4 Tips for Stampede Recovery

Jul 11, 2023

It's that time of the year again, and Stampede is back! Welcome back to 10 days of non-stop partying, gorging on the most fattening and sugary foods that you could ever possibly create, and standing in long line ups out in the scorching sun. It’s a short time to overindulge and have fun, so you don’t want to spend half of that time curled up on your couch, feeling like a train wreck. Here are some tips to keep you “in the saddle” and help you to get the most out of your Stampede experience.  

Consider Supplements 

Your liver needs some serious love and care during Stampede. It is busy working overtime with processing the increased load of toxins and saturated fat. Throw increased alcohol consumption into the mix and you have a recipe for an overburdened, stressed-out liver. NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) can help alleviate some of that stress by reducing oxidative damage in the liver, and in one animal study conducted on rats, it was shown to have the ability to bind to acetaldehyde (1), reducing some of its damaging effects.

NAC also helps to increase stores of a powerful antioxidant in the body called glutathione. Glutathione helps to metabolize acetaldehyde (a byproduct of alcohol) and reduce inflammation throughout the body, especially in the liver. This can help you bounce back quicker after a night out drinking. It's important to take NAC before you start drinking and then also again the next morning. Always take NAC with food, as it can be hard on the stomach for some people. 

Party Smart is another supplement that can help you bounce back quickly from a drinking binge. Party Smart is an herbal formula that contains various herbs that contain antioxidants and have liver stimulant and liver protective properties. One human study that was conducted with a small group of males showed that Party smart significantly reduced blood acetaldehyde levels 10 hours after alcohol consumption. Participants that were given Party Smart noticed far less hangover symptoms compared to the other group of participants that received a different formula for preventing a hangover (2). It is important to note that Party Smart needs to be taken with the first drink and not after drinking for it to be most effective. 

Rumor has it that Activated Charcoal may also help to reduce hangover symptoms. Many people swear by this as their hangover prevention, yet there are not many convincing studies to back up its ability to do so. There was one animal study conducted that showed that charcoal reduced ethanol blood levels in dogs (3). Very little evidence shows charcoal to be effective at reducing hangover symptoms in humans. If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to skip this one as it may be hard on your stomach and can make vomiting worse.  

Stay Hydrated 

Don’t skip this tip, otherwise you will spend the next day feeling like a wilted flower on a hot day! People underestimate the power of hydration, especially when you are looking to avoid a really awful hangover. Don’t forget to drink up buttercup, drink more water that is. It will help to keep you hydrated and it will help to pace you so that you don’t drink too much. Don’t forget that alcohol is a diuretic, and it can quickly dehydrate you, as well as deplete your body of electrolytes. Try to sip an electrolyte drink throughout the time when you are drinking, especially if you are sitting out in the heat. Load up on electrolytes once more before bed and you may wake up with a less severe hangover.  

Pace yourself 

Truth be told, the best way to avoid a really bad hangover is to not drink excessively in the first place. You can avoid drinking excessively by pacing yourself with other non-alcoholic drinks. It may sound like the end of fun, but I promise you that it won't be, and your liver will thank you the next day! Listen up, have you heard of non-alcoholic botanical beverages? There are so many on the market these days, and they are really fun to play around with. Some contain medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps, which can give you focus, clarity and energy. Some also contain various herbs that work as an adaptogen, helping you to feel calm and relaxed. Who wouldn’t want that? If this piques your interest, check out Solbru. They have an amazing line up of flavors, and they are based here in Calgary! 

One more thing we should discuss is what kind of alcohol you choose to drink. Some types of alcohol can cause far worse hangover symptoms than other types. Why is this? It all comes down to a compound in alcohol from the distilling and fermentation process called congeners. The higher the congener content in your drink, the more likely you are to experience severe hangover symptoms the next day. Bourbon and Brandy are some of the worst offenders when it comes to having a high congener content, so avoid them if you want to bounce back quicker after drinking (4). Low congener containing alcohols are vodka, beer, gin, white wine and sake, so try to stick with these when drinking.  

What about food hangovers? 

It wouldn’t be Stampede recovery tips without covering the dreaded Food hangover! Processed, deep fried, sugar and fat laden foods is what you can typically find on the menu at the Stampede. Overindulging in such foods can leave you feeling bloated, gassy, lethargic, with a side of stomach upset and acid reflux. Sounds appetizing? I didn’t think so. 

The good news is there are things that you can take to mitigate some of the discomfort and ease your food hangover symptoms. Taking a digestive enzyme before consuming heavy, rich foods will help you to break down and digest your food better.  If your food is digested better, that will lead to less bloating and gassiness. Make sure to choose a digestive enzyme that contains a higher amount of lipase in the formula, as lipase helps to digest fat, and we all know the food at the Stampede is drenched in fat. Remember to take digestive enzymes at the beginning of your meal for it to be effective. 

If you still find yourself dealing with painful gas, bloating and that feeling like you are ready to burst, give peppermint oil capsules a try. Peppermint is known for its antispasmodic effect, helping to relax the muscles of the bowel wall so you can break wind with ease and relieve that gassy, bloated feeling. 

What if you decided to play with fire though? Spicy foods are what I'm talking about! You took the dare to eat the spiciest thing at Stampede, and now you are filled with regrets. It's all fun and games until the capsaicin really starts to aggravate your stomach. As they say, “Fire in, Fire out”! If you want to tame that heat before you are met with the “Ring of Fire”, try consuming Aloe Vera juice (make sure it is inner fillet). Aloe Vera juice can help to ease inflammation in the digestive tract, and also soothe the lining of the esophagus. DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) is another gem that can help ease inflammation of the digestive tract and potentially reduce acid reflux as well.  

One more thing to remember is to stay hydrated! When you are standing outside in the blazing hot sun, consuming foods high in sugar and salt, you need extra fluids (water) to help your body flush out the excess sodium and glucose in the blood, and you also need to replenish fluids that have been lost through sweat. Sipping an electrolyte drink on your Stampede adventure can keep you hydrated, keep fluids in the body balanced and give you the energy to keep going. 

This Stampede, get the most out of your experience by practicing moderation, listening to your body and taking care of your health. This will ensure that you will be able to enjoy many more years of Stampede to come. 


  1. Vasdev S, Mian T, Longerich L, Prabhakaran V, Parai S. N-acetyl cysteine attenuates ethanol induced hypertension in rats. Artery. 1995;21(6):312-6. PMID: 8833231. 
  2. https://researchpapers.himalayawellness.in/partysmart.htm 
  3. North DS, Thompson JD, Peterson CD. Effect of activated charcoal on ethanol blood levels in dogs. Am J Hosp Pharm. 1981 Jun;38(6):864-6. PMID: 7246560. 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20028364/ 

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