I’ve been asked by numerous clients, friends, and readers to share exactly what is I do on a daily basis to burn fat, stay fit, and lead a high performance life style; these posts “Bio Hacking with Chef Joe” are the actual things I do on a daily basis to be the best version of myself possible. I hope you find these posts informative and helpful in your own journey to become a badass. Interested in getting a bit more personal? Click here to schedule a free “Hack Your Health” strategy session with me and learn how you can optimize your performance, burn fat, and kick ass at life.
We’ve all had those mornings where we wake up with a pounding headache, blood shot eyes, and feel like the walking dead, all due to a reckless night out on the town over-indulging on alcohol. Hangovers are horrible; they create brain fog, drain our energy, and can ruin a day that should be spent enjoying life or at the very least being productive at work… but it doesn’t have to be that way! Having spent the better part of my life working in the service industry I am no stranger to putting back a large number of drinks in a night and still functioning at work the next day, but it comes at a cost, one I am no longer willing to pay to the porcelain gods anymore. So buckle up and get ready to learn the secrets to feeling great after a night of indulgence as we bio-hack the dreaded hangover!
What to eat: Contrary to popular belief greasy foods do not help you with hangover the next day, sorry pizza and cheese fries your myth is busted! What you want to eat is a meal of dark leafy greens and protein (think a large spinach salad with salmon or grass-fed steak). Part of the biological effect of alcohol takes your liver and pancreas, so you want to prep with foods that give these heroes of your body some extra fuel to get you through the evening, dark leafy greens are what your liver needs (Popeye was right the whole time). Protein is your friend while drinking, it the only macro nutrient that will help slow the absorption of alcohol giving your liver more time to break it down properly and keep you from getting smashed on two drinks. Be sure to eat a protein rich meal before going out on the town.
What to Drink: Every heard of sole therapy (pronounced so-lay)? I had not until last summer, it’s a great way to boost your bodies electrolytes and hydration, it’s made by utilizing mineral salt crystals to make an electrolyte drink that takes a few days to create with large salt crystals…. Ain’t nobody got time for that, so let’s speed it up shall we.
Quick Sole Recipe: 1/2tsp of fine pink Himalayan sea salt + 16oz of filtered water; put in a water bottle and shake until all those crystals are dissolved into the water. Drink it down right before your first alcoholic beverage.
Pro-tip: This also helps the next day when you are doing damage control so go ahead and set up another sole in your fridge for the morning, so it’s easy to grab and ice cold.
Pick your Poison
When it comes to hangovers, choosing what to drink is very important.
Important safety tip: A drink is considered 12oz of beer, 5oz of wine, or 1.5oz of a distilled spirit
Best: Distilled unsweetened spirits (vodka, gin, and tequila blanco), these are distilled and filtered doing half of the work your liver would normally need to do, meaning your body can break it down more efficiently and you will feel better in the morning for it.
OK Choices: Aged spirits are the next best choice (whiskey, scotch, and anejo/repasado tequila), the aging process might make the booze smoother (and more delicious if you ask my whiskey loving ass), but it also adds a layer of toxins your liver has to deal with.
Not Great: Wine and ciders are not great, they are unfiltered and not distilled meaning your liver has to do more work to break the alcohol down, plus during the fermentation process these fruits can create different toxins, molds, and anti-nutrients that can take a toll on your bodies performance and cause that foggy mental feeling you get from a few to many glasses of wine
Worst: I hate that I have to write this…. BEER (and malt liquor)….. Oh beer how I love you, delicious sours, malty stouts, and hoppy IPAs; the world has fallen in love with craft brewing over the past decade and so have I (shown by the hops tattoo on my right arm). Beer is full of toxins, mold, gluten, and other unsavory ingredients that can rob your mental performance that night and the next day. If beer is your poisons take extra special care to help your body eliminate toxins quickly with the recommendations below.
On Mixers: Stick to no sugar added mixers like club soda, fresh lime and lemon juice, olive juice, and flavored sparkling waters.
