The good news is, it’s nearly Christmas. That means (hopefully) you’re on the home stretch before you get to lie horizontally on the sofa, watching a comfortingly familiar film and eating whatever you want.
Unfortunately, before then, you’ve got to get through what people like to call “Party Season”.
Party Season is made to look very glamorous in magazines and on television adverts; it features people like Twiggy and Erin O’Connor meeting Mark Owen and Gary Barlow for some festive drinks in a stunning location. In reality, as most of you know, Party Season is Jim from accounts wearing a tie round his head and demanding that the staff at All Bar One allow him to use the table as a stage for his rendition of "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day".
Basically, the cold hard truth is that you’re probably going to spend December feeling hungover and under the weather, desperately looking for something, anything, to make you feel better.
One thing that’s becoming more popular to treat hangovers are vitamin drips – or "drip and chill" as they were called on the increasingly silly Made in Chelsea a few weeks ago. They appeared on the scene in 2013 but, as the supplement industry has grown, so has their popularity.
“We live in a world where people are being told to eat five fruit and veg a day, but with increasing pressure on their time, they’re finding it difficult to look after themselves properly,” says Dr. Dan Robinson, a GP for Push Doctor, explaining that people are turning to things like vitamin drips as “shortcuts” to improve their wellbeing.
There are currently vitamin drips that claim to target any number of different problems, from ageing to low energy, jet lag to hangover. In London, there are even some on offer for skin lightening. Which is beyond depressing.
Unfortunately, according to Dr. Dan, when it comes to hangovers, these vitamin drips aren’t going to do all that much. Although he admits that receiving IV fluids in a medical environment and getting some rest while the drip happens could “technically reduce the duration of a hangover,” the vitamin intake isn't going to help.
“When you receive a large amount of vitamins like this, your body can’t use them all and there’s nowhere to store them, so they’ll be passed out in your urine,” he warns. “You’ll basically be peeing money away!”
“On a more serious note, though,” he continues, “in some cases too much of a single nutrient can pose a genuine health risk. For example, too much vitamin A can be poisonous.”
Surely anyone administering drips must have a medical licence, though, right? Nope. “Most of these drips are done without a doctor present and certainly won’t have been prescribed by a GP,” warns Dr. Dan. “If you read the small print on the websites that sell drip and chill services, you might notice disclaimers telling you that they can’t guarantee their medical information is ‘true, accurate, complete, current or non-misleading! That should really set alarm bells ringing!” In fact, he says, some further serious side-effects include risk of infection from the needle – especially if it’s not been done by a doctor. He also warns of allergic reactions to the content of the drops. “Each clinic is different,” he says. “However, I wouldn’t recommend drip and chill to anyone I cared about.”
With vitamin drips costing upwards of £150, depending on the clinic or service, it’s a huge amount to pay for something doctors don’t recommend. “There are definitely cheaper ways to get your vitamins,” says Dr. Dan. “Why not start with buying an apple?”
Essentially, Dr. Dan’s main takeaway is that vitamin supplements aren’t the magic answer to all our ailments. “There is no substitute for a healthy balanced diet,” he says. “If you find it hard to achieve this, then taking a multivitamin is an option, but it’s not as good as getting these nutrients naturally.”
So sadly kids, it looks like dripping and chilling isn’t your way to a hangover-free December. Instead, you’re probably better off drinking lots of water in between your bevs, and avoiding Jim from accounts like the plague.