Christmas and the New Year are a time for celebration - and this usually involves alcohol.

The work's  do, nights out with friends, the corks popping on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, even an evening tipple in front of the television - alcohol plays a big part in the festive season.

If you're not careful though all that temptation can take its toll - in particular your body could become dehydrated leaving you feeling fatigued and under the weather. In fact, dehydration is the main reason why you will find yourself suffering from a hangover.

Why does alcohol cause dehydration?

Alcohol is a diuretic so it acts to remove water from the body, which results in more frequent trips to the toilet. Obviously the more alcohol consumed the greater this effect is. This is not so much of a problem if that fluid is replaced, which is why also drinking water during a night out is so important.

Think of the hangover - that raging headache is your body telling you that you are dehydrated.

Forget supplements, colour coding drinks and co-ordinating "the grape and the grain", the solution is simple - alternate each drink with a glass of water. At the very least sip water throughout the evening and have a glass of water before going to bed to lessen the effects of dehydration.

Topping up with water will help to counteract the diuretic effect of the alcohol and keep your body hydrated.

Why water?

Water is easy to drink, free from calories and is also the healthiest, most effective way to avoid dehydration.

Non-alcoholic fizzy drinks will not have the same effect, despite your best intentions. As the NHS points out fizzy drinks increase the rate at which alcohol is absorbed by the body making you more intoxicated, so sticking to filtered water is the best option.

Should the occasion get the better of you and a hangover greet you the morning after, filtered water will once again be your best friend and will help to rehydrate your body.

When enjoying the festive season make sure to always have a glass of filtered water at hand to keep hangovers at bay.

Daniel Berko