We get it. You’re bored. You’re restless. You’re lonely. The world feels strange and maybe scary in the middle of all this uncertainty. With all of this, Americans are turning to alcohol as one way to cope with the fear, boredom, and loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic. The lack of daily structure and the freedom of working from home makes some feel like they have permission to drink as much and as often as they want. We aren’t worrying about driving anywhere or going into the office with a hangover. Americans aren’t waiting until 5 p.m. on a Friday night to crack open a beer.
US liquor sales have skyrocketed since stay-at-home orders were put in place across the country. At the start of the shutdowns in March, alcohol sales shot up 54% over the previous year. But, with all of this drinking, while we are pinned up in our homes, your liver might be needing a reset. Let’s take a look at some ways to get your liver back on track after too much alcohol during quarantine.
Take a break from the booze.
To help repair your liver, the first thing you should do is give it a break by cutting back on the adult beverages. A few alcoholic beverages can actually be good for you, but try to keep it down to one or two times a week. Any more, and you risk damaging this vital organ. Especially if you feel like you’ve been hitting the bottle particularly hard during your quarantine. To improve your liver health, try to abstain from alcohol completely for at least a week, and then, if you would like to can try to resume with light to moderate drinking.
Increase your exercise.
Exercise is not just about losing weight and getting in shape. There are also many proven physiological benefits too, including helping your liver. Exercise decreases stress on the liver and increases energy levels. Regular aerobic exercise strengthens your heart muscle and allows it to pump blood more freely. As this occurs, your pulse slows down and blood flow improves, making it easier for your heart to get blood to the liver and for your liver to send filtered blood back through your blood system. Increasing your exercise can help reboot your liver and get it back on track after the side effects of quarantine drinking.
Create a detox regimen.
Since your liver is needed for many metabolic processes, such as filtering out toxins from your body, putting it through a detoxification program will help the organ get back to doing an optimal job. After clogging up your liver with several months of overindulging on alcohol, a detox may be what is needed to reboot your liver. Drinking water revs up your metabolism and can help your liver flush out toxins more effectively. Even better, health experts suggest that warm water with a squeeze of lemon and hot sauce will help calm inflammation in the liver and increase blood flow.
If you want to kick up your detox a notch try introducing milk thistle. Silymarin found in milk thistle is considered an anti-inflammatory and is one of the most commonly used herbal supplements for liver issues in the United States. Organic milk thistle has been shown to promote cell repair and ease inflammation in the liver. This could help promote a reboot and a cleanse of the issues caused by overdrinking.
Eat a healthy diet.
Finally, watching what you eat could lead to better liver health and function. Health experts have found that consuming healthy saturated fatty acids like those found in avocado, eggs, nuts, and coconut can help reverse inflammation and scarring in the liver. Although a diet high in saturated fat isn’t great for your heart health, doctors recognize that some dietary saturated fatty acids in moderation can be beneficial.
After spending several months in lockdown due to Covid-19 restrictions, we could all take some time to reassess how we have been eating and drinking. Alcohol intake in the United States is higher than it has been in some time which means that your liver may also be getting a hard hit during this pandemic too. Taking some time to reboot and cleanse our liver after this quarantine will go a long way towards improving our overall health.