It is the season for excess and as such your liver could end up a little worse for wear. While you might be tempted to ring in the festive season with a few drinks, it is important to remember that alcohol can affect your health.

Rather than succumbing to the inevitable next-day hangover and possible permanent damage you could do to your health, use these simple tips to protect your liver and still enjoy the party season.

Drink slowly

Your liver can only cope with around one drink every hour. Drinking more than this results in the alcohol creating a toxic backlog that affects the rest of your body until your liver can get around to dealing with it. Not only does this result in a hangover, but it can actually damage your liver.

Pacing yourself and making your drink last for a while can help your liver keep up with processing any alcohol intake. This will help in the long-run and also help you feel fresh as a daisy the next day.

Stay hydrated

It is important to drink water alongside any alcoholic beverage as your body doesn't work to retain water when there is alcohol in your system. Not drinking water means you'll start suffering from dehydration, which can cause very uncomfortable headaches.

Only water works to reduce dehydration, so it is important to ensure you are drinking it throughout the night and that you have more before bed to help flush any toxins out of your system. Not only can this help reduce your toxic load, it can also leave you feeling much better in the morning.

Avoid sugary drinks

Mixing alcohol with sugar means that your liver has to work extra hard. While the sugar may make drinks taste nice and give you a small sugar high, the liver has to work twice as hard to work through the alcohol and sugar content.

Elevated levels of sugar in your alcoholic drinks can also result in a sugar high and, as with all sugar highs, it will only be temporary. This means that as the levels of sugar in your blood reduce over night, you can be left feeling dizzy and sick the next morning.

Choosing spirits with soda water is a cleaner alternative and will help your liver and your hangover.

Take milk thistle

Milk thistle is a great way to protect your liver from the damage that alcohol can do to it. It strengthens the outer membranes of cells in the liver, which helps them to withstand alcohol. It also helps your liver break down alcohol at an increased rate, meaning that any toxic backlog in your body is reduced. Milk thistle also helps you to feel a lot healthier the next day allowing you to enjoy a guilt free night.  

Stay alcohol free

Celebrating during the festive season doesn't have to go hand-in-hand with alcohol. You are still able to have a good night without a tipple. In fact you might find that you enjoy the night more if you stay sober as you are better able to talk to your friends and family and soak up the atmosphere. You'll also be doing no damage to your liver so it is all-in-all a healthier alternative.