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Guest blog: Essential tips to survive party season

Qualified nutritionist Lisa Chothia hosted our nutrition talk for Wellbeing Month in November. She shares her secrets (note: they’re foolproof!) on staying healthy and productive following a big party night out.

It’s that time of year where many a late night becomes regular in your social calendar. But do you remember the last one? No? You had a good time then! But there’s no need to suffer a shocking headache to prove it this Christmas party season…

  1. Remember to eat and never drink on an empty stomach – this will slow the rate at which alcohol can be metabolised. Aim to have a small meal or snack before you hit the party as bar snacks, like crisps and peanuts, will just make you thirstier due to the salt…that’s why they do it!
  2. Check the label of any medication you are taking to ensure it doesn’t react adversely to alcohol. In fact, my advice would be to steer clear of alcohol whilst on medication to be on the safe. You can still get into the festive spirit with an alcohol-free drink!
  3. Stick to one type of drink! Switching from vodka to red wine and then to beer is a recipe for disaster – and a thudding headache the next day.
  4. Stick to clearer-coloured drinks to minimise the effects of a hangover. Red wine is one of the worst offenders, as are dark spirits like whisky, brandy and dark rum. The congeners are hangover culprits!
  5. Watch your portion size… A ‘small’ glass of wine in a bar or pub these days is often 175ml and a large is 250ml, which is the equivalent of a third of a bottle of wine! An official glass of wine (equal to one unit) is 125ml sized – that’s a metric worthy of remembering.
  6. Give your liver a helping hand with milk thistle – a daily dose during party season can help due to its ‘liver-protecting’ effects. It’s an accumulative effect. Remember: always consult a pharmacist when you’re considering taking new supplements.
  7. Order a non-alcoholic drink between each alcoholic one. This works particularly well if you are drinking spirits, as you can simply order the mixer without the spirit! And who will know? Did you also know there’s an alcohol-free gin now? Check out Seedlip if you’re after a little break.
  8. Have a snack before going to bed – re-think your box of fast food and aim for a slice of wholemeal toast and honey instead. This is the ideal snack as honey contains potassium that helps counteract the effects of alcohol. Though higher in sugar, a little goes a long way the next day.
  9. If you have overindulged when you get home try not to fall straight asleep, stay up for a while and find something to do. Your metabolism slows down when you’re asleep, so your body takes longer to dispose of all that alcohol – this is how hangovers happen. Sip on water to hydrate before you head to bed!
  10. Finally, prevention is always better than cure – it’s all about pacing yourself. Though it’s easy to get carried away when the drinks are flowing, follow these tips to stay in a merry mood without ruining the following day. If you’re starting to feel the effects, stop. And don’t forget, party season means there’s lots of dancing to do, too!

If you’re looking for some more tips or are interested in nutrition advice from Lisa, visit her website.

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