Hangovers don’t have to be the consequence of an amazing night out with your friends. It turns out there are steps you can take to prevent a hangover from ruining your plans the next day.
Before discussing how to avoid the foul reminder of a good night, we need to understand what causes a hangover.
Why do hangovers happen?
Hangovers result from drinking more alcohol than what your liver can process at one time. When you drink alcohol, inflammatory compounds release into your bloodstream and brain. This sudden onset of inflammation is what makes you feel like crap after a night of celebration.
It’s important to note that hangovers don’t discriminate. Anyone who drinks to the level of intoxication is at risk of feeling crummy the next day. For the majority of casual drinkers, experiencing the nasty remnants from the night before is a familiar occurrence. This said, for the few people who’ve ever wondered, “why don’t I get hangovers?” their luck likely lies in genetics.
For the rest of us, it’s crucial we recognize the morning-after effects of alcohol before going over how to prevent a hangover.
There’s a smorgasbord of hangover signs that people experience. We’ve broken up the most common ones into two categories: Physical and Mental.
A headache is the most general symptom that results from an evening of drinking. It can last for several hours and is typically described as a throbbing pain on both sides of the head. Experiencing fatigue or sluggishness is also a common symptom. This feeling of decreased energy can last for an entire 24 hours after your last drink. Lastly, nausea and vomiting are other signs that you overindulged with booze.
Brain fog is the most common mental symptom of a drinking hangover. You know when you wake up after a night of tequila shots, walk to your kitchen, and then realize you completely forget what you’re doing? That’s your foggy brain letting you know it’s gonna be a rough day.
None of these symptoms sound fun, right? So, let’s talk about prevention.
How to prevent a hangover
Is it possible to have a night of chugging one drink after the other without any aftermath of intoxication? Unfortunately, it’s pretty unlikely. There’s no surefire way to stop a hangover from happening altogether. But, some tips can cushion the blow.
Preparing for a night of drinking is easy to do when you follow these pieces of advice.
Everything in moderation
Drinking in moderation is one of the most effective ways to prevent a hangover. The more alcohol you consume, the higher your chances of feeling lousy the next day are. A great tip is to rotate your drinks with a mocktail. Switching off between a shot of rum and a virgin mojito will give your liver more time to process the alcohol. A general rule of thumb is to stick to one boozy beverage per hour.
Hydration is key
An easy way to prevent a hangover is to stay hydrated. Alcohol is a diuretic, so it increases an excess loss of fluids. Drinking a glass of water for every cocktail you have can decrease the effects of alcohol the next morning. In addition to incorporating a glass of water between drinks, you can also use soda water as a mixer for extra hydration.
Eating a good meal before or during drinking helps slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. This is why food is an effective option for lessening a hangover. But, not all foods contribute equally.
Consuming healthy fats like fish, avocados, or nuts is best for preventing a hangover.
Get your Zzz’s
A good night’s sleep is essential to avoiding a hangover. Now, dozing off won’t totally cut the aftereffects of alcohol. But, getting more REM sleep will diminish the severity of symptoms.
Sleep deprivation will only exaggerate how crappy you’ll feel the next day. So, ensuring you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep when you get home from the bar will help your body recover faster.
Choose your alcohol wisely
If you’re wondering if there are types of alcohol that don’t cause hangovers, you’re not alone. Many people have searched the internet for the best alcohol to drink when trying to prevent a hangover.
If there was some magical booze that didn’t cause unpleasant aftereffects, we’d all be drinking it like it was the fountain of youth. But, the truth is all liquor can make you feel pretty crappy the next day. However, some drinks bring worse consequences than others.
Congeners are not your friend
Congeners are compounds in liquor that contribute to the body’s inflammatory response. As a result, they exacerbate hangover symptoms. So, when it comes to drinks high in congeners, we can adhere to Ariana Grande and say, “Thank you, next.”
Alcoholic beverages that contain high levels of congeners are dark liquors. These include bourbon, whiskey, cognac, and red wine.
Keep it clear
While there’s no such thing as the best alcohol for no hangover, clear liquors tend to help avoid a nasty one.
Colorless alcohol contains low levels of congeners. Thus, they can reduce the intensity of morning-after effects. Examples of these friendlier liquors include vodka, rum, gin, and white wine. So, opting for vodka and water over whiskey and coke may help you feel a little better the next day.
The only “cure” for post-drinking effects is preventing a hangover in the first place. Once the hangover sets in, there’s no actual scientific-backed method to getting rid of it.
This said, there are things that alleviate symptoms and things that should be avoided.
It’s cool, I’ll just have another drink at brunch
Referred to as the hair of the dog– getting drunk the next day, or even having one drink isn’t an effective remedy. It’ll either prolong your recovery time or delay the onset of a dreadful hangover.
You should drink more water
Hangover thirst is all too real. This is due to alcohol’s nature to amp up dehydration. Hydrating will help relieve your symptoms. So, instead of ordering a mimosa at brunch the morning after, go for two big glasses of water and drink up!
All good, I’ll just grab a coffee
Eh, think again. Caffeine will only dehydrate you more and make your headache worse. If you’re looking for how not to be hungover, getting your morning cappuccino is not the answer.
You should eat a healthy breakfast
Low blood sugar levels can heighten the aftereffects of intoxication. But, eating a hearty breakfast will help keep your blood sugar levels at bay. As a result, your body will be on track for a faster recovery. Try switching out your coffee for some eggs and bacon!
No sweat, I’ll just pop some Tylenol
Tylenol is paradoxically the most popular medication used to either “cure” or attempt to prevent a hangover. But, if any alcohol is still in your system, Tylenol can have toxic effects on your liver.
You should take Zinc
Zinc has been studied as an effective supplement that helps with hangovers. It can boost the immune system and combat dehydration. If you don’t have zinc supplements, you can get this essential mineral from meat, shellfish, nuts, and eggs.
Here’s the bottom line
The only foolproof way to prevent a hangover is to not drink. And just like the only way to avoid getting in a car accident is to not drive, it’s not always realistic.
Following these prevention tips can help curb the morning-after symptoms of intoxication. So, come on over to The Pourhouse to enjoy our high-quality spirits and avoid a nasty hangover!