The most sure-fire way to avoid a hangover is to simply avoid drinking. But we know that’s not why you’re here.
You want to have a fun Friday night out, minus waking up with headaches and nausea galore the following morning. Or maybe it’s that troublesome day of the week so you really need a double gin and tonic, despite having a 9 AM start the next day. We don’t judge here.
It’s always better to nip a hangover in the bud. We don’t want you to obsessively google ‘how to cure a hangover’ first thing in the morning, with your eyes half-closed and a violent migraine. But don’t worry, even if that happens, we’ve got you covered as well.
Here’s our hangover prevention guide that’s guaranteed to save your morning-after.
Before you start sipping on alcohol
In all honesty, the basic before-you-go-out routine consists of choosing your outfit and taking the infamous mirror selfie. As a matter of fact, you should also prepare your body to be on anti-hangover patrol.
Here are a few hangover prevention precautions to take before your night kicks off.
1. Load up on fatty foods
While it’s not the standard health advice you’d get from your nutritionist, this prevention tactic actually works.
Loading your stomach up on fatty food will slow down your body’s absorption of alcohol. That cheeseburger you’ve been craving for a while might not seem like such a bad idea before gulping an outrageous amount of vodka.
Eating savory cheat meals to avoid a nasty hangover sounds like a win-win situation.
But you don’t just have to go straight for junk food. Alternatives made of healthy fats, such as almonds, avocados and walnuts, can also be part of your hangover prevention feast.
2. Add a side of water-rich fruits and veg
Water-rich fruits, such as tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers dilute the alcohol thanks to their water content.
A salad containing a lot of veggies is a pretty good addition to your pre-drinking meal.
It’s generally recommended that you don’t drink 15 minutes after your meal – at least. If you drink at the very start of your meal, alcohol will still be absorbed instantly by your stomach.
While you’re drinking
There’s still a chance to rescue yourself from a day of brain fog if you’ve decided to go ahead with your boozy plans.
We support that, so we’ve rounded up a few hangover prevention drinking techniques to live by.
3. Forget about the bubbly
If you’re looking to pop a bottle to celebrate, you might be bringing on a more intense hangover the next morning. Apparently, carbonation can make you drunker, which consequently drags on a worse hangover later on.
The carbon dioxide in drinks like Prosecco and Champagne makes it easier for alcohol to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Sparkling wine and highly-carbonated cocktails are also bad news.
4. Avoid dark alcohols
Dark alcohols contain high amounts of compounds called congeners which are linked to the level of your hangover’s unbearability.
Congeners give certain drinks color and taste. While all types of alcohol contain these by-products, dark alcohols like red wine, dark rum, whiskey and others have a higher concentration of them.
The chemicals can trigger inflammatory reactions that have been found to be linked with hangover symptoms.
It’s wiser to steer clear of these less filtered drinks and opt for something lighter in color. Gin, anyone?
5. Drink less than your usual amount
This hangover prevention tip is more common sense than drinking advice. It’s no secret that the more you drink, the worse your hangover will probably be.
This probably explains why whenever you blackout, the following day is a brutal challenge.
There’s no infallible calculation as to how many drinks you’re allowed to have before you’ve set your hangover in stone. But studies have estimated that a blood alcohol content of 0.1 is enough to make you feel dreadful the following morning.
In the drinking dictionary, this amounts from five to seven cocktails during a four to six-hour period of time for men, and three to five drinks for women.
But tolerances, body types and drinking habits differ from one person to another. So these numbers are not one-size-fits-all. The easiest way to put this is that you’ll have to document how much you’re drinking. If you want to guarantee a hangover-free morning, stick to your limits.
While hangovers can be triggered by various factors for each drinker, these hangover prevention tips are guaranteed to at least relieve you of some tiresome pains the next morning.
Your headache-free brain will thank you.