14 Dec 18
The Scottish Sun
IF you’ve got your office Christmas do tonight or a weekend of boozing ahead of you, then you’re probably already dreading the hangover.
But you can do things before you even leave your house to reduce your chances of feeling rubbish in the morning.
It’s easy to get carried away when you’ve got a big Christmas night out
Obviously, not drinking your weight in alcohol is the most effective means of protection.
What you eat during the day can have an impact on how well you metabolise all that booze.
“Sadly there is no magic solution to avoiding a hangover the next day apart from the blindingly obvious one – don’t drink too much at the Christmas party!” Dr Sarah Jarvis told The Sun.
But State Registered Dietitian Helen Bond says that eating certain foods beforehand might help to line the stomach better than others:
But going to a Chrimbo party doesn’t have to mean you feeling awful the next day
A pot of natural yoghurt, rich in bone-building calcium – a mineral that tends to be depleted when you drink alcohol.
The live bacteria cultures will supply friendly bacteria to help take care of your “microbiome” and will help to counteract any next morning-after bowel problems caused by your heavy drinking session.
Poached eggs on sourdough bread with wilted spinach
Everything about this meal is good for preparing you for a big night out
Sourdough bread has a low-glycaemic index carb, which means it will help counteract the sugar lows caused by too much drinking and will help you to stay more alert through the evening.
As well as counting as one of your five-a-day and giving you valuable and hunger-busting protein, this breakfast provides folate and vitamin C, which boosts your immune system, and is often depleted by heavy drinking.
Eggs also contain an amino acid called cysteine, which helps the body break down acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism that contributes to the feelings associated with a hangover, including headaches and nausea.
Spinach also provides beta-carotene, which gets converted into the body into vitamin A and is a vitamin depleted by too much alcohol.
Baked beans sprinkled with Worcestershire sauce on wholemeal toast
Baked beans are high in fibre and rich in protein and release their energy slowly, so will help keep mid-afternoon munchies at bay before you hit the Xmas party.
Adding Worcestershire sauce helps because its natural acidity lowers the glycaemic index of the meal – naturally slows down digestion of the beans.
This means you won’t feel the effects of alcohol so quickly and will be less inclined to have another drink quickly. This meal will also help prevent the natural fall in blood sugar levels caused by alcohol, which leads to many hangover symptoms such as nausea and headaches.
A glass of milk
Milk really does line the stomach
There is some truth in this old wives tale – a glass of milk before you head outlines the stomach and prevents alcohol from irritating it. If you fancy something more substantial, try a microwave rice pudding pot, a bowl of cereal or warming porridge.
Add a sprinkling of cinnamon, a sliced banana and some grated and you’ll be topping up on some immune-boosting vitamin C, and potassium – a mineral which helps balance fluid levels that can take a battering during drinking.
A bowl of lentil or vegetable soup
A bowl of vegetable soup is rich in fibre, which will help line your stomach
Alcohol is a diuretic, so the body loses more fluid than it takes in.
Soups have a high water content, which helps balance fluid levels that can take a hammering during drinking.
Lentils, along with other pulses are rich in fibre and protein that are broken down slowly in the body to help you feel fuller for longer – and will help stop you feeling drunk so quickly. Pair it with a hunk of rye bread, which is a slower releasing starchy carb, giving steadier blood sugar levels than white or wholemeal – perfect for helping to slow down alcohol absorption.
Large bagel filled with smoked salmon and low-fat cream cheese
A salmon and cream cheese bagel can stop your blood sugar level from dropping or spiking
Oily fish like salmon contains heart-healthy essential omega-3 fats and vitamin D – a vitamin lacking in many people diets at this time of the year, but the combo of protein and fat from the salmon and soft cheese help slow the rate of digestion, preventing blood sugar levels from dropping too slowly.
And opt for wholemeal bagels, rather than plain varieties, and you’ll get an extra dose of gut-healthy fibre to help take care of your friendly gut bacteria – which can be knocked out of kilter after a night of heavy drinking.
Wholegrain peanut butter on wholemeal toast
This pre-Xmas party snack will provide a good balance of slow release carbohydrates and protein to help keep blood sugar levels stable through the evening and energy giving B vitamins including niacin, which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue, and is often depleted by a night of heavy drinking.
But these foods won’t help if you’re intending to spend ten hours boozing.
What about when you’re at the party?
We’ve said it before, don’t drink your weight in booze.
The NHS recommends we drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week – that’s six pints of beer or six medium glasses of wine.
Anything more than that is considered alcohol misuse.
But, let’s be honest, sometimes that’s hard to stick to at the Christmas party.
So here’s what you should do…
Dr Jarvis warns: “Whatever you do, don’t pre-load! Christmas party day may feel like it starts from the moment you wake up, but you’ll regret it the morning after.
Don’t pre-drink or you’ll end up like this by 10pm
“Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. This reduces the amount of alcohol you drink but also helps keep you hydrated. Alcohol is a diuretic – it makes you wee more – and dehydration contributes to hangovers.
“Keep track of your drinking – use the Drinkaware app to help – and ideally stop when you reach 4 units. The Chief Medical Officer recommends both men and women should avoid drinking more than 14 units a week, spread over several days and with at least a couple of alcohol-free days in a week.”
But drinking on empty stomach speeds up the rate at which you absorb alcohol into your bloodstream, making you feel more drunk and leaving you more prone to a hangover.
So you really do want to make sure that you get your nutrition right beforehand.
Go for lighter drinks
“Stick to the white stuff. Dark drinks (wine, port, whisky, cognac) are high in congeners – a toxin which contributes to the colour and flavour of some drinks. Congeners contribute to hangovers,” Dr Jarvis said.
“Dilute your drinks – spritzers or shandy can still make you feel you’re part of the party.
“If you’re in a pub, avoid getting involved in rounds – you’re more likely to say yes when someone offers.”
Oh, and whatever you do, don’t bother heading to the gym.
[article-rail-topic title=”MORE ON HEALTH” term_id=”13286″ posts_number=”12″ /]
We revealed earlier this week that exercising on a hangover is at best a total waste of time and at worst, quite dangerous.
So if you do ignore our advice and go hard, then just rest the next day.
If you can’t have a sofa day just before Christmas, when can you?
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at email@example.com or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours