The Christmas countdown is on, meaning office parties, fizz with friends and mulled-wine-fuelled family get-togethers.
And it’s only right we enjoy ourselves after such a long old year!
We have 12 ways you can dodge hangovers this party season
But, luckily, we’re here to keep you healthy and on your social A game – just follow our party-season survival guide.
The main culprit responsible for you feeling hungover is a toxin called acetaldehyde.
It’s produced in your liver as it gets to work breaking down the alcohol in those espresso martinis you drank.
Eating foods that support the liver before, during and after your drinking session can help, though.
“Certain foods encourage greater bile flow through the liver, helping remove toxins more efficiently,” explains nutritionist Rob Hobson from Healthspan.
“These include bitter, dark-green vegetables, such as rocket, kale and cabbage, as well as globe artichokes.”
Beetroot is also a winner, as it contains the fibre pectin, which stimulates the cleansing and the removal of toxins from the liver.
Add some magnesium salts to a bath the morning after your night out to help your body recover, or just before bedCredit: Getty – Contributor
You’re bound to be having a few big nights, but drinking too much alcohol can deplete your body of magnesium, a mineral we need for muscle and nerve function, and which supports your heart and immune system, too.
Add some magnesium salts to a bath the morning after to help your body recover, or just before bed – the salts can help you relax and send you off into a deeper sleep.
Try Dr Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution Relax & Relief with Eucalyptus & Spearmint, £7.19.
What you knock back can also dictate how rough you feel the next day.
Rob says: “Brown spirits (like rum) and red wine contain a higher concentration of compounds called congeners than lighter coloured drinks and can make hangovers more intense the next day.”
G&Ts it is…
Adding an electrolyte sachet to a glass of water before bed, then doing the same when you wake up, can help replenish lost nutrientsCredit: Getty
Dehydration is another major player when it comes to you feeling rotten after a night out.
While alternating your alcoholic drinks with water can make a big difference, adding an electrolyte sachet to a glass of water before bed, then doing the same when you wake up, can help replenish lost nutrients.
Try Asda Rehydration Treatment, £2 for six sachets.
Coffee might pep you up for half an hour or so of present shopping, but the energy spike soon leads to a lull, often leaving us feeling worse – and jittery to boot.
Instead, try ginger tea to help hydrate and beat nausea.
“Ginger can be enjoyed as a tea by adding 1-2tsp of ground ginger, half a lemon and 2tsp of honey to a teapot.
“Top up with hot water and brew for five minutes before serving,” says Rob.
Add a little turmeric, too, to help combat the first signs of a cold – ginger and turmeric both have anti-inflammatory properties, and their spice can help relieve blocked sinuses.
There’s no getting round sore feet from dancing all night in heelsCredit: Getty – Contributor
There’s no getting round sore feet from dancing all night in heels, but sleep with feet slightly elevated – pop a pillow under them – to help reduce swelling, and wear flat shoes between big events.
A sock mask can help soothe danced-out feet, too – we like Superdrug Marula Nourishing Foot Mask With Foot Socks, £1.99 – while we wouldn’t go without Superdrug Ball-Of-Foot Cushions Invisible Gel, £3.49, either.
Try to include a few 15-minute sessions of weights or weighted movements into your daily exercise routineCredit: Getty
It can be hard to stick to an exercise routine when you’re tired, hungover and it’s chucking it down outside, but if you can, it will flood you with endorphins and make you feel better.
The NHS recommends we do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, which is less than 25 minutes a day.
Try to get out for a short walk daily and if you can, include a few 15-minute sessions of weights or weighted movements.
Try push-ups, squats, lunges and planks. You can do it!
Full of dread after the Christmas party? You’re not alone.
However, Jo Webber, herbalist at Pukka Herbs, says herbal remedies can really help.
“The Indian herb ashwagandha is a traditional rejuvenating tonic to aid stress-related situations.
“Drinking alcohol increases both adrenalin and the stress hormone cortisol, both of which act on the nervous system as part of the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response.
“Ashwagandha (also called winter cherry) helps nourish the nervous system, supporting relaxation and restoring harmony.”
Add it to your tea cupboard or try Holland & Barrett Ashwagandha 500mg Capsules, £11.99 for 30.
Too much sugar and booze can impact your mood, skin and weightCredit: Getty
Taking care of your microbiome – the bacteria and organisms living in your gut – can help sustain you through party season.
Too much sugar and booze can impact your mood, skin and weight, says nutritionist Eli Brecher.
So limit the yule log and mulled wine a little, and go big on veg, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans and legumes.
Eli adds: “Probiotic supplements may be helpful, and a great way to get more good bacteria in our diets is by consuming fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, tempeh and live yoghurt.”
Try a kombucha – some even taste like sour or fruit beer – and kimchi, which will go really well with festive roast meats.
You’re lucky if you can get through silly season unscathed health-wise.
Boost your chances by washing your hands, binning used tissues, getting your flu jab and Covid booster, and topping up on vitamin C.
“It’s especially good to take when you are rundown,” says Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart.
Add fresh lemon juice to warm water or herbal tea every day, and opt for a supplement.
Dr Newman-Beinart also recommends eating elderberries, which are high in vitamin C.
They aren’t the easiest to source, but try it in syrup form with Pukka Herbs Elderberry Syrup, £14.24 – take 1tsp up to three times a day to support your immune system and energy levels.
- Photography: Getty Images Stockists: Asda (Asda.com), Dr Teal’s (Amazon.co.uk), Holland & Barrett (Hollandbarrett.com), Pukka Herbs (Amazon.co.uk), Superdrug (Superdrug.com)