What to do while you’re drinking
Vitamin B & C: These lovely letters are the vitamins that are lost while you drink; adding them to your evening will help keep the hangover at bay and keeps your body functioning properly. When it comes to B vitamins get a complex B supplement as you need to reintroduce all of them to feel your best. Take a 1000mg of Vitamin C and one dose of B complex before you start to drink for the evening, and another set of both after every two drinks; this will keep you feeling great and your morning pain free.
Pro-tip: Emergen-C contains the right mix of B and C vitamins and can be purchased as a single serving at almost every pharmacy in America, so if you forget your supplements just stumble over to a Walgreens or CVS, buy yourself a Smart Water and an Emergen-c packet and mix. Easy shit
Hydrate: Drink water, we all know this and many still ignore the advice. Drink a glass of water in-between drinks, just 8-10 ounces will do, so do it, seriously…. I’m not kidding.
Coconut Water: This is a great way to add more electrolytes to your body without all the sugar of a sport drink, drink down one of these tasty guys during your night and you’ll feel a difference in the morning. Make sure you’re buying the no-added sugar kind!
End of the Night
Activated Charcoal: If you’ve drank with me in the past year, you have probably seen me handing out black pills to everyone, because activated charcoal works and it’s glorious. The charcoal helps to absorb the excess toxins and alcohol in your stomach and safely deposits the unlucky fellows into your colon where they can be eliminated. Dosing your Charcoal:
- 2 capsules: I had a few drinks with friends after work and have a nice buzz, but I want to feel awesome tomorrow.
- 4 capsules: Friday night and I had to take an Uber home, whose number is in my phone, wtf is this wrist band, possible brown out night.
- 4 capsules + 2 more in the morning: Where the hell am I? Who is in my bed? I can’t remember shit and why in god’s name did I spend a hundred dollars at Taco Bell? Black out night/most bachelor parties.
Hydrate some more: Yes drink more water….. are you getting the whole water thing yet?
Sleep: Get plenty of rest, your body goes through its heaviest detoxification cycle while you sleep and if you poured shot after shot into your gullet the night before your body might need 10-12 hours to get it your of your system.
Maybe it works?: Liposomal Glutathione is a supplement that provides Glutathione an important master anti-oxidant in the body that gets destroyed when we drink, some health care professionals say it works great, others say it just gets destroyed in your stomach and does nothing. I have taken it a few times during a long weekend and noticed a slight difference, but I am not ready to promote it yet.
The Next Morning
Sole Therapy: If you remember the tip earlier about putting an extra bottle of salt water in your fridge then drink that ice cold sucker down and feel much better, if not coconut water is another great option.
Coffee: Studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption supports liver function and can reduce your risk of liver diseases. Moderate means less than 16oz of coffee per day , that’s a Grande at Starbucks or a medium coffee most places, any more than that the excess caffeine begins to cause other health issues.
Eggs: Eat your eggs the next morning, eggs are chocked full of cysteine, an amino acid that breakdowns acetaldehyde, the root cause of hangovers. Essential minerals in eggs also help the body get rid of toxins from alcohol. (If you are in a rush in the morning try hard or soft boiling some eggs before you go out so you have them at the ready in the morning).
Hydrate even more: Drinking plenty of water the day after drinking will help your body process the excess toxins and flush them out of your system quicker; for real, drink water, no joke.
After a bender
Ever been on a cruise, wedding weekend, or just an adult vacation where you have multiple drinks before dinner for days on end? Yeah it happens to all of us here and there, so after a couple day bender you have really done some damage to yourself. To help aid your body in fixing the damage try the following protocol for every day you spent drinking (3 day wedding bender, do the following for three days, etc..),
Inositol: This flavorless powder helps to push unwanted toxin in the liver out quickly and is a star at fixing the multiple day bender feeling that can persist for up to a week. Follow the dosing on your bottle once per day in the morning.
Milk Thistle: This little weed is another great liver detoxifier and can even repair damage to the liver; 200-300mg per day is great.
Get Sweaty: Epsom salt baths, steam rooms, sauna sessions, running in the heat, working out, anything that makes you sweat will help push out the excess toxins that have built up in your body from all the boozing.
If you follow the advice in this article you’ll have a more pain-free weekend and feel a hell of a lot better on Monday morning when you go back to work. Please drink responsibly, don’t drink and drive, and for god sake friends don’t let friends drunk text. Cheers Y’all.