The drinks most (and least) likely to give you a hangover this Christmas

Make your Christmas less hangover-fueled by getting clued up on the booze that won't leave you ruined [Photo: Getty]
Make your Christmas less hangover-fueled by getting clued up on the booze that won’t leave you ruined [Photo: Getty]

Party season is in full swing, which means your diary is probably back-to-back with drinks dates and nights out. Great for your social life, not so great for your head – accumulative hangovers are the absolute worst.While it might not be possible to see out the merriest time of the year without a few groggy mornings, there are ways to avoid being completely wiped out by the festivities. Or more specifically, types of drink to steer clear of.The intensity of your hangover is down to the amount of something called congeners in your booze of choice.

Nutritionist Laura Tilt says that they’re “chemicals produced during alcohol fermentation that contribute to hangover symptoms.“Congeners might make the alcohol taste nice, but they make us feel bad, because they are a type of toxin,” she explains.

So which alcohol should be on your naughty list this season and which are nicest to your body on the hangover front? Here’s Tilt’s ranking of our favourite types of booze from worst to best.

Bourbon (whisky)

Sadly for Bourbon fans it’s full of hangover-causing toxins [Photo: Getty]

Bourbon is the worst offender for a pounding head. A good rule of thumb is the darker the drink, the harsher the hangover as “dark coloured drinks contain high levels of congeners.” Sadly for fans of a bourbon on the rocks, whisky is especially high in these toxins, including methanol which can linger in the body even after all alcohol has been eliminated.

Red wine

Red wine
Red wine is much more likely to cause a hangover than its lighter counterpart [Photo: Getty]

Again, due to its dark shade red wine is another serious hangover offender, especially as it also contains methanol.

Brandy and dark rum

[Photo: Getty]

Due to their dark shade, brandy and dark rum are high in toxins, but they’re safer options than whiskey or a glass of red. If you can’t resist, Tilt recommends having a glass of water between each alcoholic drink to avoid dehydration. “Alcohol blocks the hormone that helps your body retain water, and it causes you to pee more, so you loose more fluid than you consume,” she warns.

White wine

white wine
It’s worth paying out for a pricier glass of white if you want to avoid a banging head [Photo: Getty]

While white wine is a safer hangover option than its darker counterpart, the preservatives and colourings in cheaper bottles of wine are likely to intensify your bad head. So it’s worth paying out a little more for your Pinot – especially if it means you have fewer glasses.

Vodka and clear spirits

White wine
A vodka tonic is your best friend if you want to wake up with a clear head [Photo: Getty]

Vodka is your friend this festive season, with 37 times less congeners than worst offender whiskey. For a clear head the following morning, stick to tonic or fruit juices as mixers, as sugary soft drinks can contrite to a hangover.Gin and other clear spirits are also low in congeners, but avoid cheap brands which contain higher levels of impurities which will leave you feeling ill the following day.

The morning after… If you do find yourself feeling worse for wear after a night out then Tilt recommends snacking on a banana and honey sandwich to ward off hangover symptoms. “Bananas are rich in potassium, which can help recover your body’s fluid balance and honey contains a type of sugar that can speed up the rate at which your body processes alcohol,” she reveals.

She also advises eggs in the morning to “help your liver process acetaldehyde – the toxin that causes hangovers.” And as a fast fix, pop a Berocca in your first glass of water to replenish lost salts and sugars.

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