Hangovers and holidays go together like turkey and stuffing (especially when family is involved). Tis’ the season for gratitude, festivities and goodwill. Also for splurging, stress-eating and sidestepping uncomfortable conversations with relatives by spiking the eggnog. And whether your flavor of hangover is physical or financial, it isn’t pretty.
Also, there’s nothing worse than a hangover on an airplane. Recirculated air sapping your skin of any remaining moisture, cabin pressure doubling down on your temples, cramped seating stifling your mobility, that no-mercy broom-closet of a bathroom. Scanning for the obligatory vomit bag you hope you won’t have to use.
While I can’t credibly dispense advice on how to bounce back from overspending, I have some tips and tricks for curing a mean hangover when you’ve had one pisco sour too many. Knowledge is power. So is coconut water. But let’s start with the basics.
What happens when you drink
Alcohol triggers a number of small molecules and a variety of cellular responses that cause some issues in your body. Namely sleep and gut disturbances, dehydration and the build-up of a compound called acetaldehyde – the toxic byproduct of alcohol that makes you feel so terrible.
Depending on how much you drink, the alcohol will take two courses, some will go through the liver and the rest will stays in your gut to be metabolized by the bacteria, which converts it to acetaldehyde and does not convert it to acetate (which your liver does). As the acetaldehyde builds up in your body, it infiltrates the blood stream and makes you suffer.
Aside: The headache usually comes from the fact that you didn’t drink enough water with your alcoholic binge, which is why you wake up with a parched mouth.
Fortify your system with super foods
Eat a complex carb dense meal when you wake up. My go-to is brown rice and beans sautéed with onions. It may not sound appetizing, but I dare you to try it over the chorizo egg scramble with extra English muffin. Avoid the greasy hash browns or junk food, as this merely adds strain to your system and prolongs the hangover detox time.
Instead, add these gentle gut cleansers to your repertoire:
Ginger: this super root is very effective for nausea and stomach aches. I like to make a ginger tea with lemon and honey (I grate fresh ginger, but ginger tea bags work, too). Our defend formula has a very high dose of ginger.
Lemon & Honey in hot water: The lemon stimulates the liver’s detoxifying enzymes while the honey provides a number of proteins (choose unpasteurized honey), and sweetness to boost your blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar levels often plummet after a night of drinking.
Bananas: High in potassium, this superfood is a great way to replenish your water and sugar stores to stave off the headache.
Beet: this root vegetable is an excellent detoxifier both for the liver and kidneys, helping them to flush out the toxins more quickly and effectively.
Celery: a high source of calcium and magnesium, celery has a calming effect on the central nervous system, especially if you’re feeling shaky.
Coconut water: Packed with potassium, which is essential when rehydrating, consider coconut water your new best friend. All of our formulas have coconut water for hydration.
Caution: Don’t be fooled by sipping sport drinks, these are merely artificial colors and sweeteners masquerading as hydrating drinks. There is nothing nourishing about them, especially if they’re electric blue.
Activate some plant alchemy
The rise formula in Local Time’s flight pack happens to be a stellar elixir for neutralizing your hangover: Lion's Mane leads the way for mental clarity while Ashwagandha supports adrenal function and works with Green tea to balance stress hormones. Adaptogenic Siberian Ginseng and Astragalus collaborate to support immune function, while Gotu Kola and Guaraná funnel energy into the brain and focus on memory, cognitive function and concentration. Schisandra acts as an adaptogen that balances some of the more energetic properties of the other herbs for a focused calm. Maca improves mood and boosts energy, while Coconut keeps you hydrated along the way. I favor mixing with hot water and a splash of plant mylk. Yum.
Other useful vitamins & remedies:
Vitamin B('s): are used to restore the liver. B vitamins are depleted by the body when under stress. It is best to take a multi-vitamin or b complex before you go to bed as it helps the liver detoxify.
Vitamin C: take it before bed or boarding the plane, otherwise definitely the next day as it helps your liver to detoxify.
Milk thistle: this herb is excellent for stimulating the detoxifying process in your liver.
Nux vomica: a homeopathic remedy that relieves headaches and upset stomach.
