Whether you're heading on your annual Christmas night out or simply raising a glass or two from home, it's safe to say the festive period can be the worst for hangovers.
December is the month when we can all be forgiven for over doing it a little. And the rich and famous are just as susceptible to feeling a little rough around the edges as the rest of us after a night out.
These celebrities all share their advice for coping with a hangover. But are they right? We asked top nutritionist Deborah Walker for her verdict…
Prince William: Jellied eels
After a night on the tiles, the future king of England confessed he’d been encouraged to gulp down the East End favourite, saying: “I ate jellied eels on a hangover, after a bender – which I thought was quite good”.
Deborah says: The way the jellied eels are cooked releases collagen in the eel, which contains a protein called glycine, a building block for glutathione which is important for liver detoxification. So there’s value in this, but perhaps not one to try if you’re feeling nauseous!
David Beckham: Alka Seltzer and bacon butty
The ex footballer pops an Alka Seltzer tablet before bed and then devours a bacon sarnie in the morning, explaining: “My granddad told me to do that.”
Deborah says: Sodium bicarbonate will neutralise the stomach acid temporarily helping prevent acid reflux from excessive drinking.
But Alka Seltzer does contain aspirin which some people may be allergic to or have side effects from. Taking any medication after a drinking session isn’t recommended because you really don't know how you’re going to react.
Gwyneth Paltrow: Hyrdrotherapy
“Draw a bath that’s as hot as you can handle it,” the actress-turned-wellness guru advised on Goop. “Soak for 20 minutes and then pop into a freezing cold shower for 1 minute.
"Get back in the hot bath and stay until you’re warmed up. Then get back in the shower for 1 more minute."
Deborah says: Hydrotherapy has been used for centuries to treat various health issues. Hot water stimulates the immune system and increases circulation, helping to relieve the body of its toxins. Cold water constricts the blood vessels and is effective for inflammation.
Nigella Lawson: Prairie oyster
The celeb cook admits: “My hangover cure is the ‘prairie oyster’, which consists of an egg yolk, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, brandy, and vinegar. You have to swallow it down in one gulp.”
Deborah says: Many people won’t be able to stomach this the next day. Bringing your alcohol levels back up in the morning is effectively just putting off the inevitable.
Tabasco has capsicum in it which helps lower blood glucose levels. The brandy will raise blood glucose levels, and the vinegar in the Worcester sauce reduces the glucose response. You’re giving a very mixed message to your body!
Daniel Craig: Hydration drink
“There’s this thing called Pedialyte,” explains the 007 star.
“You give it to kids who are dehydrated. If you wake up in the morning and you’ve got one of those on standby and you down the whole lot … you can carry on drinking! It’s the difference between life and death as far as I’m concerned”.
Deborah says: Alcohol causes dehydration so it's essential to replace lost fluids the following day. This approach will help you rehydrate and replace electrolytes much quicker. However, don’t carry on drinking alcohol and always check with your doctor if you’re on blood pressure medications or have kidney issues before trying these.
Cameron Diaz: McDonald’s and beer
The US actress advocates “an Egg McMuffin and a beer”, adding: “You need to drink more of the alcohol you’ve killed yourself with — the classic hair of the dog.”
Deborah says: Hair of the dog isn’t advisable – at some stage the dog turns around and bites you! But the egg contains choline which is needed in the detoxification process.
Kate Winslet: Orange juice and tea
“I have a big glass of orange juice and a sugary cup of tea,” says the Titanic actress and mum of three. “I usually take that back to bed with me.”
Deborah says: This is clearly an approach aimed at raising her blood glucose levels which can be low the day after heavy drinking without eating.
A better approach is a freshly squeezed vegetable juice with beetroot to support the liver detoxification, an orange, celery, cucumber and coconut water, which will bring electrolytes back to the body, and ginger to help with any nausea.
Ollie Locke: Optimism
The MIC star says: “I never ever have hangovers when I'm excited about something. It's all a state of mind.”
Deborah says: A positive outlook on life is great, but some research shows that you are more likely to have alcohol-related issues later in life if you’re being unrealistically optimistic about your own drinking behaviour!
Gordon Ramsay: Kedgeree
“Kedgeree fends off the next morning’s hangover,” says the TV chef. “It’s the best, as the slight stodginess soaks up any remaining Southern Comfort.”
Deborah says: Two of the ingredients in kedgeree are turmeric and garlic. Curcumin in turmeric exerts liver-protective properties against ethanol and is helpful in the prevention of alcoholic liver disease.
Allicin – found in garlic and onion – also has liver protective effects, particularly against alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver inflammation. Good choice Gordon!
If you’re concerned that you or someone you care about has a problem with alcohol visit drinkaware.co.uk
Find out more about Deborah's work in nutrition at www.passporttochange.co.uk
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