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Paleo, supplements and alcohol.

by 10 · June 26, 2012 at 06:31 AM

(I made a somewhat similar post a couple days ago but it got few replies. That's ok. I hope you don't mind if I reformulate my case.)

I’ve been doing paleo for about two months. My diet consists mostly of red meat, greens, assorted nuts and whole avocados. I hope I’m doing this right – you could call my approach experimental, i.e. let’s do it this way and see it how it goes.

Results have been good. I’m fitter, my skin is smoother, and I feel more, well, energetic. And the cons: I don’t feel as strong, my balance feels slightly off. I’m thinking of taking magnesium supplements to see if they help. Other supplements are welcome too. I wecome tips from the forum users in this regard.

Also: I drink. Beer, wine, whisky. I was drinking about three bottles of wine a week a while ago. I often go out on weekends with friends and have beers. I’m not a crazy blackout drunk; I’m not moderate either. I binge quite a bit. I’m 27 and like a good time. You get the picture.

My worry is: is there any problem in "mixing" supplements and alcohol at all? Google searches yielded nothing very informative on this. Maybe because it’s no big deal? I don’t know. But I don’t want to take risks.

Most paleo people (it seems) take supplements, and quite a few of them do drink (I've been reading the forums!). If you're one of them, what is your take on this? =)

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9 Replies

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268 · April 23, 2012 at 08:47 AM

Here is Stabby's Guide to Binge Drinking: Mitigating the deleterious effects of ethanol on health (or, How To Get Shitfaced With Impunity. Here's the addendum. The guide covers the best foods and supplements that go well with drink to minimize the damage, so it should be ok.

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85 · April 23, 2012 at 06:13 AM

Magnesium helped me shortly after starting the paleo lifestyle. Gave me the regularity and energy I seemed to be lacking. Until I started reading about it, I had no idea how much magnesium we really needed to efficiently work with our calcium levels. But please, don't take my word for it... Everyone is different, you will have to do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

As for the booze... It's a tough thing to deal with. I know, I'm a 20-something too and up until recently, was a social drinker. Beer is NOT okay. It's made from wheat and barley, the very things we are staying away from. Whiskey is closer to being acceptable because the distillation process removes the wheat gluten. Actually, the gluten is too heavy to be carried over to the final product, so although not healthy, it isn't as bad as it could be. Wine is probably the best option, it has poly phenols and reservatol, which is moderation is beneficial to the body.

Personally, I started drinking mineral waters or club sodas when out with people. I know it sounds like a cop out, but add a twist of lemon or lime and no one can tell you aren't drinking right along side them. Physicologically, it puts everyone (including you) at ease. It's not an easy thing to do, but if you're at all serious about making a change then it's worth missing a few drinks over.

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10 · April 24, 2012 at 07:27 PM

Thanks everyone for the answers. I certainly need to watch my drinking and make my diet a little richer.

I made a comment similar to my post at the Highbrow Paleo blog. I feel like a spammer.

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11664 · April 23, 2012 at 02:30 PM

Why bother being so stringent with your diet if you're being so non-stringent with drinking? Seems like you're sabotaging your own efforts. I know you're young, and it's the social thing to do. But beer is full of gluten - you may as well eat a sandwich. How about a) reducing the drinking and b) switching it to just wine and clear spirits like tequila and vodka.

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4395 · June 26, 2012 at 06:31 AM

I personally take, and give my kids in their 20s, since they do drink and college seems to be one binge after another (which I don't approve of but that's beside the point. Its reality) a liver detox/support supplement.

We use LVR by Pure Encapsulations (there are other good ones like S.A.T. by Thorne and HepatoGen by Vitamin Research Products, others too, I'm sure).

You might want to take a good liver support supplement like one of the above of similar. I sure would.

NOTE: Im not pushing or trying to sell any product, Im just sharing two products that I know are good for the liver.

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0 · June 26, 2012 at 06:20 AM

Instead of magnesium supplements, you could try Epsom salt baths. I read a medical article that stated the magnesium absorbs through your skin, though to have it maintained at high levels you'd have to soak in a Epsom salt bath several times a week.

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552 · April 24, 2012 at 02:25 PM

I try to limit my alcohol consumption to organic wine with my meals and to drink water while going out. Sparkling water with ice and lemon can also be nice.

But this might be helpful : "This post is about how to use biohacking to enjoy alcohol without many side effects (you know, things like cancer, aging, and hangovers). And to celebrate the holidays, here’s an infographic that distills (ahem) all I know about alcohol, metabolism, and toxins into practical advice you can use. (click to enlarge)" : http://www.bulletproofexec.com/alcohol-without-the-hangover-bulletproof-partying-business-networking/

Or you can try norcal margarita's : http://landstuhlcrossfit.com/recipes/drinks/norcal-margarita-recipe/

See also here : http://paleohacks.com/questions/86205/new-years-2012-alcohol-and-you-a-tale-of-no-barfing

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1637 · April 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Oh, give me a break. Beer is hardly "full," of gluten. Beer is fermented thus making the grains more bio-available. So unless you're truly celiac or gluten intolerant it shouldn't be a problem. Don't let the alarmists scare you. Also, the link to Stabby's alcohol post is a great resource. There should be no problems with supplements and alcohol consumption.

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4338 · April 23, 2012 at 08:38 AM

When i use to drink, i never had any issues mixing all sort of supps and alcohol.
In fact some may have even reduced hangovers (n1). ie. berocca (which includes b & c vits & more) & 1g or 2g of Vit C.

Mixing some Herbs & alcohol may be a different matter, tho i have never researched this (i never took any herbs).

One thing you should avoid tho, is consuming alcohol with or close to consuming polyunsaturated fats. Not good for the liver i hear, see here for more information on this;
http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=509 "Is It Smart to Drink?"

edit: so avoid supplements like fish oil, CLO, EPO, GLA, flaxseed etc close to alcohol

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