Drinking responsibly and dealing with a hangover.

Alcohol and the holidaysWith Christmas and New Years just around the corner, alcohol consumption for most people will increase. This means that we must all be careful to monitor how much we drink, as we tend to forget our limits when we’re with family and friends. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a good time, but here are some great tips towards responsible drinking.

  • One standard drink an hour. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but an effective one. This allows us to pace ourselves and avoid over-consumption.
  • A glass of water or non-alcoholic beverage between drinks. Not only does this keep you hydrated, but will help prevent hangovers.
  • Find a designated driver, and if you can’t, make sure you have enough money to be able to catch a taxi home. There is nothing worse over the holidays than a car accident.
  • Set yourself a limit of drinks. I recommend a maximum of 3 for males and 2 for females.
  • Sip your drink and pace yourself. Sculling drinks, or gulping them down only causes you to want to drink more.
  • Eat food whilst you drink.
  • Respect the rights of others that do not wish to drink. Some people prefer not to drink during the holidays, which is ok.

Now to deal with your hangover. I won’t grill you on how much you drank. We all make mistakes. The best way to deal with a hangover is by drinking lots of water, and eating light healthy foods. Your body is dehydrated and deprived of good nutrients, so avoid fatty foods and sugary drinks. Foods you should eat are fruit (especially bananas), an egg on whole wheat toast, small amount of juice, and of course lots of water.

Bananas blended into a fruit smoothie is great for a hangover because it is rich in potassium and will help replenish lost electrolytes and nutrients in the body. Eggs will also help clean up left over toxins, but only eat one or two eggs, just to keep your meal light. Amino acids and protein can be found in eggs which also replenish lost nutrients and help further break down toxins from the alcohol.

It is a myth that fast food and coffee benefit a hangover. Coffee is a diuretic like alcohol, and just makes the drinker even more dehydrated, just with a caffeine enhanced buzz. Fatty foods after drinking will only irritate your stomach further, it’s actually better to eat it before drinking. This theory was adopted by the Mediterranean people. They would swallow a spoonful of olive oil before drinking because they believed it helped with a hang over.

I hope these help over the holidays. Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year!

Stay beautiful.

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