It’s that time of the year again - The Calgary stampede begins this week! For the next 10 days, it may be hard to follow your healthy eating and lifestyle patterns as you are tempted with all the new, funky midway treats while maybe even indulging in beer and alcohol if you are of age. Here are some stampede essentials so you can have as healthy of a stampede as possible. These tips will also allow you to optimize your energy reserves while you have early mornings and late nights.
B vitamins consist of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and vitamin B12. B vitamins are so important because they act as co-factors in many of the metabolic pathways in our body, especially within the energy production pathways. B vitamins are also very important when it comes to the detoxification pathways in the liver as they are critical for phase 1 detoxification. Alcohol goes through phase 1 detoxification on its way to being cleared out of the body and vitamin B1 + B3 are especially important for helping with alcohol detoxification.
B vitamins are found in almost all nourishing foods but for therapeutic doses, one would require a supplement. A healthcare practitioner such as a naturopathic doctor can help determine the best B complex supplement for you as they are many different forms.
Intramuscular injections and IV nutrient drips are another way to administer B vitamins which can have a quicker effect on your energy levels and give you a short-term energy boost since the B vitamins are absorbed directly into the blood and bypass the gut.
This is of utmost importance, especially if you don’t want a hangover effect the next day. Drinking plenty of water in between alcohol will help to eliminate the alcohol out of the body and reduce the histamine burden (alcohol can increase the effects of histamine in some individuals). Even if you don’t drink alcohol, say hydrated with water especially if it is hot but also because sugary and salty foods can make you feel dehydrated and thirsty. If you are dehydrated, this can also contribute to headaches and feeling sluggish.
Use natural sunscreen with zinc to protect your skin from the sun. Wear your stampede hat (or any other hat) as this can help reduce the amount of heat you are exposed to and prevent heat exhaustion. If you feel too hot, take periodic breaks out of the sun in a cool environment.
Ensuring you are eating protein at all your meals will enable you to feel fuller for a longer period of time as it takes longer to digest protein and healthy fats compared to sugary carbohydrates. This allows for a more regulated and slower release of sugar into the blood and can prevent “sugar crashes”. Sugar crashes are often what leads us to eat more and wanting to eat more carbohydrates – a vicious cycle. Following this strategy may prevent you from eating all the sugar and “junk food” that you smell at the Stampede grounds … unless you want to! Then taking your B vitamins is essential to help your liver detoxify everything.
Adding an electrolyte powder to your water or consuming coconut water is a great way to restore your body’s electrolyte levels, particularly on hot days in the sun. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium can be lost through sweat and urine. Also remember, alcohol is a diuretic and will deplete electrolytes too which is why it is a good idea to have an electrolyte mix post-drinking to minimize the hangover effects from consuming too much alcohol. Low electrolytes can also contribute to extremity swelling, tiredness, blood pressure fluctuations, and muscle cramps. Magnesium is so important as there are so many metabolic pathways in the body that require it including detoxification enzymes.
If you are in a large group of people or with kids and heading to the grounds, it is a good idea to establish a meeting spot that is easy to find and let your kids and others in your group know that if they get lost, to go to that spot if they don’t have phones.
Most importantly, enjoy the festivities and the 10 days when the city comes alive and is buzzing (if you are a people person and like crowds).
There you have it - Your 7 tips to having a fun, safe, and happy stampede week!
If you are looking for some individualized recommendations on how to boost your energy levels (during stampede or even in general), support healthy liver detoxification, or are interested in an intramuscular injection or IV nutrient treatment, book an appointment here. Please note that IVs will not be done if one is an acute hangover state however they are best prior to drinking or after if you are not hungover. If this is your first IV treatment at the clinic, a short or comprehensive initial assessment is required.