Are you a wellness vampire? That is, no matter how virtuous your habits are during the day—green juice, meditation, probiotic supplement, sweaty HIIT session—the moment the sun sets you let loose. Think cocktails, junk food, or a Netflix binge. It’s totally understandable, but it often means the next day is shot.
Fortunately, with a bit of thoughtful superfood consumption, the day after indulging doesn’t have to be a total bust—at least according to Medea Juhasz, a fashion exec-turned-holistic health coach who struggled with substance abuse for years. “Even when I sobered up, I did the late-night food binging, the cigarettes,” she says.
Juhasz started experimenting with vitamins, herbs, and amino acids, which she credits with helping her ditch her vices for good. (She bottled 16 of them in her new superfood supplement Herbalore Catalyst Gold, which she says acts kind of like an adaptogen in that it helps bring balance to the body.)
Of course, there’s a big difference between a wild night here or there and a truly destructive pattern that requires help. But for the occasional hangover, there are superfoods and herbs that can help you get back on track.
Here are the best remedies to bounce back from a night of less-than-virtuous indulging.
After too much booze:
When you wake up feeling bloated and foggy after going hard at happy hour, there’s nothing better than dandelion according to Juhasz. Yes, as in the “lowly” weed. Why? “Dandelion removes excess fluid from the body and detoxifies the liver,” she explains.
Throw the leaves in a salad or lightly steam them, but do be prepared for a slightly bitter taste. Another option is sipping from a big, steaming cup of dandelion root “coffee.” It’s a caffeine-free, hydrating replacement for your usual cup of joe.
After too much junk food:
There’s zero reason to beat yourself up after a late-night binge. It happens! But you’ll feel a heck of a lot better, physically, if you stock up on superfoods that provide a quick hit of energy. Juhasz suggests supplementing with algae, like spirulina and chlorella. Both are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and omega-3s. Try a few spoonfuls in a life-giving a.m. smoothie, perhaps?
Bonus: when consumed on the reg, they can help combat cravings in the first place. “In my experience as a health coach, when you bring in that much good, the bad stuff will just phase out,” Juhasz says. “These superfoods change your palate.”
After staying up way too late:
Whether you’re out dancing until sunrise or just can’t bring yourself to turn off Netflix, scrimping on sleep wreaks havoc on your health (but you knew that already). If possible, Juhasz recommends taking magnesium before you climb into bed—“it really helps with stress, relaxation, and sleep,” she says. At least get some high-quality zzzz’s, even if they’re limited. For the morning after, she’s really into the adaptogenic herb eleuthero (AKA Siberian ginseng). “Eleuthero is amazing—it gives you energy when you need it but it also helps you to relax,” Juhasz explains. If you plan on using adaptogens with any regularity, be sure to talk to a professional first.
After a wanton makeout session:
To be clear, no one is saying a night of nooky is a bad thing. But smooching (etc.) does leave you more susceptible to colds, flus, and other minor illnesses. To give your immune system a boost, Juhasz says to look for superfruits packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, like camu camu and mangosteen, as well as astragalus root (another adaptogen). “It supports your mucus membranes and can prevent you from getting cold or infections,” she says. Then smooch on!