Planning your hangover detox


Consuming a lot of alcohol is in no way healthy, but with the festive season and holidays around the corner, we may get ahead of ourselves, so I thought this is an appropriate post for this time of year.

Heavy drinking may be followed by a headache, nausea and fatigue – otherwise known as a hangover. It is important to know how the body process alcohol so that you can give your body’s natural abilities a boost.

A though job for your liver

Once you take alcohol into your body, it’s absorbed in the same way as any other drink, and then broken down into acetaldehyde. Unfortunately, rather than being a vitamin or mineral, acetaldehyde is a cellular poison that has to be removed from your body by your liver. In order to do this, liver cells cease their normal metabolic reactions and work overtime; therefore your best bet for a successful hangover detox remedy is to give your liver as much help as possible.

How much can your body handle?

If you drink sensibly, your liver can process alcohol easily, without unpleasant side effects or risk of long-term damage. A healthy person can metabolise 16g of alcohol per hour; this equals 2 ‘units’ – a unit being half a pint of lager, one 125ml glass of wine or one shot of spirit.

If you don’t drink faster than this, you should be able to process alcohol efficiently, but as your liver has other things to do, don’t think you can keep it on ‘alcohol duty’ for days on end! The maximum recommended weekly alcohol intake is 14 units for women and 21 for men, but remember that your build will affect this, as will your age – ability to process alcohol lessens as you grow older.


Next post (on Friday) will be on Natural boosts for alcohol detox

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