FOR most, there won't be a company Christmas party this year, and the December 'silly season' will be more of an opportunity to relieve some stress or simply celebrate surviving 2020.
Whatever the reason for drinking too much, our bodies tell us we were naughty - but here are ways to avoid the usual punishment of a nasty hangover.
Drinking water after alcohol is one of the best ways to keep a hangover at bay.
It may seem obvious, but after a heavy night it’s crucial you rehydrate. When you drink alcohol, your body sends water straight to your bladder instead of absorbing it into your system. This is all down to alcohol inhibiting the production of the chemical vasopressin. It is also the reason you may need to go to the toilet more often (leading to further dehydration!). The solution? Before you head out, put a pint or two of water beside your bed. That way you’ll remember to drink it when you get in and will help to avoid that dry mouth and headache the next morning!
If your night was unplanned, make sure you grab a bottle of water for your journey home.
2. Keep Track, Set Limits and Avoid These Drinks
Know your limits and don’t be tempted by that extra drink that might just tip you over the edge. If you’re not quite sure where your limit is, try drinking water or non-fizzy soft drinks in between each alcoholic beverage. This will give you time to process how much the alcohol is affecting you, and will also help to keep you hydrated.
Avoid: carbonated or fizzy drinks as they speed up the absorption rate of alcohol in your system.
Dark-coloured alcoholic drinks are also a no-go as these contain a chemical called congeners – these irritate blood vessels and tissues in the brain and can be responsible for making that much-feared headache feel even worse!
3. Set Yourself Up!
Drinking on a full stomach will help to slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol, helping to keep you in control.
NEVER drink on an empty stomach. Make sure your lunch is substantial and includes plenty of carbs such as pasta or rice. Fats are also great!
4. Take Blackcurrants!
According to Professor Derek Stewart, of Scotland’s prestigious James Hutton Institute research hub, blackcurrants are unique when it comes to hangovers.
Professor Stewart, (above) an expert in the health benefits of plant-derived foods, says components found in the fruit boost production of key enzymes - known as ‘alcohol dehydrogenase’, or ADH, and ‘aldehyde dehydrogenase’ - which break-down the booze in your body and help flush it out of your system.
Professor Stewart says: “Blackcurrants are unique in that they also contain chemicals which actually speed-up the process of ethanol oxidation - the breakdown of alcohol inside the body.
“Blackcurrants are rich in anthocyanins which can act as a powerful antioxidant. They and their metabolites support the body’s own antioxidant system to alleviate some of the damage caused to your body when you drink too much.”
In 2007, Dr Stewart led a study which labelled blackcurrants as the ‘number one superfruit’, having compared the properties of 20 different fruits.
He concluded: “The combined beneficial composition and impact in health-related studies mean that blackcurrants can claim to be the number one superfruit."
We recommend taking one or two capsules before going out - or if you forget, take with a large glass of water before bed and again upon rising.
Recent research has shown polyphenols & flavonoids (like blackcurrants for example) have a positive effect on reducing the effects hangovers if taken prior to consumption.
1. Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled intervention study on the nutritional efficacy of a food for special medical purposes (FSMP) and a dietary supplement in reducing the symptoms of veisalgia doi 10.1136/bmjnph-2019-000042
Journal: BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health
2. Protective Effect of blackcurrant on liver cell membrane intoxicated with ethanol. doi: 10.1007/s00232-012-9429-3.
Journal: Membrane Biology