We all know the best way not to get a hangover is to not drink too much. But, well, things happen.
However, other than abstinence, there are ways you can prevent next day regrets:
1) Stay hydrated. No, sorry, this doesn’t mean more liquor. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, have a glass of water as well. Remember, alcohol acts as a diuretic (makes you pee) and the major cause of hangover headaches is dehydration. Avoid juice and carbonation.
2) Eat something! You need to consume food before and while drinking alcohol. Your body doesn’t just need water, it needs nutrition (vitamins and minerals) to keep your electrolytes and blood sugar in balance. Gatorade will help, but food is better. Try some almonds. According to Native American lore, these help prevent intoxication. Many people also find dairy products helpful.
If it’s too late, and you’ve already over-indulged, the same rules as above apply, but you probably need a little more help. Try these as well:
1.) Bananas. Potassium loss (from urination) is one of your biggest enemies. Bananas have tons of potassium, and are nice to a queasy stomach.
2.) Wasabi is claimed to have detoxification properties. You can eat it, or even dissolve some in your bath!
3.) Ginger. Known for ages for it’s stomach-settling properties. Try ginger ale, or to avoid the sugar have ginger tea with honey and lemon. This contains the fluids and nutrients your body requires to help get back on it’s feet. You can drink as much of this as you want, no bad side effects. Should perk you right up.
4.) Lemon or Lime juice. These also contain blood sugar stabilizers and vitamins. If it’s too tart to drink plain, mix with some honey, or try it in your tea (preferably green tea, herbal, or decaf).
5.) Toast with butter and honey (or jam). Again, it’s easy to eat on a whirly stomach, and has some of the vital carbs and micro-nutrients you need to get your system back in balance.
6.) Coca Cola. Many people find that this soda helps settle their stomach. The carbonation will allow you to “burp out” some of the bloated feeling (kind of like Alka Seltzter), the small amount of caffeine acts as a vasoconstrictor which may help with a headache, and you may need some sugar to bring your blood levels back up. However, one is enough. Too much sugar will cause a rebound effect and you’ll end up feeling worse.
7.) Protein Shakes. You may not feel like eating, but you need to get something into your stomach, and these usually contain a good mix of vitamins, carbs and proteins, and will also help fill your liquid deficit.
8.) Milk Thistle. This will not sober you up or cure your hangover, but it does have a reputation for helping to detox the liver, and undo some of the damage inflicted the previous evening.
9.) Nux Vomica a naturo-pathic herbal hangover remedy available in vitamin and health stores. Awful name, good stuff.
Things to avoid:
1) Coffee. No, you DON’T need the 2nd cup. A little caffeine may help with a headache, too much acts as a diuretic, and puts you back in the hole. Drink water, tea, a protein shake or a sports drink instead.
2) Hair of the dog. No, this will not help in any way shape or form. Sorry!
3) Sugar. You want only a little bit to bring your levels back to normal. Don’t go crazy with donuts, pastries, or other simple carbs, you’ll get a big crash later on leaving you worse off than before. Try a whole wheat or multi grain bagel instead, and have some protein with it, like eggs or cheese.
This is anecdotal advice, not medical advice, so I can’t guarantee it will work for you, but you lose nothing by trying (except a nasty headache, and a visit to your personal church to worship the porcelain God).
HAVE A GREAT TIME, AND PLEASE DON’T DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!