Who else has been invited to lots of lovely Christmas parties this year? Or maybe you simply like to drink a tipple or two around a log fire over the festive season?
Parties and get togethers are always so much fun, however sometimes our hosts can be overzealous with topping up our drinks, and without even knowing we can easily overindulge with the alcohol. Some people then feel absolutely rotten afterwards.
Wine particularly seems to be affecting a huge number of my friends, and many have stopped drinking wine entirely due to the terrible hangover and fatigue they experience the next day, as well as the crazy hot flushes that disturb them at night. The joys of the menopausal years!
Here are my top tips on how to enjoy a few Christmas tipples without the kick-back afterwards, and also some guidance on how to support your liver if you happen to overdo it!
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It is best to avoid drinking on an empty tummy. If you’re heading out, make sure that you have eaten before you leave the house. Eating a protein-rich snack before you start drinking helps to slow down the effects of the alcohol. Think scrambled eggs, live yoghurt, some almonds and olives, or peanut butter on toast.
Ensure you are fully hydrated before you get to the party. If you have had a busy day and have not drunk enough water, then consider adding rehydration salts to a large glass of water before you go out. Another option is to drink some refreshing coconut water.
During the party, drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic drink is another way to counteract the effects of alcohol. This is because alcohol dehydrates you, and also because it slows down your alcohol drinking. Have a large glass of water before you go to bed and keep another beside your bed in case you are thirsty in the middle of the night.
If you’re holding a drink, even if it’s water, this also discourages others from urging you to drink more. If you have ever been pregnant or driving at a party, you may have found that no one even notices you are not drinking a boozy drink after they have had a glass or two of alcohol themselves! So, you can switch to soft drinks or fizzy water very easily when you have had your fill!
Low alcohol choices
Pick an alcoholic drink that is lower in alcohol. If you like to drink a glass of beer, there are now plenty of low or no alcohol varieties you can try. White wine spritzers (with sparkling water) are a great choice as you’ll be hydrating at the same time. Consider lovely alcohol-free spirits like Pentire or Seedlip with tonic water for a more sophisticated Christmas drink. Non-alcoholic wines and sparkling wines are also improving all the time.
Find your limit & stick to it
We often know how many drinks we can tolerate to avoid a hangover. I know for me it’s a couple of glasses of red wine and then I’ve had plenty. Decide before you leave the house (or before you start drinking if you’re at home), to set a limit and stick to it.
Remember the speed your liver can process alcohol will decrease if you are a bit ‘out of practice’ so be careful not to binge. It could all get so messy!
One good tip is to make sure you stop drinking at least a couple of hours before you go to bed. It may help to imagine yourself the next morning and how you would like to feel! A lot of our clients have said that since being with NatureDoc they have become rather addicted to NOT having a hangover and setting an intention to get up early, go for a run or simply be more engaged with the kids on a Sunday morning – and this in itself is inspiration enough to not overdo it!
Love your liver!
Most of us know that when we consume too much alcohol it has an impact on our short- and long-term liver health. And even at Christmas you should make sure you give it an alcohol-free rest for 2-3 consecutive days in a week.
If you happen to overdo it on the odd occasion, my recommendation is to try some natural remedies to help support your liver.
My top ingredients to look out in specialist liver health supplement formulas include Milk Thistle, Artichoke, Burdock, Dandelion and Hibiscus which all play a role at aiding natural detoxification and are thought to help with the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by excess alcohol. They can protect your liver from various effects of alcohol but have not been proven to prevent hangover yet.
Nutrients that can provide liver support are Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Nicotinic Acid) and Selenium. Broccoli sprouts (sulforaphane) are particularly liver-friendly. Zinc can help prevent being sick from alcohol and can reduce the severity of hangovers. Cysteine based supplements such as N-Acetyl Cysteine is thought to help to prevent post-alcohol nausea, headache, stress and anxiety.
Coping with sulphites
If drinking wine makes you flush bright red or you get a cracking headache quite easily, then you might be sensitive to the sulphites in the wine. Molybdenum is a mineral that has been found to help increase tolerance to sulphur-based foods and drinks including sulphites. So can having a lovely soak in an Epsom salt bath before bed as the magnesium sulphate helps tolerance of sulphites.
The link between histamine and hot flushes
If drinking wine keeps you wide awake or restless at night and you experience hot flushes during the night then you might be sensitive to the high histamine in the wine. Other symptoms of intolerance from alcohol are hives, low blood pressure (dizziness/light headedness), wheezing, sneezing and a runny nose. Quercetin, Vitamin C and Magnesium are all important mast cell stabilisers and may help to dampen down the post-wine histamine flare. Some people benefit from taking Diamine oxidase (DAO) which helps to breakdown the histamine in the gut.
Of course, if you want to avoid a hangover altogether you could stick to non-alcoholic drinks. You may have noticed that the non-alcoholic market has gone crazy recently with lots of variety and choice. So if you want to avoid a hangover all together, but still enjoy the feeling of a ‘grown up’ drink, there are plenty to choose from. Happy drinking!
We know many people want to know what products we recommend but unfortunately for regulatory reasons, recommendations have to be private. However all is not lost, you can join NatureDoc Live! for monthly Zoom Q&As with Lucinda, as well as a forum for asking questions, and access to recommendations in our blogs which appear when you log in.
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