Even if you’re not a football fan, you can’t possibly have failed to notice that the European Championships are now underway in Poland and Ukraine – coverage of the tournament is all over the TV, radio, and in the newspapers at the moment!
And there will be no escaping Euro 2012 for a while – particularly whilst England are still in! Big football tournaments usually mean an increase in binge drinking – we personally know the pubs around Face Clinic London in Soho are always completely packed out whenever England are playing.
The NHS definition of binge drinking is drinking double the daily unit guidelines for alcohol in one session. In practice, for men, binge drinking would mean drinking more than 8 units of alcohol a day, equivalent to three pints of strong beer, and for women, 6 units of alcohol a day, which is equivalent to two large glasses of wine a day.
As England fans cheer on their heroes in Euro 2012, it’s likely that there are going to be quite a few nasty hangovers this summer. Well according to the stories in the press this week, the latest Hollywood craze to cure them is a ‘party drip’ … and they are becoming more and more popular here in Britain.
A growing number of celebrities, such as Simon Cowell, Cindy Crawford and Geri Halliwell, have apparently been going to private clinics for the intravenous high-dose cocktail of vitamins and nutrients, and it seems they have really taken off here since pop star Rihanna last month tweeted a photo of herself hooked to an IV drip. Taken just hours after the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Ball, it initially sparked fears for her health, but now it’s believed that the 24 year old was merely enjoying a ‘party drip’.
One London beauty clinic quoted in the press this week said they had been fully booked since Rihanna posted her picture, with lots of City boys and girls as well as some run-down ‘yummy mummys’ paying around £225 to have a 250ml bag of solution injected into their arm. (a typical solution contains vitamins B and C, magnesium and calcium).
But are they safe? They’re clearly not available on the NHS, but they’re also not illegal. So I asked Face Clinic London’s Dr Mahmood, himself a NHS GP, what HE thinks of ‘party drips’. Are they an effective hangover cure or just another celebrity fad?
“Intravenous injections of high dose vitamins, minerals and fluids to recover from a night of excess drinking seems like a very expensive way to cure a hangover, and not surprisingly it’s advocated by people who seem to have a lot of money to burn and waste! Whilst there are clear benefits to rehydration with fluids to treat dehydration from alcohol, this can be more practically and cost effectively achieved by drinking fluids orally.”
So Dr Mahmood basically reckons just drinking water is as good for you when it comes to getting over a hangover as having a ‘party drip’. He also warns that the IV drips can be dangerous. “Intravenous drips themselves are not risk free because they can cause infection and injections of vitamins can, in rare cases, cause allergic reactions and anaphylaxis.”, says Dr Mahmood.
Dr Mahmood says there is little evidence that for the mild dehydration experienced by the average binge drinker, ‘party drips’ would give any major benefit over drinking water and taking vitamins orally so it’s unlikely that Face Clinic London would start to offer them as a treatment.
He adds, “We do not dispute that there are clear health benefits from intravenous rehydration in severe dehydration, and some vitamins have been proven to have health benefits. In fact, many of the creams and serums that we sell at Face Clinic London use the principal of hydration to improve the quality and texture of the skin. For example Hyaluronic Acid Creams are able to hold and absorb large amounts of moisture and can hydrate the skin, which not only protects the skin, they also helps to give the skin a plump and youthful appearance.”
“There is also published evidence showing benefits for creams and serums containing Vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant, which when applied to the skin can neutralise the aging and harmful effects of ultraviolet A and B rays and cigarette smoking, they have also been shown to promote the formation of collagen in the skin.”
Binge drinking costs the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds ever year and it also leads to other problems for society such as anti-social behaviour. I asked Dr Mahmood if he was concerned that a so-called hangover quick-fix like a ‘party drip’ would be seen as encouraging binge drinking. He said he doesn’t believe so, simply because it’s not likely to be something the average drinker is going to be able to practically access or afford to have after every big drinking session.
“Realistically, Rihanna is a young woman who likes to party, but she is also is one of the most successful popstars around today who has a busy schedule performing and touring – she wants to be able to party AND be fresh for her fans, so if she thinks a party drip will help her achieve that and she can afford it, why wouldn’t she go for it?!!” he said.
“But for the average person, this is not something that would be affordable or realistically available to them and in rare cases may cause more harm than good.”
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