Support your system
Hot-cold showers: this helps speed up the detoxification process by increasing your circulation. Here’s how it works: Get in a bath as hot as you can tolerate for 5 minutes and then jump in a cold shower for a minute. Alternate back and forth a couple of times finishing with cold. You can also do this in the shower, just going back and forth from hot to cold.
Sleep: sleep it off (finally, a tip you can embrace with gusto!). Give your body a chance to recover. Help it along by taking 1 rest formula for a gentle downshift.
Water:especially if you neglected to hydrate the night before, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your journey to rebalance your cells. Water will also help your liver detoxify quicker by flushing out the system. You’ll want to drink upwards of 2 litres the day after you have been drinking – so don’t board without your own bottle, and ask a flight attendant often for a refill.
Airplane yoga: I’m not suggesting you do downward dog in the aisle (but if you dare I want to hear about it!) Just as I’ve suggested in my tips to beat jet lag, get up and pace the aisles, move your ankles, stretch your arms, do some simple twists in your seat. Anything to get the blood flowing and promote circulation.
Finally, if you have the presence of mind, endeavor to eat something before you go to bed – preferably a complex carbohydrate to avoid a blood sugar drop, and drink water. I have a dear friend who swears by water chugging before bedtime. I totally support that.
Recipes to try before you fly
2 celery stalks
½ lemon with skin
1 Local Time rise pack
Put all ingredients through juicer and enjoy!
1 frozen banana
2 large dates
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon peanut butter
½ cup rice milk
½ cup water
1 Local Time rise pack
Mix it all up in the blender. Chug.
By Gabriela Délano-Stephens with Welling Savo Justin
As the Local Time team dove headfirst into the somewhat wild west of available supplement packaging, a green-washed reality became clear: the journey toward packaging with integrity would be arduous and fraught with time-consuming setbacks.
It’s been an adventure (to say the least) to find a packaging option that balances the essentials of a product with integrity: protection for the stability and potency of the powders traveling to highly variable environments, savvy functionality for the traveler on the go (i.e. keeping our luggage light), and weighing the pros and cons of plastics, paper, and bio-based materials when considering disposal.
My name is Reinier Halbertsma, I’m an industrial designer-turned-entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Local Time, and as our company takes off, I wanted to share a bit more about the distance we’ve traveled so far on our journey toward a truly sustainable packaging option.
Sustainability has been my entryway into business strategy. What I find so exciting about Local Time is that we are implementing both a short-term strategy and a long-term strategy with sustainability in mind at every stage. In the long-term, what we really want to do with Local Time is catalyze a paradigm shift in flying, to basically take away all the waste.
How exactly? That’s where we bring it back to our short-term efforts. From the start, we’ve worked to find a solution that would support our customers in their efforts to live a zero waste lifestyle, while also reducing the waste our products bring to market.
For us, it was really important that we came out of the gate with a compostable packaging solution that embodied what we believe is the best application for worldwide travelers. Because solutions like home compostable films are relatively new for the industry, there are only a small number of suppliers willing to experiment with them on their production lines. While most companies who are this early stage would avoid the hassle of finding willing suppliers, for us that was not an option.
We started with a strategic focus on packaging design, ensuring that we were designing with waste in mind. Number one for us, for sure, was ecosystem health and the avoiding uncontrolled waste getting out into the environment. One of the big challenges here was thinking through how our product will move across the world.
Because our products are usually consumed while traveling, our packaging is going to be disposed of worldwide. While we don’t know and can’t control what the global waste infrastructures will be at every vacation or business destination, we can design with these realities in mind.
Where we’ve landed is a packaging solution that is certified home compostable. While our packaging is a bio-based product, we are not calling it biodegradable, for very good reason. Right now there are a lot of things about biodegradable products popping up in the news, about how they’re not actually any better than regular trash. And the problem is the terminology – anything is “technically” biodegradable, it just takes time – whether it’s 100,000 years or two years.
Our packaging is “home compostable,” which is an exciting differentiator: home compostable means that for the material to breakdown, you don’t need the highly controlled conditions that are required in industrial composting facilities, such as regulated oxygen and pressure; so it gives our customers more options for disposal, regardless of how advanced the waste system of their location is. Home compostable packaging can be put directly into a home compost bin and it will still break down naturally.
