calories from harder to digest fats and carbohydrates. Those elements that are not metabolized get stored in the form of fat. Protein is safe to eat in this case because, for the most part, your body does not utilize or store it in the same way.
It also helps to avoid Omega-6 fats as much as possible as these polyunsaturated fats make it much more likely that alcohol will damage your liver. Eating well-sourced saturated fats including coconut oil are significantly protective against alcohol consumption.
As alcohol has a dehydrating effect on your cells, ensure you drink lots of water and add a pinch of high-quality salt if possible to restore balance and prevent electrolyte depletion.
- Plan Ahead
Drinking often results in poor food choices. To avoid loading your body with even more toxins in the form of inflammatory non-Paleo foods, have a meal or a snack ready and available for when you begin to feel hungry.
There are certain supplements that will protect your body against alcohol. Support the liver in more rapid detoxification, help prevent hangovers, and minimize the damage. Vitamin C, Cysteine, and the range B-Vitamins will bind with the byproducts of the alcohol, reducing their effects on your body. Activated charcoal during and after alcohol consumption will further support detoxification.
- Stop Drinking Early
Adequate sleep is an important and vital component of your Paleo lifestyle. Alcohol disrupts your sleep a little no matter what time of day you drink. However, if you drink during the 2-3 hours before you plan on going to bed, your sleep may be further disrupted. Get your drinking done early.
Health and wellness should complement your life rather than govern it completely. The benefits of having a drink here and there are a personal, individualized decision. If you are choosing to consume alcohol, try to stick to more Paleo-friendly options, and, of course, stay safe.