Festival season is upon us, and with it, a whole lot of boozy lunches. But you can drink and not end up asleep by dinner. Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson and drinks expert Rebecca Seal help you sidestep 4pm wine fuzz.
At 12.30PM – Fuel Up
Eat. A lot. This is the mother of all drinking rules – never start drinking on an empty stomach. “Eating before consuming alcoholic drinks slows down the release of alcohol into your bloodstream, which will prevent you from losing sensibility,” says Anél Kirsten, a dietician at Paarl Dietitians.
Opt for at least 26g of protein (from fish, meat, nuts or lentils) and a poached egg. It contains cysteine to help break down the toxins in alcohol. Stay away from foods with saturated fats, like burgers and pizzas – they’ll line your stomach, but won’t be so forgiving on your waistline.
A milk-thistle capsule is a good idea too – to protect your liver from the imminent onslaught.
At 1PM – Sip Smart
Pick your poison. A full-flavoured beer with less than five per cent alcohol volume will help you drink less, so sip Castle Lite Lime (four percent). As for wine, pick a light white, like Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc Light, which has 9.15 percent alcohol volume.
At 2PM – Hydrate
Booze is a diuretic that flushes water from your cells and suppresses the hormone that helps your body store fluid, so match every glass with the same amount of water. “Having water between drinks is not only a great way to reduce the number of units you’re drinking, it also reduces your kilojoule intake,” says Kirsten. Plus, you’ll stay uber-hydrated. Here’s a tip: “Order a jug of water with mint or cucumber so your drink tastes and looks more fun – it’ll keep you hydrated, regulate your appetite and prevent you from overeating,” says Kotlowitz. And stick to one drink per hour – it takes that long to metabolise one unit.