Health & Fitness

How to Plan Your Diet to Avoid a Hangover

Prep is key to skipping the cold sweats and sickness

 The Christmas party season might seem ages away still, but with December only around the corner, it’ll be sequins at dawn before you know it.

And as your diary starts to fill up with work parties, drinks with friends and family gatherings, it can take its toll. But rather than skip a soiree, prep your body instead for those alcohol-fuelled evenings and late nights.

Here, The Harley Medical Group’s experts Consultant Dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall and Nutritionist Christine Bailey lets TLL in to how you can keep your skin and body feeling and looking its best,  even if it’s the day after the Christmas party…

Coconut water and herbal tea

Christine recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day – plus herbal teas like green and white tea – to hydrate the body well before the party.

“The following day hydrate yourself with plenty of water and herbal teas known to support liver and kidney function such as nettle, dandelion and milk thistle and include a little lemon juice in warm water to kick start the morning cleanse.

“Coconut water is a great hydrating drink – rich in electrolytes sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which are depleted after a night of drinking. So before you go to bed try drinking a couple of glasses of coconut water to support detoxification.”

“Even though you may feel extremely tired and a cup of coffee seems like the best way to wake you up, try to stay away from it. Caffeine will only dehydrate you more, and since it’s also a diuretic, it will not help your stomach.”

Vitamin C


You might not remember to take your make-up off before bed (but you should!) but one thing you should do is remember your Vit C.

Before you got to bed up your intake of vitamin C.” Christine recommends. “Vitamin C is a valuable nutrient to help your liver detoxify alcohol. Before you go to bed take 1g of vitamin C and 5g of glutamine powder to help stabilize sugar levels and repeat this in the morning before you tackle breakfast.


Christine says :“The following day aim to snack regularly if you cannot face meals in order to stabilise blood sugar and replenish depleted nutrients. Like berries, watermelon is a fabulous source of potent antioxidants including carotenoids which are important for glowing skin. It is also packed with water to boost hydration. Watermelon is high in many essential nutrients that can be depleted by alcohol, including vitamin C, B-vitamins and magnesium making it the perfect post party snack”



Brunch is your friend post-party – and make it eggy!

“Eggs contain an amino acid called N acetyl cysteine one of the building blocks of a potent antioxidant called glutathione which is important in ridding the body of the toxins from alcohol. Protein will also help support energy levels through the morning. So the morning after the party if you can face it have a couple of scrambled eggs with veggies for a breakfast energy boost.”


“Hangovers, party food and eating out frequently can often be accompanied by an upset stomach or bloating.” continues Christine “If you feel a little queasy try sipping some ginger tea or cordial. Ginger’s root contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols. These chemicals relax the intestinal tract, preventing motion sickness and relieving the nausea and stomach cramps. Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory spice so may help calm any redness on the skin too.”


“Bloated after too much party food?” asks Christine “Give your gut some loving support with a pot of plain yogurt or kefir. Packed with friendly bacteria they can help tune up your digestion and crowd out the bad bugs too”

Leafy greens

Christine says: “Vitamin K strengthens capillary walls and often broken capillaries leak deoxygenated blood to form dark under-eye circles. So include leafy greens, kefir, natto (fermented soy bean product), yoghurt, prunes, aubergine, leeks which are all good sources of vitamin K.”

And try an Epsom salt bath

Justine recommends an Epsom Salt bath – a traditional way to detox and unwind. Simply place two cups of Epsom Salts in a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes.

“Epsom salts is simply magnesium sulphate which can be absorbed through your skin. Magnesium helps the muscles relax and unwind why sulphur is a well-known beauty mineral and helps the body detox too.”


Share this post:

Receive our editor's picks weekly to your inbox