Training

How to Survive Christmas Party Season

Party season is officially upon us. Late nights and dinners of canapés, crisps and champagne are about to take your social calendar by storm. But don’t panic. You can still enjoy the festive season without losing all of the fitness you’ve worked so hard to gain. Our experts explain how to survive the festive season – and never miss a run this Christmas – so you’re fighting fit for the start of the New Year….

Before a night out

Eat this

A decent meal that contains some healthy fats. Fat slows down the rate at which food leaves your stomach, therefore slowing down the speed alcohol will be absorbed into your blood. Try something like avocado or salmon. Turmeric, cinnamon, kale, broccoli, beetroot, avocado and lemon all help support the liver so it’s smart to get some of these in before a night out too.

Drink this

Water – at least a pint of it. If you go into the evening well hydrated, your hangover will thank you.

The expert says:

“The main issue over the short term is dehydration. The night before you'll be passing more and more dilute urine, and this leads to dehydration. This is a big part of where hangovers come from and also why alcohol impacts performance,” says nutritionist Drew Price.

At the event

Eat this

Canapés will most likely be making the rounds and you don’t have to abstain from all snacks. In fact, eating may do you some good. Try to avoid anything deep fried or too beige and fit in at least a couple of vegetable options like chopped crudities. Looking for options with a dose of protein such as smoked salmon is also a great choice.

Drink this

You’ve guessed it, more water. Alternating drinks so every other drink is water will do you the world of good. In terms of choosing your poison; the best advice we can give is to pick one and stick to it throughout the evening. Red wine can be a good choice as it contains runner-friendly antioxidants for a healthy heart. And remember sip, no gulping.

The expert says: “Stop drinking as early as you can, to give the body time to metabolise the alcohol before going to bed,” says Price.

Before you go to bed

Eat this

A chicken sandwich. The chicken will help your body metabolise the alcohol. Add some salad to increase the vitamin intake. Or, if you want something light, opt for a simple banana with nut butter to boost your potassium levels and stabilise blood sugar.

Drink this

A pint of water with a pinch of salt in it. As alcohol makes your trips to the bathroom more frequent, you can become slightly depleted of salt.

The expert says: “Whilst the body (mitochondria) is busy breaking down these poisons from alcohol there is an impact on the metabolism of other nutrients, sleep is essential to help the body recover,” says Price.

First thing before a run

Eat this

If you can stomach a banana, now is a good time to eat one. The potassium content will help to replaces your electrolyte stores.

Drink this

Coconut water. This will hydrate you and help top up your electrolytes to stop any headaches creeping in.

The expert says: “Take a standard low strength multi vitamin as a belt and braces measure to stay healthy,” says Price.

After the run

Eat this

Eggs on wholemeal toast. The protein and carbohydrate balance of this meal will help you to recover from the run and the night before. Eggs also contain the amino acid cysteine which helps break down acetaldehyde – the thing that causes hangovers. The toast will also help stabilise your energy levels for the rest of the day.

Drink this

Herbal tea. Try to avoid caffeine, as despite feeling tired, it won’t help your hydration or headache. Herbal teas will hydrate you and opting for something like peppermint will also help ease any stomach problems.

The expert says: “Anything you do is damage limitation, it won’t be 'cancelling out' the issues connected with booze and performance. Try to safeguard your sleep during this time to aid recovery,” says Price .