Alcohol never features highly in the list of healthy additions to our diet (there aren’t many mentions of it in Eat Beautiful!) and while I could lie and say I am completely virtuous over party season, I love a glass or two of champagne to celebrate! But with increased amounts of alcohol comes an increased risk of a hangover, which isn’t much fun for anyone. So how can you avoid spending party season suffering the consequences of all the merriment? By eating the right foods before and after drinking, of course! Here, I round up the best foods to add into your diet on the day of and after your Christmas party to give the best chance of avoiding a hangover.
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What to Eat Before You Drink
Firstly, it’s really important to make sure you eat something. So many people go straight for after-work drinks and keep going, forgetting to eat, which is a recipe for disaster. Ensuring you eat a proper meal before you start drinking will drastically lower your chances of a hangover.
Nutritionist Kim Pearson says: “Before drinking, opt for a meal that combines protein, healthy fats and slow-releasing carbohydrates. The amino acids in protein help to support the liver’s detoxification process, while food that is rich in antioxidants will help protect you from the damaging free radicals alcohol generates.” Something like fish with brown rice and vegetables is perfect as a pre-party dinner, or if you’re throwing a dinner party, try my vegetable pilaf and brown rice recipe from Eat Beautiful.
During the evening, alternate your drinks with water and try to stick to the same drink if you can.
What to Eat the Morning After Drinking
The first thing you’ll want the morning after is a large glass of water, and I always pop in a Berocca to top up on B Vitamins. Milk Thistle is another good vitamin to reach for, as it helps support the liver. Coconut water is a good post-alcohol choice, as it not only rehydrates you but is high in electrolytes, too.
“The morning after drinking, your breakfast should be made up of the same key components, slow-releasing carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat,” says Kim. “The carbs will help settle the stomach but avoid refined carbs and opt for a healthy alternative like oats.”
Porridge topped with fruit (make sure to include banana, which is high in magnesium) and nuts is a great option, or of course eggs and avocado on rye toast makes for a great breakfast. In fact, why not book in a brunch for the morning after so you can have a full debrief with friends while enjoying your hangover-fighting breakfast?
If the food prevention plan didn’t work and you still have a sore head, refer to my hangover cures post…
…And if you have a big event or something important to go to and want to spend a little more for a morning-after pick-me-up, you could go for a Vitamin drip at Reviv or Dr Joshi.