You’re out having dinner with friends and someone orders another bottle of wine. So, it’s going to one of those nights. Looks like you better make a game plan now, because who knows what tomorrow morning might bring.
There are a lot of well-known cures sworn to eliminate hangovers. Coffee, greasy food, and the hair-of-the-dog are often go-to antidotes for lingering alcohol effects, right? Well, you’ll be disappointed to hear that these quick fixes are just urban legends and they don’t always work as well as you would hope.
The secret to curing a hangover isn’t in fighting it once it’s too late, it is in the valuable practice of prevention. Next time you plan to have that extra cocktail, try one (or all) of these preventative measures to stop a hangover from happening before it begins.
1. Eat a Substantial Meal
It’s never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach – that’s pretty obvious. One common mistake made is what kind of meal to prepare with. A popular method is to opt for something light, like salad, so bloating isn’t an issue after a few beers. This will only leave you hungry and hungover.
The best food for preventing a hangover is a filling meal full of carbs, fat, and protein. Cosmo magazine offers advice from Dr. Jason Burke, MD: “make sure that meal you eat before drinking contains red meat, which has an especially high concentration of amino acids and B vitamins which can help process the nasty byproducts of alcohol.” In other words, that vegan bowl you ordered for dinner isn’t going to help your body metabolize a martini later.
2. Get Your Beauty Sleep
Obviously, you aren’t going to make it if you’re dead tired. Lack of sleep affects your body’s immunities, which inhibits its ability to fight off ailments. Plan ahead and be sure to arm yourself with a good night of rest before your big weekend. A few hours before you go out, take a power nap to make sure you’re at your best. Keep your catnap short to avoid grogginess – twenty minutes is ideal.
3. Take Vitamins
Just like getting a good rest, taking your vitamins will safeguard your immune system when it comes time to fight off the after-effects of a night out. Antioxidants and vitamins are prevention magic. They promote immunity and have anti-inflammatory properties to help reverse the symptoms of drinking too much. Take a multivitamin with dinner, and keep a snack ready for later that’s high in B vitamins and antioxidants. It wouldn’t hurt to pop a vitamin C chewable either.
4. Pace Yourself
Though it’s probably not the advice you want to hear, it can make or break you when it’s time to get up for work or school the next day. College parties, dinners with friends, summer picnics – these all relax you to the point where you might find yourself drinking more than you should.
Try pacing yourself with a sipper drink. If that’s easier said than done, opt for something that you won’t be tempted to drink quickly. Get fancy with a glass of wine or scotch. Fruity drinks are delicious and sweet which can trick you into forgetting that you’re downing a shot of liquor with each drink.
5. Stay Hydrated
One of the most commonly overlooked things during a night on the town is staying hydrated. We literally cannot survive without water. This should be your first priority after every single drink. While water is the obvious and most accessible choice, an even better option is to bring along a few coconut waters or beverages that are high in electrolytes and low in sugar. Coconut water is ideal, as it has the added benefit of potassium and the highest electrolyte levels, but sports drinks like Powerade will suffice; and they can usually be found in any store.
If you can find a sugar-free option, go with that instead of the sweeter alternative. Chances are, the alcohol you’re drinking is already high in sugar content. This will lead to a serious crash and terrible headache during the waking hours. All in all, drink responsibly and use a combination of these methods to avoid your morning-after regrets.
So, the key to remember is to think ahead, because once you feel the ill-effects of the night coming on, it’s too late. All in all, drink responsibly and use a combination of these methods to avoid your morning-after regrets.