Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty Magazine #70





A huge health trap to watch out for during the holiday season is alcohol

consumption. Even if you watch what you eat and sometimes even skip

meals as the year winds up to warp speed, all the celebratory drinks

will add up and eventually take their toll on your weight and your health.

Alcohol is loaded with calories in the form of carbohydrates. One 200ml

glass of white wine contains around 135 calories – that’s the same calorie

count as a bowl of Coco Pops.

Stick to one glass of your chosen tipple at any party (aside from the few

you’ve chosen as your ‘blow-out’ events) and opt for low-calorie drinks

where possible. Choose a diet mixer rather than the full sugar version

and light beer instead of full strength. Avoid drinking sparkling wine on an

empty stomach, as the bubbles encourage the stomach to absorb the

alcohol more quickly.

The morning after

Despite your best efforts, there will inevitably be mornings

during the coming season when you’ll wake a little the

worse for wear. Hangovers are the result of a number of

factors, most commonly lack of sleep, dehydration of the

brain, thiamine (Vitamin B1) depletion and high levels of

intermediate metabolites of alcohol still in the blood.

Thiamine is essential for metabolising carbohydrates

(including alcohol) and for the membrane polarisation and

depolarisation process involved in nerve transmission.

Without sending your brain into a tailspin, here’s what

happens when you drink more than two or three alcoholic

drinks in one sitting. All available thiamine in the body is

diverted away from the brain to metabolise the alcohol as it

is consumed. By-products of the alcohol breakdown, many

of which are toxic in large quantities, float around the body

and enter the brain.

Once the body’s supply of thiamine is exhausted, the

alcohol in the blood is converted to fat. The body draws

water from its tissues, including the brain, in an effort to dilute

xxxx the excess alcohol and the by-products of its breakdown.

The drinker wakes up the following morning with a

pounding headache (the result of a shrivelled-up brain),

nausea, a dry mouth and a few extra fat deposits.

The best plan for cheating a hangover (aside from not

drinking too much in the first place) is two-fold: Firstly,

load up on thiamine before you start drinking. Keep levels

up throughout the night and then replenish your stores

the following morning. The other obvious rule is to stay

hydrated. For every glass of alcohol you drink, add a glass

of water.

Thiamine-rich foods include Vegemite, pork (hence the

classic bacon breakfast cure), brown rice, wholegrain cereals

and beer nuts. It’s also readily available in supplement form

from chemists and health food store. Thiamine is water

soluble so you can’t overdose – any excess will simply be

excreted by the body in your urine.

This takes care of the hangover from the inside. The

outside, however, might take a little more work. Staying

hydrated should help with the problem of dull, dry skin the

following day. If you can manage it, remove your makeup

and apply a rich moisturiser before you go to bed. Keep

some makeup removal wipes and a night cream on your

bedside table, in case a trip to the bathroom to wash your

face is just too much to handle.

The next morning, start your day with a cool shower and

finish up with a blast of icy water on your face. This should

get your circulation flowing and help reduce any puffiness

around the eyes.

If your face still looks like a half-deflated party balloon, lie

down with a cold compress over your eyes. Buy a reusable

gel eye mask and keep it in the fridge ready for beauty

firstaid emergencies. Failing that, soak a face washer in

icy cold water with a dash of elderflower water, lie down

and place it over your whole face. Banish puffy bags and

dark circles with cold slices of raw potato or wet tea bags

straight from the fridge. 31

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