New Year’s Eve is filled with many things. Excitement to wear that new sparkly dress; anticipation over who will be the lucky winner of your midnight kiss; and last but definitely not least: alcohol. Most every New Year’s Eve party comes with a toast of champagne, not to mention an open bar. A typical dietitian’s advice would be to avoid the extra calories and stick to 1 or 2 drinks. But, since this night is usually celebrated for many hours, 1-2 drinks just may not cut it. The next best thing: choose the right type of drink.
Vodka: 68 calories per oz; typical serving size= 1.5 oz; 102 calories per shot
Wine: 20 calories per oz; typical serving size=5 oz; 100 calories per glass
Beer: 12 calories per oz (light beer= 9 calories per oz); typical serving size= 12 oz; 144 calories per bottle (108 for light beer)
Now how about those chasers??
Soda water= no calories
Tomato juice= a few calories
Juice/sweetened mixers/soda/tonic water= lots of calories
*If you’re gunna go for this last category, try to stick to 100% juice. That way, you will at least be getting a great Bang for your Bite (AKA lots of nutrients as opposed to none for the calories you are drinking)
Check out Food and Wine’s guide to champagne. This tells you which bottles to choose, how to get a great bargain, and how to make delicious champagne cocktails, including Champagne Mojitos- yum!
So lets say you end up having more than 1 or 2 drinks tonight, who’s counting? Maybe no one, but tomorrow morning, those achy, nauseous, I-am-never-drinking-again symptoms we like to call the Hangover will definitely know your count. And while there is truly no “hangover cure” except time, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain of the dreaded “morning after.”
Why Have You Done a Good Thing?
Well….you really haven’t, but no worries because being proactive against your hangover is definitely doing your body a good thing. The main culprits for those miserable side effects are dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This is especially what fuels that massive headache. In addition, our bodies break down alcohol about 4 times as quickly as it breaks down glucose (carbohydrates) so drinking actually slows down the metabolism of carbohydrates and electrolytes, leaving you feeling weak and nauseous. The solution therefore is simple, re-hydrate, re-claim your electrolytes, get some carbs in your stomach.
1. Drink water before going to bed and when you wake up.
2. Drink a sports drink like Gatorade, which will replenish your carbs and electrolytes.
3. Settle your stomach with some bland foods (think dry toast, ½ a whole wheat bagel, crackers).
4. Eat a banana: bananas are filled with potassium, a major electrolyte lost during a night of drinking.
5. Take an ibuprofen (rather than aspirin or acetaminophen like Tylenol) to ease your headache. When your body breaks down alcohol, it produces some unfavorable byproducts that lead to inflammation; therefore, a small dose of an over-the-counter pain killer will help fight the inflammation along with easing your head’s pain.
6. And the true cure…Go Back To Bed! Time heals all, from a broken heart to a killer hangover…
Although you are now well-equipped to fight the morning after, it is still a good idea to drink in moderation-(ish). Oh, and drop-it-like-its-hot! Dancing the night away is a great way to get rid of some extra calories. And if you party like a rockstar tonight, there is definitely no judgment!
Happy New Year!!!
--Samantha Jacobs, RD