The average Brit will spend three days hungover in December, according to research.
A poll of 2,000 adults who drink alcohol also found almost a quarter of Brits admitting that they’ve previously called in sick, or would do so as a result of one too many drinks.
However, on the morning after more than half of Brits turn to food and drinks that can actually make a hangover worse.
And just one in 10 tuck into a food that could help ease hangover symptoms the most – lean red meat.
The research was commissioned by the Meat Advisory Panel, with panel member Robert Pickard, Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Cardiff saying: “One reason that people suffer from a hangover is because alcohol prevents important amino acids being absorbed into the system.
“You therefore need to make sure that you are eating the right foods before and after drinking to ensure that these amino acid stocks are rebuilt.”
Three in 10 Brits turn to beloved carbohydrates to help beat the symptoms of a hangover, despite carbs actually increasing dehydration by binding water.
And a quarter of the population attempt to ward off the feeling of a heavy night with sugary drinks – which actually further unbalances blood sugar levels, according to the OnePoll research.
Professor Robert Pickard also developed a ‘Tipple Toolkit’ to try and beat hangovers before they start.
His top tips include eating a meal that will help oxygenate blood – ideally including foods like asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado and lean red meat.
He also mentions the importance of staying hydrated throughout the night, as well as eating protein-rich foods the next morning.
He said: “It is common for people to turn to sugary drinks or vegetables as a quick-fix, however these could actually do more to hinder your hangover than heal it, as they may contain the wrong profile of amino acids and sugars.
“Instead, opt for protein-rich red meat and dairy products that will line the stomach and replenish amino acid stores quickly.”
PROFESSOR ROBERT PICKARD’S ‘TIPPLE TOOLKIT’
1. A Meaty Menu – before your big Christmas night out, tuck into a dinner of lean red meat and veggies, such as avocado, asparagus, broccoli and tomatoes. A hangover headache can occur because you don’t have enough oxygen in the blood and lean red meat is great for increasing oxygen levels in the blood flow. Follow this with some fruits of the forest and a prebiotic yogurt for dessert to help line the stomach and decrease alcohol absorption.
2. Hydrate – key to avoiding a dreadful hangover is keeping the body hydrated throughout your party so that less alcohol is absorbed through the stomach. Try alternating your alcoholic drinks with glasses of water or even milk to reduce the alcohol absorption.
3. Refuel – the next morning in order to replace the amino acids that have been removed from your liver, make sure to have a hearty breakfast of eggs and a lunch of steak. The protein in these foods is a source of amino acids for the body to draw on and so it is a great recovery meal to bust any lingering headaches.