That time of year from the Melbourne Cup to New Year's is chock-a-block with parties, and we're not complaining! We love to put on our favourite heels, reconnect with friends, and enjoy good food and fabulous drinks. But there is a downside: the hangover. We've all been there, waking up with a headache, feeling ill and sensitive to the light – wanting nothing more than to sleep the day away.
But we're here to help! We spoke with Steph Lowe from The Natural Nutritionist to find out how to survive the boozy season!
1. Stay hydrated
"Ensuring you drink at least 2 litres of water per day will not only help you stay hydrated but will help flush out any toxins," says Steph. "When you do hit the booze, start the day with a glass of water and have an additional glass of water between each alcoholic beverage."
2. Complete your workouts
Let's be honest, the last thing feel like doing with a hangover is working out. Although it can be a struggle, Steph recommends sticking to your fitness regimen – even if it means going for a simple walk around the block or a relaxing, low-intensity yoga session. "It’s an individual thing, of course, some people love a high intensity workout and to work up quite a sweat," she says. "It depends on the size of your hangover, but I recommend any kind of movement. It can offset the indulgence, and get those endorphins flowing. It definitely reduces side-effects."
3. Eat real food.
The first thing you'll spot at a party is finger food. While it's delicious, it's not exactly filling! Steph says that eating proper meals before going to parties is the way to go. "If you make a food-based decision before you go out, you can increase your blood sugar," she says.
Steph says eating well throughout the week can also lessen the effects of hangovers. "Food makes up the building blocks for creating long-term health. If you eat nutrient-dense food, your body can better tolerate and process the effects of alcohol."
4. Snack before you go.
"A small snack can go a long way in helping to reduce the temptation to spend the day grazing on poor choices," says Steph. "Protein found in beef is a satiety macronutrient, meaning it will keep you fuller for longer."
5. Get enough sleep.
Did you know that research shows every hour of sleep prior to midnight is the equivalent to two hours after? We're always hearing about how important sleep is to everyday life, and it's true. "Adequate sleep goes a long way to maintaining your overall health and wellbeing as well as your ability to handle stress," Steph says.
But what if you're already hungover?
If you're reading this article too late, there's another option: soak up the hangover! But, as tempting as it might be, you should avoid bingeing on carbs (goodbye Maccas burgers!). "I love a protein like beef," Steph says. "It contains iron and B12 for energy and lots of great nutrients. If you combine it with a side of healthy vegetables, or quinoa or rice, that’s also great for absorption."
Sydney-based Hannah Oakshott is a tea-obsessed pop culture enthusiast who can usually be found showing people pictures of her two miniature schnauzers or baking sweet, lemony food. Hannah is on Instagram @hannah.mareeee