There are pros and cons associated with drinking alcohol. One of the most annoying parts of drinking for most people is the potential hangover the next morning. Hangovers typically strike once the alcohol is out of your system and they include plenty of annoying symptoms, such as fatigue, dizziness, thirst, headache, loss of appetite, and nausea. A simple search is all it takes to find plenty of so-called cures for hangovers, but most don’t have any research to support them. There are, however, several strategies that consistently tend to get positive results, helping you to prevent a hangover.
How to Prevent a Hangover
Soak up the Alcohol
Eating something right before drinking a moderate to heavy amount is sometimes known as soakage. This can dramatically reduce the effects of your hangover and eating more food will maximize the amount of time it takes for the alcohol to have an impact. Food reduces acetaldehyde formation in the stomach and since this is the major cause of hangovers, you reap the benefits. The best options to prevent hangovers are fatty foods with carbs like pasta and pizza. You can also pick oily fish with healthy fatty acids.
Take B Vitamins
Alcohol destroys the essential B vitamins in your body and makes your body use plenty of nutrients and vitamins while metabolizing alcohol. Your body finds it harder to recover from alcohol without vitamins, leading to a hangover. Try to counteract this issue and learn how to prevent a hangover by taking vitamin supplements with vitamin B6, B12, or B complex before drinking.
Have a Spoonful of Olive Oil
Plenty of cultures say that having a spoonful of olive oil before you drink alcohol will prevent hangovers. It works the same way that eating fatty foods do. The fat within the oil limits the body’s ability to absorb alcohol. If you don’t want to drink a spoonful of olive oil directly, try having it on bread or a salad.
Many people say milk prevents hangovers by coating the stomach lining and therefore reducing the quantity of alcohol that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. There isn’t much scientific evidence for this method yet, but many people say it works. Even if it doesn’t, you still get B vitamins and calcium.
Avoid Mixing Drinks
Anyone who drinks frequently will tell you that you are much more likely to get a hangover if you mix drinks. That is because each alcohol has its own additives and flavorings along with other ingredients. When combined, your body has to process all of these things at once. Cocktails with more than one type of alcohol are especially problematic. Try to choose your favorite type of alcohol and stick to it.
Keep It Light
Lighter alcohols will have fewer congeners, a toxin that is created while alcohol is fermented and distilled. The toxins can make your hangover worse, so avoid dark liquors such as bourbon, certain tequilas, whiskey, and brandy.
Go One for One
Because alcohol is a diuretic, it increases your need to urinate, leading to dehydration. Dehydration in turn leads to most of the hangover symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and thirst. Because of this, one of the best ways of how to prevent a hangover is to drink plenty of water while drinking alcohol. Start the night off right with a glass of water. During the night, drink a full glass of water per alcoholic drink. This will help your body deal with the alcohol, prevent dehydration, and even slow down your consumption.
Avoid Diet Mixers
Choosing diet mixers like diet cola or diet lemonade gives you a drink without calories or sugar. While this is good for diets, it is bad for hangovers. The alcohol enters your bloodstream directly. Instead, stick to regular mixers so your system has at least a few calories. The best option will be fruit juice since it is not carbonated and has some vitamins. Carbonated beverages increase alcohol absorption speed.
Skip the Bubbles
Sparkling wine and champagne have built a reputation for going directly to your head. The bubbles increase alcohol’s deliver through your system, leading to getting drunk more quickly. If you need to have some bubbly champagne or wine, try to limit yourself to one glass before switching to something else.
Stick to Your Limits
You need to recognize that drinking too much will always lead to a hangover since this is how your body clears toxins from your body. Everyone will have their own limit past which they can’t prevent a hangover. Typically, try not to have over five drinks a night or three within one or two hours. You should also try to figure out which alcohol affects you the worst and avoid it.
A free way of how to prevent a hangover is to drink an entire glass of water before going to sleep. This helps prevent dehydration, which we already determined is the main culprit behind hangovers. Have another big glass in the morning and you may also consider energy drinks. Don’t drink caffeine in the morning since it is dehydrating.
Eat a Hearty Breakfast
Make a hearty, moderate breakfast in the morning to boost energy and settle your stomach. Toast can soak up alcohol still in your stomach and eggs help replenish vitamins and protein. Fresh fruit also helps because of their vitamin and water content.
Get Enough Sleep
Don’t hesitate to take a nap so you don’t have to deal with the consequences while your body works to metabolize the alcohol.
Ibuprofen or aspirin can relieve headaches, but only take them in the morning when there isn’t alcohol in your system anymore. Never take pills with acetaminophen if there is alcohol in your body.
Try "Hair of the Dog"
Hair of the dog refers to taking care of a hangover with more alcohol. Consider a Bloody Mary for temporary side effects. Just remember that your body will have to process more alcohol and recovery will take longer overall.
Get Some Fresh Air
Oxygen helps boost the rate at which toxins in alcohol are broken down so go outside. Exercising can even release endorphins to help with your mood after the hangover.