Yeah, we know. You’re an adult and shouldn’t need to be told how to protect your liver, and avoid that all too familiar next-day feeling.
But the festive season can bring out the worst in even the most abstinent of us, especially in a country that sees drinking as a legitimate national pastime!
It doesn’t help one little bit that all the normal rules of acceptable drinking habits seem to become suspended around the festive period, either. Champagne for breakfast? What the hey, it’s Christmas! G‘n’T with lunch? It’s the way Santa would want it.
Unfortunately—and this should come as no surprise but bears repeating anyway—excessive drinking just ain’t good for you, no matter what time of year it is.
Because we care (and your liver told us to), we’ve* come up with nine nifty strategies for avoiding a hangover this silly season! (*With the help of those clever cats over at Queensland Health’s Healthier. Happier. hub!)
#1 Don’t drink.
At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, the healthiest and clearest option for avoiding a hangover is to not drink in the first place. It’s a complete fallacy that you can’t have fun without drinking, so do the rebellious thing by staying sober, and killing it on the d-floor regardless.
#2 Alternate with water.
Whether you are sipping on sugary or alcoholic drinks (or worse, drinks that combine both), alternating with water is one of the best ways to avoid that horrible brain-fog feeling the day after a night out. Also, alcohol and sugary drinks are loaded with kilojoules, but water isn’t. Mix it up by ordering a sparkling water with lime, so you don’t get bored.
#3 Make it a game.
Instead of seeing how many drinks you can actually fit in to a three-hour period, flip it on its head and see how few drinks you can stretch over the same amount of time. Drink slowly, and savour your chosen tipple. You’ll enjoy (and remember) the event even more, feel a thousand times better the next day, and you’ll have overcome one of life’s little challenges.
#4 Drink the top shelf stuff.
Quality not quantity applies to plenty of things in life, and it can apply to your drinking habits just as easily. Plus, if you’ve forked out your life savings on one or two drinks, chances are you’ll be more inclined to make it last a little longer. Someone get me a glass of Bolli!
#5 Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
Having something healthy, and substantial, to eat before arriving at a party or function, can mean the difference between a sore head, and feeling good. Obviously, if you are employing the tips above, you won’t drink to excess anyway, but drinking on an empty stomach is just asking for trouble because the alcohol is absorbed faster. Keep in mind though, that no amount of noshing will stop the effects of an over-the-top amount of drinks. If you have ten drinks, your body still has to process ten drinks.
#6 Avoid the ‘nerve-factor’.
Alcohol may be a social lubricant but drinking is already a slippery slope on its own, so don’t give it a helping hand by nervous drinking. Knowing the environment you’re walking in to will help you overcome social anxiety, or if it’s unfamiliar territory, why not take a friend to help lighten the awkward load?
#7 Stay away from the fizz.
There is a theory that bubbly, carbonated drinks actually increase the rate at which your body absorbs alcohol, so try avoiding fizzy drinks like beer, champagne and sparkling wine, plus sugary and fizzy mixers.
#8 Get chatty!
This one goes hand-in-hand with the tip #6; If you are too busy making friends, and engrossed in entertaining conversations, you’ll be too busy to neck another drink. Ergo, no hangover!
#9 Follow the light.
Ever heard of something called a congener? No, us neither! But studies have found that these pesky little chemicals—found in darker alcohols, and responsible for the taste, smell and colour of a tipple—can have a marked effect on your pain levels the day after. Opt for a vodka or gin based drink rather than the caramel-toned alcohols.
Looking for more Christmas-proof health and fitness tips? The Healthier. Happier. website is must-read then!
Image Credit: The Westchester Magazine
TUL Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Queensland Health and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.