HOW to prevent a hangover after New Year's Eve in just five steps, according to an expert.
Brits across the nation will be heading out to welcome in the New Year with friends, family – and most likely a lot of booze.
But how can revellers enjoying waking up feeling fresh on New Year's Day?
Dr Megan Rossi, also known as The Gut Health Doctor on Instagram, posted her five top tips for a dodging a nasty hangover.
Prime your gut
The first tip is to prime your gut microbes – these are the living things such as bacteria in your body.
These microbes act as an army against your hangover as they produce something called butyrate – which helps the body fight the inflammatory effects of alcohol.
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Most of us enjoy tucking into some food after a night on the town, but this gut doctor suggests swapping the Burger King for a banana.
Dr Megan Rossi told her followers: "Before and after the party, enjoy nourishing plant-rich dishes like gut loving Greek baked beans, which will also satisfy salty and carby hangover cravings."
Despite drinks such as prosecco being particularly popular on New Year's Eve, it is best to stay clear of them.
Researchers from the HPRU Medical Research Centre in Guildford have discovered people who drank fizzy champagne felt drunker quicker than those who took it flat.
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Dr Rossi advised: "Anything with bubbles is likely to make you feel worse.
"That's because bubbles cause the alcohol to be more rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream, overtaking your liver's ability to digest it at such speed – and the higher your blood alcohol concentration, the more toxic the impact."
And it is not only alcoholic fizz that can leave you hanging the next morning.
Be cautious of mixers
The gut health expert also warned revellers against drinking mixers that contain artificial sweeteners.
Amazingly, research revealed that those who drank vodka with diet soda were found to have a 25 per cent higher blood alcohol concentration than those partygoers who used regular soda.
"Better still, switch out the sugary soda for frozen berries and soda water to further slow the absorption of alcohol," Dr Rossie added.
And the type of soft drinks you chose in between alcoholic beverages also make a difference.
It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but Dr Rossi reminded partygoers that it is important to keep hydrated before, during and after.
"Try to switch every other drink to non-alcoholic – sparkling water with frozen berries, or Kombucha," she added.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you go to the toilet more frequently, which can lead to dehydration.
Dehydration can then contribute to many hangover symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and dry mouth – so it is important to keep the non-alcoholic fluids flowing too.
Prioritise eating before drinking
The gut health PhD's final tip was to make sure you eat before you start your night out.
Lining your stomach with some party nibbles before cracking open a bottle could be the difference between a New Year's Day spent walking in the countryside or one huddled under the covers.
It will stop alcohol passing quickly into your small intestine and is one of the most practical ways to control how quickly alcohol will affect you.
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She said: "Always eat food first to slow the absorption of alcohol and give your liver a chance to keep up."
Your small intestine has a very large surface area and a lot of alcohol absorption happens here, that is why this tip is so important.
How to cut down on your boozing
Former politician Laura Willoughby MBE, who founded Club Soda, a mindful drinking movement that helps people change their drinking said there are things you can do to cut down on your boozing this festive season.
Laura explained: "If you want a merry Christmas that you’ll remember the next day, you’ll want to consider how to cut back on the booze. Here's how to do it…
Stop before you reach your limit: Your body takes some time to process alcohol. You’ll feel the initial effects after about 10 minutes, but the impact of alcohol will build over the next 30-90 minutes. That means you will get drunker even after you stop drinking. It’s always a good idea to stop sooner than you feel you need to, to give your body time to catch up.
Slow down and enjoy your drink: If you get into trouble with alcohol, chances are you drink too fast. Test yourself the next time you have a pint or a glass of wine. How long can you sit with it in front of you, untouched? And how long can you make it last? Take time to enjoy the alcohol you drink, savour the flavours and put down the glass between sips.
Reduce the strength of your drink: Another tactic to reduce your alcohol consumption overall is to lower the strength of your drink. Choose a wine with 8% ABV (alcohol by volume) instead of 16% to halve your alcohol consumption. Cocktails can easily be reduced in strength by swapping out ingredients too.
Have two alcohol-free drinks first: The standard advice to switch between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks doesn’t work because we always have the booze first. Instead, begin with two alcohol-free drinks. If you then alternate drinks, you will have reduced your alcohol consumption by more than half. And you will have started drinking later, so your day lasts longer.
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