15 Dietitian-Approved Dos and Don’ts for Surviving Festival Season

Avocado fish tacos FTW

Alanna Evans
Festival Season Tips: Alessandra Ambrosio kept cool at the Coachella Valley Music Festival with O.N.E. Coconut Water on April 15, 2011 in Indio, California.

‘Tis the season (Photo: Getty)

Festival season is right around the corner, and with it comes the perfect combination of warm sunshine, great music, inventive food trucks and casual day-drinking with friends. Unfortunately that’s also the perfect storm for the mother of all hangovers.

To save you the crushing headache, FLARE reached out to a handful of registered dieticians for their best tips to enjoy it all without missing a beat.

Related: 2017 Music Festival Guide: 21 Fests to Add to Your Bucket List

Tips for navigating food trucks

Go for fish tacos—with extra guacamole. “All that dancing under the sun can lead to depleted potassium and sodium levels,” says registered dietitian Christy Brissette of 80 Twenty Nutrition. “Avocado is great way to replace lost potassium, and grilled fish helps restore sodium without making you feel sluggish.”

Skip the fries and chips. “They tend to make you thirsty and bloated,” says registered dietitian Shauna Lindzon. Not a good look.

Carry hot sauce in your bag. The low-cal condiment is another easy way to boost falling sodium levels, says Brissette.

Tips for day-drinking without the hangover

Gulp before you go—water, that is. “Start hydrating several hours before the festival starts,” says registered dietitian Elaine Wu of Foodgeek Nutrition, who recommends drinking water at least four hours before heading out.

Choose clear drinks, like vodka, gin and rum. Whiskey (especially bourbon whiskey), cognac and tequila have all been associated with more frequent and more severe hangovers, says registered dietitian and nutritionist Amanda Lapidus. No one has time for that.

Pick a hydrating mixer. “Pace yourself by mixing an ounce of spirits with at least 500 mL of soda water,” says Brissette. “It forces you to sip your drink so you slow down a bit.”

Avoid soda and energy drinks. Wu can’t stress this enough: not only does the high-sugar content dehydrate you, it can cause stomach aches too.

Remember to eat! “Eating food will slow down the absorption of alcohol and reduce your chance of a hangover,” says Lindzon.

Related: Drinking This Cocktail Could Be Riskier Than You Think

Tips for beating the heat

Don’t stress about guzzling eight glasses of water. It’s a tall order at an outdoor gig, plus the eight-a-day directive is  misleading, says Lapidus. “Drinking water is important, but you can get water from solid food.”

Stay hydrated with snacks. Lapidus and Wu are big believers in enjoying fruit and vegetables with high water content. Think watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, pineapple and berries. (One of Wu’s favourite tricks is freezing fruits for a refreshing and super hydrating treat.) And don’t forget vegetables like cucumbers, celery, radishes and sweet peppers.

Obvi, they don’t replace *actual sunscreen,* but the right foods can help shield skin from sun damage. “Healthy fats, phytonutrients and antioxidants in nuts, seeds, berries and avocado are great ways to protect your skin,” says Lindzon.

And don’t let a bulky water bottle cramp your style. While most festivals will let you bring an empty non-metal bottle, Lapidus recommends hands-free options like a Camelback or Bota Bag and topping them up at refill stations.

Tips for the morning after

Blend up a hangover-busting smoothie that includes heart-healthy fats like avocado, potassium-boosting banana, mango or papaya, easy-to-absorb proteins like almond butter, flaxseed oil or clean protein powder, plus a dash of pink Himalayan salt to replenish your sodium levels, says Brissette.

Reset after a party weekend with dark leafy greens. “They’re great for an overtaxed liver. Adding beans, lentils, ginger, garlic and turmeric to your regular diet are also easy ways to help your body flush out some of the more unhealthy foods you may have indulged in,” says Brissette.

What to pack (including the chicest hand sanitizer)

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