As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder our thoughts move away from beach bodies and turn to mince pies and mulled wine. While it 鈥檚 a great excuse to have fun and let our hair down, we shouldn 鈥檛 forget that there are serious consequences to binge drinking which go beyond a killer hangover. Follow these 5 top tips to ensure you have a great party season, without doing any permanent damage, and remember, the government 鈥檚 recommended daily limit it 2-3 alcohol units for women and 3-4 units for men. 1. Eat before you go out... Or get something to eat over the course of the evening. It 鈥檚 easy to do this if you 鈥檙 e going out on a weekend, but the after-work drinks tends to catch a lot of people out, where 鈥渁 quick pint 鈥?can easily descend into an evening of unplanned binge drinking. There 鈥檚 also the inevitable hangover the next day, which feels horrible, but more importantly, binge drinking is likely to damage your long-term health and possibly your career if it happens too frequently. Eating while or before you drink will help soak up the alcohol, ensuring your evening doesn 鈥檛 get out of hand and that you won 鈥檛 feel so bad the next day. Most pubs offer bar snacks, so even if you don 鈥檛 have the time or funds to have a sit down meal, there 鈥檚 no excuse for not drinking on an empty stomach. 2. Alternate your alcoholic drinks with water or soft drinks The golden rule to surviving the party season 鈥?make sure you drink water and soft drinks. Alternating each alcoholic drink with a soft one will not only help to reduce the amount of alcohol and calories you consume, but you 鈥檒 l also be avoiding binge drinking, and helping to keep yourself hydrated throughout the evening. The major cause of nearly all hangover symptoms is dehydration. The reason you get dehydrated when you drink, is that alcohol is a diuretic, It acts on the kidneys to make you pee out much more than you take in 鈥?which is why you need to go to the toilet so often when you drink. It 鈥檚 worth remembering that not only can binge drinking alcohol do serious damage to your body and make you take risks you might otherwise avoid, but it 鈥檚 also full of 鈥渆 mpty 鈥?calories. You might think by choosing a drink other than a lager or a cider you are selecting a lower calorie option, but even white wine can rack up as many as 185 calories per glass (250ml), which is equivalent to 1/3rd of a pizza. That means drinking the bottle is the calorie equivalent to a whole pizza! Many people think they need alcohol to have a good night out, but the truth is you 鈥 檒 l have just as much fun drinking lemonade if you enjoy the company of the people you 鈥檙 e with, plus you 鈥檒 l look and feel your best for the duration of the party season. 3. Don 鈥檛 reach straight for the painkillers If you 鈥檝 e ignored all the tips thus far you might end up feeling rather sorry for yourself the morning after the night before, but don 鈥檛 reach straight for the painkillers. Taking paracetamol after an evening of binge drinking gives your liver even more work to do, while aspirin can irritate the stomach. As hangover headaches are mainly caused by dehydration, the best way to help ease one is to rehydrate by drinking a plenty of water. 4. Break out the breakfast Eating a proper breakfast the next day is a good way to make you feel a little better if you 鈥檝 e over done the alcohol. Bananas will help replace the potassium lost (and are also good for those under eye bags), the cysteine in eggs helps to break down acetaldehyde (which causes hangovers) and fruit juice will not only replace lost vitamins, but also increase the rate that your body can break down toxins. For more information about the effects of binge drinking or the amount of calories in alcohol visit the drinkaware website.
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