Hangovers – what are they and can we avoid them this Christmas?

With the festive party season looming, there are likely to be a few sore heads around. Sadly the dreaded post-party hangover may hit us all.

So what actually is a hangover?

The main reason we get a hangover is due to ethanol – the alcohol in your drinks. It is a toxic chemical that has a diuretic effect, which means it flushes fluids from the body as we drink it. Thats why drinking too much alcohol can lead to dehydration. which cause many symptoms of a hangover, including those nasty headaches.

Hangovers symptoms vary from person to person, but usually involve a headache, nausea and fatigue. A hangover can leave you struggling to concentrate, feeling irritable and sensitive to light – not a good combination if you were planning to make the most of the day and not spend it in bed.

Sadly there are no cures for a hangover. The best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink in the first place. If you do decide to drink, do it sensibly and keep within the recommended limits, no more than 2-3 units for a female per day and 3-4 units for a male per day.
Drinking water or non-fizzy soft drinks in between each alcoholic drink may help to reduce the severity of a hangover but remember avoid Fizzy drinks/water as these speed up the absorption of alcohol into your system.
Drinking a pint or 2 large glasses of water before you go to bed won’t cure your hangover but will help to reduce the dehydration that alcohol leaves you with and therefore may reduce the severity of your hangover the next day.
Keep a glass of water by the bed to sip if you wake up during the night.