Christmas can be a very demanding time for our social calendars. Between staff parties, family gatherings and catching up with friends, it seems everybody wants a piece of you – and your liver! A holiday hangover is bound to happen…or is it?
While we all love a bit of yuletide gay, too much of it can really take it’s toll on your personal health. There’s nothing worse than spending those highly anticipated holidays nursing a five day hangover, or worse still, feeling your stomach churn from the usually pleasurable aroma of a freshly carved roast turkey.
To help you strike the balance between festive fun and self preservation, we’ve put together these Tips to Avoiding the Holiday Hangover.
You Booze You Lose!
It goes without saying that the best hangover prevention is to not drink at all, or at least to drink in moderation and keep within the guidelines of 2 units per day for a male, 1 per female. This is what doctors recommend and is truly the only way to completely avoid the sting of daylight and piercing sound of screaming children christmas morning. Those of you planning to heed such pearls of wisdom need read no further. As for the rest of you hapless and hell bent on debauchery – happy scrolling.
A large part of any hangover is a direct result of dehydration. If you are already mildly dehydrated before consuming alcohol then your condition will deteriorate much faster as the night progresses, dramatically increasing the punishment you are in for the following morning. Before a night out prepare yourself by consuming plenty of fluid in the hours beforehand.
2. Line Your Stomach
Having food in the stomach slows the absorption of alcohol into your blood. This reduces the amount of alcohol that reaches your brain and gives your body more time to process the toxins. Fatty foods and dense carbohydrates do this the best.
Added Bonus: Eating a solid meal before you drink also makes you less likely to binge eat later in the night when zero inhibitions are in charge of making dietary decisions.
3. Pace yourself
In it’s most basic sense, a hangover happens because you drink more alcohol than your body can break down. Our bodies metabolize about 3/4 of an ounce of alcohol each hour. Stick to one alcoholic beverage per hour and you’ll give your gut a fighting chance.
Drinking slowly also reduces your risks of alcohol poisoning. We have a tendency at times to keep drinking until we don’t feel so good. If you’ve drank too fast when this happens your body will still have a lot of alcohol left to process and you’re going to have a bad time.
Feeling a little tipsy? Order a basket of chips or mini pizza mid-session. The fatty acids will coat your stomach, slowing the absorption of alcohol into the blood and buying your liver some time to get to grips with the situation.
4. For Every Drink of Alcohol, Drink a Glass of Water
Don’t give me that look! If you can fit that many schooners of beer in you surely there’s room for an equal amount of H2O.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it promotes the excessive urination commonly referred to as ‘breaking the seal’. It does this by blocking the production of vassopressin – an anti-diuretic hormone that prevents water loss. In it’s absence the kidneys send water directly to the bladder, bypassing the bloodstream.
To offset water losses it is recommended that for every alcoholic beverage you consume, you drink a glass of water. As well as slowing your rate of alcohol consumption, this will greatly reduce the extent of your dehydration, limiting hangover severity and improving time to recovery.