It’s that time of the year – the Christmas and office parties are being rolled out, and invitations for drinks and supper parties are flying in from friends and family.
A Happy Christmas or festive time, does not include disappearing under your duvet for 48 hours with a hangover due to over-indulgence of both food and alcohol. It means pacing yourself to enjoy all the invitations you receive – it is easier than you think, unless you are really determined to get absolutely ‘wrecked’. Prepare for late nights, too much food and an empty wallet! You have your new outfit to wear and are prepared to take the dance floor by storm with some serious moves – but have you forgotten something? HYDRATION!!
Hydration is the key to not feeling dreadful ‘the morning after’. However it doesn’t mean that you can hit the shots, spirits and wine with gay abandon and in vast quantities. No amount of hydration will cure a weak will!
Top tips for staying hydrated
Simple – hit the water or herb teas before, during and after the big night out. Avoid caffeine, salty foods or anything that you know will dehydrate you. During the day, drink as much fluid (non-alcoholic and preferably not fruit juices, normal tea or coffee) as possible – try to intake the recommended 6-8 glasses. If you are out drinking, try to eat something light but juicy before the session begins – protein based food with fruit and vegetables is your best choice, and carry this through the evening if you can.
Light and often is a good philosophy to follow. Try yoghurt and bananas if you can stomach it – the protein contained slows down the stomach mechanism and the potassium content will balance out anything salty (think smoked salmon, crisps etc), which will inevitably help towards dehydration if you keep raiding the buffet table.
Take your last glass of fluid before leaving the house – it may make you want to visit the toilet several times, but it is well worth banishing a bad head.
If there is a ‘welcome champagne’ on offer, do limit it to only one. Alcohol and bubbles have a devastating effect on the body in terms of dehydration. Alcohol of any kind will strip out the water from your body, but fizzy drinks containing alcohol are the worlds’ worst.
Try to avoid ‘straight up’ drinks that contain far more alcohol than water or other fluids. Always include as much ice as you can as this will definitely help. Some sommeliers also believe that adding a little water (not sparkling) to wine enhances the flavour and dilutes the level of alcohol – it’s worth trying if wine is your penchant.
Intersperse alcoholic drinks with glasses of water and non-salty foods – go for the canapes using cucumber, baby tomatoes, celery and grapes, rather than pastry based stodgy varieties. There is a lot of water contained in many fruit and vegetables.
Our top tip drink – have a Bloody Mary with all the trimmings – tomato juice is good for hydration and don’t forget to munch on the celery stick that goes with it! If your palate rejects tomato juice, have a fruit based light cocktail, and top it up with coconut water and any fruit available at the bar (think pineapple, strawberries etc.)
Remember that alcohol doesn’t really hit you until it has been downed and around 30 minutes have passed. Shots are particularly dangerous for throwing back one after the other. It is not until the 4th or 5th that it will start to affect you. Don’t use them as chasers – use water as the chaser after the shot!
By afters we don’t mean the bar staying open for special customers. Afters means acting sensibly to avoid dehydration once the night is over. Remember that alcohol is a diuretic and you will already have got rid of a lot of the water you have already drunk. Take a bottle for the taxi ride home (you can always use one of our HydrateM8 Lites – only 700ml capacity – in your handbag!) and sip to your hearts content.
On arrival at your doorstep, head for the kitchen and suck up a couple of glasses of water, and maybe that piece of melon still in the fridge. Take water to bed, to cope with any dehydration during the night.
In the morning, start your day with a large refreshing glass of cool, clear water. You will be telling yourself it’s the best drink you have ever had!