For young professionals, playing hard is as important as working hard. For those that opt for electronic dance music, the EDC festival is one of the biggest and most intense experiences one can have. However, the toll this type of festival (and the associated substances) might have on your brain and body can be great. Protecting yourself while having fun is paramount for any professional who needs to be able to function for work purposes.
This ultimate EDC health preparation guide will inform you of the theoretical and practical knowledge you need to protect yourself from brain and bodily damage. Having fun at EDC and maintaining a healthy and happy body do not need to be mutually exclusive.
How Partying Affects Nutrients
There are a few things that EDM festivals are known for and all of them can negatively impact your body if not properly addressed:
- Sleep deprivation.
- Substance abuse (MDMA, alcohol etc.)
- Long periods of cardio exercise (dancing, jumping, flailing)
All three of these are necessary and/or fun to do, but cause nutrient imbalances that must be addressed.
When you are sweating constantly due to jumping and substance abuse, your potassium stores are going to deplete rapidly. Some people deplete them so heavily, it is akin to playing a competitive sports game with all the muscle cramps that come with it. Potassium is even more important because processed foods have very little of it and modern diets are already lacking in this essential micronutrient.
Try supplementing with potassium citrate as it is easily absorbed. Try taking 1 – 2 grams of potassium citrate a few hours before the rave and the same dosage on the day after. The RDA is higher, but this will prevent you from getting cramps.
If you are eating processed foods, you probably have no problem getting enough sodium, but it is an essential nutrient to consider. When sweating consistently, it may be possible to deplete sodium stores as well. Nonetheless, a healthy ratio of 1:5 sodium to potassium is usually best; this means you have less to worry about with sodium and far more with potassium.
You do not need to supplement with sodium when you are at a rave. Just make sure to add a pinch of salt to food that you cook, but restaurant food will have plenty!
Burn out is a big problem at these electronic festivals. Magnesium helps the body to create more mitochondria and energy. Most people have low magnesium if they are not eating the right types of food (green vegetables etc). Consider taking wellabsorbed forms of magnesium like glycinate.
Take up to 300 – 400 mg when spending time at the EDC festival. Do so in the same way as potassium before the rave and the day afterwards. Do not take it at the same time as potassium, though.
The B-vitamins include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, B6 and B12, but you may not need all of these every day. During a party environment, it might be a good idea to take a standard B Complex that includes all of these vitamins. With vitamin B6 you can ensure your body produces enough dopamine and serotonin, which are imperative after substance use. More importantly, B12 and folate are used for generating energy and preventing you from debilitating crashes.
If you are vegetarian, take 2 mcg the day of and after a rave. Everyone else can get away with a B-complex, but brand matters; Mega Food is a high quality option.
Humans don’t absorb zinc properly when combined with alcohol, which will require you to supplement with this nutrient. It is important for maintaining certain enzymes related to energy production so try to supplement when you can.
Find a zinc citrate supplement for EDC and take it at a different time than the magnesium to prevent absorption competition. Take 15 – 20 mg of zinc citrate in the morning before the rave and afterwards.
Any type of substance is going to have potential drawbacks when it comes to their neurological effects. Alcohol is definitely problematic for the brain and longterm users often have dementia, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other ailments. Up to 90% of Americans are deficient in choline as the main sources come from eggs and organ meats (liver is not appealing or appetizing).
The two best sources come from CDP choline and alpha GPC and taking a supplement can prevent a lot of the neurological problems. If taking CDP choline, try 3-400 mg and if alpha GPC, try 100 – 200 mg. The Optimal Choline Complex has both
To Supplement or Not?
Assuming you are anything like me at electronic music festivals, your health conscious nature might go somewhat out the window. Processed foods might taste great and have calories you need to maintain your energy, but they are lacking in the micronutrients you need. Real foods might not taste as great while in vacation mode, but they certainly have a lot more nutrients.
While I am not an advocate of taking supplements all the time, party environments might be one of the best places to do so. Even with low absorption rates, getting something extra in addition to your food is going to make a big difference if you are really trying to party hard. Stay safe my friends!