It’s that time of year again. We have so many reasons to be thankful and to celebrate all that we have and all of the special people in our lives. It’s also a time for many parties and opportunities to imbibe. Of course, if you want to completely eliminate hangovers, don’t drink. But even the healthiest among us indulge from time to time. With that, I thought I’d share my tips on how you can enjoy the festivities in a healthier way. The 3 R’s for zero hangovers will help you have more energy, be more productive, feel less stress, avoid weight gain, stay healthy, and have more fun this holiday season. 

#1 – Reduce the load. 

Alcohol is literally poison. Hangovers are just your body trying to deal with this poison, or toxin load. Reduce the toxic load, reduce your hangover.

So how do you reduce the toxic load other than simply reducing the amount of alcohol you consume? Choose your drink wisely. Your choice of ‘poison’ will make a big difference in your overall toxin load. The best choices are distilled spirits – vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey. As the name implies, these spirits are distilled, so a lot of the bad stuff (aka toxins) are separated and removed from the final product. Take your distilled spirits over ice, with water or with club soda. Avoid adding a sugary mixer, as sugar is one of the worst toxic offenders. Learn to like the flavor of spirits. They are really quite wonderful, and it can be fun to try different brands and enjoy the subtle taste variations between brands and batches. Feel free to add a squeeze of lime or lemon or even bitters. Not only are they low in sugar, but the bitterness can actually help your body eliminate toxins through the stimulation of bile.

Avoid red wine and beer as these carry the highest concentrations of toxins. If you absolutely must drink wine or beer, then you will need to place more emphasis on the next two R’s to stay hangover-free. Better choices are dry champagne or dry ciders which avoid the grain toxins you find in beer.

#2 – Remove the load.

Even with a smart drink choice, you are still ingesting alcohol which is a toxin. Once alcohol makes it into your body, your body has to work hard to remove it. Use this 1-2 approach to help your body do what it naturally does, but better and faster. First, drink plenty of water before, during, and after consuming alcohol to help facilitate the body’s natural detox process. Next, take this detox process up a level by

 using activated charcoal. Activated charcoal binds to toxins and prepares them for excretion. It’s important to know that activated charcoal will not prevent you from getting drunk, nor will it help you sober up faster. Alcohol absorbs very quickly in the stomach, much faster than activated charcoal can work. But it will bind to the other toxic stuff in those drinks that make hangovers even worse.

Water and activated charcoal work together. Once the toxins are bound with the activated charcoal, water helps to flush it all out. Keep in mind that activated charcoal isn’t selective, it will bind with other stuff you have consumed too like nutrients. So, don’t take activated charcoal at the same time as vitamins. About two hours in between is generally a good rule of thumb.

For every alcoholic drink, consume 1 full glass of water along with 1-2 capsules (or 500 mg) of activated charcoal.

Now Foods activated charcoal capsules

#3 – Replenish lost nutrients.

Drinking is a stress on the body and can leave you inflamed and weak. Nutrients strengthen your body and increase your ability to handle stress. When you drink or put any extra stress on your body, you burn through nutrients faster. To keep your nutrient load high, you want to do two things. First, prep your body before drinking (or before any stressful event) by pre-loading on nutrients. Then, restore the nutrients lost after your night out. Keep in mind the two-hour window between taking activated charcoal and your vitamins.

The best is to take 1000 mg of Vitamin C along with a good B complex before drinking and another dose of each before bed. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can add alpha lipoic acid (ALA) which is a powerful antioxidant and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) for liver support.

I really love the Beyond Tangy Tangerine multivitamin multimineral product. I personally use the powder on a daily basis, but these tablets are convenient for travel and for taking with you on nights out. These contain Vitamin C and all the B vitamins. So instead of taking Vitamin C and B complex supplements separately you can just take the Beyond Tangy Tangerine – 4 tablets before drinking and another 4 tablets before bed.

Beyond Tangy Tangerine tablets




1) REDUCE – choose your drink wisely

2) REMOVE – drink water and take activated charcoal with each drink

3) REPLENISH – keep nutrients high by taking Vitamin C and a B complex before drinking and before bed.

The three R’s can be used as a hack in any situation where you might be taking on a high toxin load not just with alcohol (ie. bad restaurant eating, movie popcorn night, Halloween candy binge-eating, Thanksgiving feasts, holiday dinner parties). First, make choices to REDUCE toxins, such as reducing or eliminating sugar, dessert, or high carb appetizers. Next, help your body to REMOVE the toxins after they have gotten inside by drinking lots of water, moving your body, taking a walk, using activated charcoal. Finally, REPLENISH with lots of nutrients both before and after. Also make sure you get plenty of sleep, a bit of exercise, healthy food and lots of vegetables. All of these strategies will go a long way to helping you feel great and experience even more joy. That’s what it’s all about. Have a wonderful, healthy and happy holiday season 🙂


Karin ReedAbout the Author:

Karin Reed, founder of WHOLEHUMAN Performance & Wellness Coaching

Karin has always been passionate about fitness and health. As a curious scientist, she has spent her life studying the science and biology of upgrading the human body and mind, often referred to as ‘biohacking’. With this knowledge and through self-experimentation she effectively biohacked herself.

Equipped with a degree in Chemical Engineering, her first career began as a manager at Procter & Gamble. She had two children and quickly found that it wasn’t enough to biohack herself and her career; she also had to take care of her family and home. She mastered the art of work-life balance. As a P&G Corporate Athlete trainer she taught employees tools to achieve greater health and well-being so that they could perform better on the job and at home. After a second career with Pfizer and having spent most of her life in the demanding corporate world experiencing firsthand that success doesn’t have to mean sacrifice, it’s now her personal and professional goal to help as many people as possible upgrade their lives and realize their full potential.