Can Women Healthfully Drink Alcohol?

It’s the morning after.

Your client (or you!) woke up after a night of celebration tired, with a headache, dry skin, dry mouth, just Ugh!

Is alcohol ever healthy?  And, are there ways to enjoy alcohol and protect your liver, preventing the next day hangover?  In this video, I explain the evidence… How does alcohol impact hormone health?  Are there any health benefits to drinking alcohol?

Sometimes our clients simply want to enjoy a celebratory glass of wine or a cocktail.  Sometimes they just want to have a little fun, and not worry too much about the health benefits or risks.

This is fine.  Sometimes in life our clients (and us!) don’t make the perfect health decision, and there are risks to everything.

But, if your clients (or you!) are going to drink alcohol, let’s support them to proactively protect their livers and their detoxification systems in general.

What can be done to prevent a hangover?  How to cure a hangover?

Your body uses some key nutrients to process alcohol, and detoxify from a night of overindulgence, supplying these in optimal amounts can help the natural detoxification systems to more quickly process the alcohol with less damage to the liver and other associated organs.

Here are the supplements that I suggest to minimize the damage that alcohol can do to the detoxification system…

  1. B Vitamins: Vitamins B6, B12, and B9 (folate) work together to support detoxification pathways, supporting the function of the liver.  I prefer to recommend B vitamins within complex or multivitamin/ multimineral supplements because they work together synergistically.

  1. Antioxidants: Nutrients like alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ10, vitamin C, EGCG, and curcumin work together to protect the liver from oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress can overwhelm the mitochondria of all cells (including the liver), making it difficult for them to function – since the mitochondria produce energy for the cells.

  1. N-acetyl-cysteine and Glutathione: Glutathione is the master antioxidant that supports liver detoxification of alcohol and many pharmaceutical drugs (don’t mix alcohol and pharmaceutical medications!)  Thus, having optimized glutathione levels are key.  Taking a supplement that also includes N-acetyl-cysteine – a key precursor to glutathione – will support liver health even more completely.

  1. Water: Hydration is essential to detoxification because once the toxins are processed by the liver they must be excreted in urine or feces.  Thus, healthy urination and bowel movements are key to liver health as well.

  1. Amino Acids: Finally, I’m not a fan of juice cleanses as a long term strategy.While a day or two of drinking fresh-pressed vegetable juices is a nice rest for the digestive and immune systems, and supports detoxification, the liver needs amino acids (the building blocks of protein) to complete the detoxification process.  Thus, support the liver with some protein in the form of meat, fish, beans, protein powders, nuts or seeds whenever you’re supporting the natural detoxification process.

The bottom line is that limiting alcohol is the healthiest choice for women.  But, sometimes enjoying a glass of wine or a cocktail can be nourishing in other ways.  When your clients (or you!) choose to enjoy alcohol, let’s give their detox systems a boost with supportive nutrients.

Enjoy the celebration! (and protect your liver!)

Are you ready to improve your functional nutrition skills to support women to optimize their hormonal health, detox systems, and overall health to live long and healthy lives? Nearly 40 million women in the US alone struggle with hormone imbalance symptoms each year. Women everywhere need your support! Learn more about The Women’s Health Coach Certification… Click here to learn more.

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