Why didn’t we opt for recyclable? First and foremost, we didn’t want to use oil-based plastic. While there are a several recyclable wrapper material options on the market, using a wrapper to wrap the different ingredients usually requires laminating multiple kinds of materials, which is really difficult to recycle and requires more technically advanced waste systems. Our individual packs of micronutrients are also quite small and can fall through the cracks in the system.
Of course, locations and destinations around the world are advancing their waste disposal options, with very technical recycling and composting facilities being built in cities across the USA and Europe; but chances are very high that in certain destinations there will be sub-optimal waste infrastructures.
For us, this has to work whether you’re in London or Laos.
We had to think about open landfill options, which are far from ideal but if that’s all there is, we still want to empower our customers to dispose of our packaging responsibly. So, we designed a product that will work in both of those contexts and have the lowest end-of-life impact.
We’re thrilled with where we’ve landed on packaging as our very first batches of micronutrients take flight and arrive in the hands of conscious travelers around the world.
The packaging is slim and lightweight, making it ideal for any type and sized suitcase; it will keep the product stable and fresh whether travelers are in the jungles of Brazil or the glacial tracks in Iceland. All of our inks are also bio-based and non-toxic, so no matter where our packaging ends up, chemicals won’t be leaching into the Earth. And because the material is home compostable (Certified OK HOME Compostable by TUV Austria & Certified Compostable by the BPI), it’s engineered to breakdown to 90% within 12 months in your average home garden compost heap.
But we’re not finished yet. We still have some distance to cover when it comes to achieving the level of sustainability that we believe is possible. There are a number of pitfalls with compostable packaging; we know it’s not perfect and neither are we, but we’re continuously working toward closing these gaps.
What are some of these challenges where we hope to improve? Namely, verifying that the raw materials are indeed sustainably sourced. Global supply chains can be quite complex and transparency throughout them can be difficult to achieve.
Core source materials are crops, such as corn and wood that require large amounts of acreage, taking over spaces that could have been used to cultivate food for human or animal consumption – and instead is being used for products. This is a vital socio-economic issue, especially in developing countries.
Additionally, a lot of the corn that is used as the base material for compostable packaging is genetically modified and conventionally grown. Many tree plantations grown for the product and cellulose pulp packaging market have been planted in places where there were once old-growth native forests – this is one of the main reasons the Amazonian basin has been depleted of its ancient forests. Because of irresponsible forestry and the planting of mono-crops such as corn, we’re losing the diversity of an important agricultural base, which is something we want to fight, not contribute to.
Knowing about these potentially negative social and environmental impacts behind compostable packaging, there are a couple of steps we can take, and we are working closing with our manufacturer to take them together. This starts with establishing material traceability that reaches all the way to the source of these materials. As we grow and our production orders increase, we are focusing on finding raw materials for our packaging that are verifiably sourced from FSC certified wood based materials, and in cases where corn is a base material, the corn is certified non-GMO.
To have impact you need to have scale. And so to get there we do need to be practical and make some decisions and accept that this packaging material still isn’t as verifiably sustainable is we are striving toward. We’re committed to working with our manufacturers and suppliers to overcome the barriers that come up each step of the way, but there are a lot of invisible challenges as well, particularly when it comes to transparency throughout our supply chain. As we grow, we’ll want to optimize what we have and get more transparency. It’s great that our packaging material is compostable, of course, but we don’t have transparency in the sourcing. So we keep going, with a clear sight of the destination on the horizon.
As we continue down this path, we want to keep sharing – the successes and the challenges – to help tell the story, spread the word of how early stage companies can build the best product from the beginning. We believe it would be great if other companies – not just established companies but starting companies, too – can see what it takes to come out with honest, good solutions right from the start.
I’m actually really encouraged because I’ve been in the industry for the last 10-15 years, really paying attention to how sustainable packaging is being created, and, right now, there are so many better options than people realize. More demand will only increase meaningful advances in sustainable solutions.
No matter what, we believe that everyone can and does make a difference with the actions you take. Vote with your feet, vote with your wallet; decide to choose those better options because it does make a difference to how companies think about introducing these kinds of solutions.
Onward and upward,