We’ve all been there.  Whether it be a several day wine tasting getaway in the wine country, a girls trip to Miami to celebrate your best friend’s Bachelorette party, or a long weekend by the lake with friends to unwind over Labor Day.   The multi-day, all-day, heavy drinking events are a fact of life for many of us… and 10K Bottles is here with tips to help you survive any wine drinking marathon.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, CA.  For those of you wondering, yes, a wine bloggers conference is, in fact, as awesome as it sounds.  Lodi is a mere hop skip and a jump away from Napa, so I decided to tag a few extra wine tasting days on to the trip.  Coupling the two events together, that’s four SOLID days of wine tasting.  I LOVE wine tastings (duh, hence the wine blog) and unless I’m literally powering through a dozen wines in an hour, my preference is to not spit.  I know from personal experience, over time, especially over several days, if you don’t have a game plan, your body and liver are going to hate you.

Here are 7 tips to help you survive any wine drinking marathon

Hydration

Sparkling WaterWe hear it over and over again, if you’re going to drink alcohol, you have to stay hydrated.  We hear it all the time because it’s so important and true.  Hydration is a key components to avoiding a hangover when drinking over long periods of time.  The best tip I can give you on how to stay hydrated is to first and foremost, find something that you’re actually going to drink.  Don’t like plain old water?  Here are a few tasty alternatives.

  • Sparkling water – Along with hydration, sparkling water has the coconut wateradded benefit of cleansing your palate. But, be aware that those tiny fizzy bubbles can give you the feeling of fullness, causing you to drink less.  Be sure you’re keeping an eye on how much sparkling water you’re drinking throughout the day.
  • Water with essential oils added in – Buy some essential oils (I prefer dōTERRA), add a few drops to your water, shake shake shake, and boom, an instant, tasty and hydrating beverage. Personally, I like to add either a little lemon and peppermint, or ginger.
  • Coconut water – More flavorful than water and some swear the
    potassium packed in it helps with the ever so necessary hangover prevention. Now, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to suggest coconut water is any better than good old water.  But, if the flavor will make you more likely to drink Sports Drinksit, then pick some up and start hydrating.
  • Sports drinks – Similar to coconut water, many insist the electrolytes in sports drinks help to prevent or cure a hangover. The reality is the science is a bit murky and inconclusive.  But, once again, if you’re more likely to drink it, then grab a sports drink.  If not, water is just fine.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which one of these you choose, just choose something that you’ll not only drink, but you’ll drink a lot of.

Hydration is key - choose something that you’ll not only drink, but you’ll drink a lot of Click To Tweet

Food

Cheese Crackers and SalamiFood, glorious food! Eat well and eat often – a wine drinking marathon isn’t the time to scrimp on food and calories. What you eat is just as important as how much you eat.  Carbs, protein, and fat are your friend here.

Start your day off with a real breakfast – eggs and fruit (apple, pear, banana).  Simple but effective.  Then, stay on-top of eating throughout the day – don’t get hungry!  You’ll almost always find cheese, salami and (gluten-free rice) crackers in my cooler out in the wine country.  First, they definitely hit all three buckets of the carbs, protein, and fat.  Second, it’s easy to eat, so you can scarf them down anytime you have a few spare moments.

Train

Red Wine being poured into glassNot to be completely controversial, but this is still a tip worth mentioning.  It should come to no surprise that those who imbibe on a regular basis are going to have a better tolerance.  Having a glass or two of wine each night for a couple of weeks prior to your marathon helps to ‘train’ your liver and body to appropriately process the alcohol toxins.  If you’re feeling bad about drinking for a few weeks straight, then you can always plan a little detox diet or cleanse after you get back.

Step Up the Quality

Wine poured in glassDuring a full day of wine tasting, a side from choosing the wineries, you’ll have very little control over what wines will be served.  But, at the end of the day, when you opt to have a glass (or two, or three) of wine, be smart and be safe and stay away from a bottle of wine that’s less than $20 or anything that comes in a box or jug.  There is absolutely no scientific evidence that says $20 is the magic price point for wine bottle quality, but it’s great rule of thumb.  Why no box or jug?  Does that really require additional explanation?.

Pace Yourself

clock at noonRemember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.  Especially with wine tasting, the goal is to continue to enjoy yourself throughout the day, not to be wasted all day.  Take it slow and take breaks when you feel the alcohol’s getting ahead of you.  It’s never fun (or classy) if you need to stop at noon because you’re drunk and passed out.

 

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The goal is to drink throughout the day, not to be wasted all day. Click To Tweet

Exercise

Women running at sunrise - excerciesI know when some of you read that dreaded word and audible ‘ugh’ escapes your mouth.  Trust me, I’m with ya.  Drinking all day, for several days in a row, requires more than simply managing a hangover – you also need to manage the toxins.  It doesn’t matter how good or expensive the wine is, if you don’t manage toxins, eventually, they will start to catch up with you (a/k/a make you feel terrible).  Getting in a good, solid, cardio workout each morning will help get your blood pumping and the dreaded toxins out.   I’m not talking about a casual stroll around your neighborhood woman drinking water(although, if that’s all you can muster, anything is better than nothing), I’m talking about, heart pounding, dripping with sweat, cardio.  Personally, during my most recent wine drinking marathon, I worked out 1 – 2 hours each morning.  It sucked to get up early in order to get it done, but I definitely think it’s the reason I fared better on most days than my counterparts.

Note: If you’re already starting your day off with the dreaded wicked hangover, take the exercise level down a few notches.  And no matter what, be sure to drink a TON of water before, during, or after any workout – regardless of how intense.  Otherwise, dehydration will set in, causing more harm than good.

Sleep

sleeping woman with alarm clockSleep is tremendously helpful in this game plan.  If you’re not getting enough sleep, at least 8 hours, you’re going to feel worse because you’ll be feeling the effects of both the alcohol toxins and sleep deprivation.  If at all possible, if I’m wine tasting the next day I try to get to bed before 10 P.M to get a solid, full night of sleep.  Of course, anyone who knows me well knows I’m the worst about taking this specific advice.  But that doesn’t make it any less true.

 

Is there a tip I missed?  What are your go-to tips for surviving several full days of wine tasting?

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