Party season is pretty much upon on us which for many means the booze is flowing and yes…..the inevitable hangovers…

So what can you do to survive the worst of it? Or at the very least go through it without looking like something out of Beetlejuice?

There are a few proven tips that really work.

Firstly what causes a hangover? Ok, so we all know it’s too much to drink. When you have a drink it is absorbed from your stomach & intestines into your bloodstream. The body works quickly to process it via the kidneys and lungs which remove about 10% of the alcohol in the urine and breath. Then the liver kicks in to break down the rest. The hangover itself is a combination of dehydration caused by alcohol’s diuretic effects coupled with your body having to deal with the toxins produced as your liver deals with the aftermath of metabolizing the alcohol.

Here are some guaranteed techniques to minimize the effects.

BEFORE YOU GO OUT
Rule number one!! You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know this one. Prepare yourself for the night ahead by drinking at least 2 litres of water through the day so you’re really well hydrated.

What you may not know is taking a good quality supplement containing high levels of B COMPLEX and VITAMIN C will help support your body avoid the nasty headaches and nausea-inducing by products. The Bs’ help the metabolizing process, keep up your energy and soothe frazzled nerves. Vitamin C stimulates the liver to break down the alcohol. Solgar do a good combo that contains both B and C. Take it first thing in the morning with food but at least half an hour away from coffee or tea as they can interfere with absorption.

Try MILK THISTLE every day during the party season as it protects liver cells from alcohol by preventing toxins from entering them as well as helping remove existing toxins. Take either as capsules or tincture twice daily – before a meal and again before you go out drinking. A. Vogel do a great Milk Thistle Complex that also contains artichoke and dandelion, worth getting if you really suffer hangovers badly (a sign that your liver is compromised by the way!)

Eat a proper dinner – I may sound like your mum, but seriously, a meal with a decent amount of protein will help balance your sugar levels through the night and also means you’re less likely to snack on salty sugary snacks when you’re out. If you’re in a hurry or heading out straight from the office, try a protein shake with some added banana for potassium if you can’t have an actual proper meal.

DURING THE BIG NIGHT
Drink more water- yes MORE water – there’s a theme here! Your liver can usually clear around one drink an hour, so, if you can love your liver now, you wont feel so bad later. Try and drink no faster than this. Sip slowly and try alternating alcoholic with non alcoholic drinks.

Don’t mix it up = decide before you go if you’re having a beer night or a wine night! There’s also a lot to be said for choosing the clear spirits – vodka or gin over rum, whisky or brandy if spirits are your thing.

WHEN YOU GET IN
Yes – you guessed it – more water! Think of it as helping to dilute the toxins and assist your body in flushing them out.

Take a good quality broad spectrum probiotic before bed time – preferably one containing bifidus. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria your gut needs to do what it does and bifidus in particular detoxifyes acetaldehyde which is a major cause of hangovers.

THE MORNING AFTER
Take more vitamins B and C as well as some MAGNESIUM to help calm any rattled nerves and ease headaches. Alcohol is actually an anti nutrient – that is it uses up your stores so it’s important to put back some of the goodness. Even better if you can include some fresh fruit and veg and wholegrains during the day.

COCONUT WATER is a good way to restore lost electrolytes. When you drink you lose electrolytes and become dehydrated, which adds to the headache the next morning. VitaCoco coconut water is available pretty much everywhere these days.

Tomato juice is a good way to restore lost potassium which also becomes depleted.

If you’re feeling sick, GINGER or PEPPERMINT tea will settle your stomach. Peppermint is a carminative and will help relax your intestines and ginger is very soothing for the stomach.
There’s a great homeopathic remedy- NUX VOMICA which helps relieve all hangover symptoms, particularly sore stomachs. It’s a secret weapon at this time of year. Take 2 × 6c potency hourly until you feel better.

Last but not least, exercise may be the last thing you feel like, but getting moving, even if it’s just a brisk walk, will help get circulation and lymph moving as well as get blood to your oxygen- starved brain.