With the Christmas party season in full swing, many of us will wake up over the next week or two with a dry mouth, a throbbing head, a vague sense of dread and two kilos of loose change in our pockets.
Work nights out, catching up with friends and general seasonal celebrations can make us all a little over enthusiastic when faced with a gantry full of temptation.
Obviously, the best way to avoid a hangover is to not drink. Or at least to drink in moderation.
Good, sensible advice and well worth sticking to. Except life is not like that.
If you do drink more than you should, you will almost certainly have a hangover.
Hard won experience has taught us that while hangovers are usually unavoidable, their effects can be mitigated.
Eating is not cheating
Here is how:
Lining your stomach before or after drinking is a wise precaution. Eating is not cheating.
The darker the drink, the more horrible the hangover. A night of white wine spritzers won’t necessarily leave you as fresh as a daisy the next morning. However, compared to a night of red wine and dark rum chasers, it will seem like a walk in the park on a sunny day.
Try to drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Not only will this help with dehydration, it also takes up time that you would otherwise spend knocking back the devil’s bathwater. The frequent trips to the loo also help in this regard.
Pace yourself and know your limits. If the office party is your one boozy night of the year then don’t try to go drink for drink with the bloke from accounts whose entire social life revolves around the pub.
Also, don’t try to keep up with anyone in their twenties. Sure, you may have ten, twenty or thirty years of drinking experience under your belt and have the sclerotic, battle-hardened liver to prove it.
However, their livers are minty fresh and in tip top condition. Their bodies can process the alcohol faster and they will bounce back the next morning before your hangover has even begun to really kick in.
Swerve that hangover
On a similar tip, don’t stay out too long. If you have a lunchtime kick-off then you probably want to be home in time to catch the early evening news. Maybe the 10pm news if you take a mid-sesh break and get a second wind.
Planning on clubbing when you have been doing shots since 2pm won’t end well.
There is no shame in being the first to leave the party. There probably will be shame if you are the last one to leave the party.
Go home. Take a couple of painkillers and drink a glass of water before hitting the sack.
If you can face it, eat a banana. We’ve never managed this but, apparently, bananas replace the potassium which your body ditched while you were caning it.
Follow these words of wisdom and you may well still wake up feeling shabby around the edges.
However, you will feel a lot better than if you drank brandy and port until 3am on an empty stomach.
Tune in tomorrow for handy hints and tips for smoothing your path through the morning after the night before.