The best hangover cure is to not drink, but let’s face it, that isn’t going to happen at your best friend’s birthday party (at least not after the week you’ve had!).
You always eat a meal before hitting the bars, drink a pint of water before bed, and stay in bed until 11am… so why do you awake with what feels like a drummer violently playing in your head?
Reasons You Get A Hangover
Alcohol naturally removes fluids from the body, and drinking excessively increases your chances of dehydration. It’s the dehydration that causes most of the hangover symptoms.
But the reason for your banging head is because your blood vessels are narrowing in an effort to restore your body’s fluid levels. This restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, causing discomfort and pain.
So that’s a brief synopsis of a hangover, now you’re left wondering how to stop the nasty side-effects of alcohol.
How To Prevent A Hangover
There are plenty of myths about curing a hangover; drinking coffee first thing in the morning (this’ll dehydrate you more) and taking Aspirin (they’re too hard on the stomach and liver) are just a few. All you want is an instant pain-reliever to stop you regretting the night before.
Take multivitamins before you start drinking. Hangovers aren’t just caused by dehydration but inflammation of the blood vessels too. The antioxidants in multivitamins help to prevent the swelling the next day (bingo!).
Eat fatty food. At last an excuse to order a burger! How you metabolise alcohol can determine how bad your hangover is. Eat a meal high in protein before taking your first sip of alcohol. Drinking on an empty stomach is one of the worst things you can do when drinking. Eating after a night out isn’t as beneficial because the toxins have already entered your system.
Beer is full of calories and sugar, but that doesn’t mean you should skip dinner.
Get plenty of shut eye. Sleeping for more than eight hours won’t completely prevent a hangover, but it’ll boost your immune system so it’s ready to fight any illness and pain the next day. Similar to how you should rest when you have a cold, do the same after drinking. Get to bed at a reasonable time and have a longer lie-in than usual to stop you feeling groggy.
Stay hydrated with water. I know, you don’t want to be the boring one at the party, but drinking one glass of water between alcoholic beverages is a proven way to prevent any hangover symptoms.
You lose important magnesium and potassium that your body needs when drinking, so stock up on bananas, yoghurt, whole grains, beans, nuts and leafy greens.
Which Alcohol Causes The Worst Hangover
Remember, the darker the alcohol, the worse the hangover. Stick with clear liquors such as vodka and gin, and avoid red wine, brandy and rum. Alcopops are very high in sugar and create an imbalance of blood sugar levels. So if you drink too many of these, you’ll feel moody and tired the following morning.
Don’t be tempted to choose the cheaper options, but drink the pricier stuff. The more expensive alcohol brands contain less toxins and impurities, so you won’t feel as rough the next day. You may have noticed that you drink less when you buy more expensive drinks, because they’re stronger, and thus you don’t keep on going to the bar for a top up.
Choose one or two clear liquids and stick to only these all night. Your body won’t thank you for mixing drinks. Did you know that drinking through a straw gets you drunk quicker? An interesting concept when you think you’re treating your teeth well.
So there you have it. A few ways to prevent a hangover. Don’t rely on alcohol to have fun and if you can’t resist the buzz it gives you, stop drinking before the night is over so your body has time to recover behind you hit the sack. Drink responsibly. It’s blatant that the drunker you get, the worse your hangover will be, so try not to overdo it!
Start waking up hangover-free!