What’s the only thing worse than a hangover? A hangover that wasn’t worth it…
We’ve all been there: every inch you move causes a wave of sickness, your head’s banging, everything aches and you’re exhausted. And then there’s the beer fear. And the emptied bank account. And the messages you shouldn’t have sent.
You’re never drinking again- until Friday, anyway.
It’s an inevitable cycle, so one you might as well learn how to make a bit easier for yourself when it does happen. There’s no secret answer to preventing all future hangovers (we wish)- you are poisoning your body after all- but, there are things you can do to ease them.
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As they say- fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Like anything else it’s easier to prevent than to treat- and with hangovers you really can help yourself, so why wouldn’t you.
The obvious advice would be to take up sobriety or limit your intake, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, get in to the habit of doing the following things and hopefully you’ll keep the weekly deathly hangovers at bay…
For once in your life- a burger is better for you than a salad. Lining your stomach is a real thing- as much as you want to avoid the dreaded bloat, you should stock up before a big night. The amount you question life the next day depends not only on how much you drank, but how you metabolise it.
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And a lot of that rests on how much you eat. A good pre- night out meal contains carbs, proteins and fats (so anything that tastes nice really). If we’re getting specific, red meat is especially high in amino acids that help break down the hangover- causing byproducts of alcohol.
Have that nap. A pre- night out nap is sometimes needed for that extra boost before a big night. Being well- rested won’t prevent a hangover but a lack of sleep is one of the biggest factors in dramatising a hangover (those ones where you physically can’t move).
Swerve the champagne. In fact, any bubbly alcoholic drink will accelerate the absorption of the alcohol. That’s why it will take most of us an embarrassingly small amount of bubbly to get us on the dance floor AND the hangover is particularly bad. Who’s noticed that?
Skip the cigs. Try not to mix one bad habit with another. Binge drinking and chain smoking won’t do your hangover any good- it’s proven. A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found college students to suffer more the next day after a night of drinking when they had also smoked along with it.
The clearer the better. Not only are clearer spirits like vodka and gin less calorific, they actually help ease the hangover when not mixed (that doesn’t mean you’ll be let off Scot-free if you spend all night shotting). But, in general, vodka and gin have less toxins and impurities than the darker spirits like rum and whiskey.
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Gin and juice is the way. Mixing your spirits with flat juices does your hangover a favour, over mixing it with fizzy mixers. OJ and AJ won’t prevent a hangover (if only) but the extra vitamins in fruit juices will do you more favours than fizzy pops.
An odd one- but, wash your hands well. Alcohol weakens your immune system, so if you’re out and about and exposed to the flu or any other nasties, you’re more likely to become infected when under the influence. And what’s one thing you absolutely don’t need when fighting off a hangover? The flu.
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Splurging on the alcohol, will save on your hangover. Opting for more high-end spirits might be taxing on the old purse strings, but you’ll be thanking yourself the next day. As the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for’, and it seems the saying might have originated in the drink aisle.
The more expensive, top-shelf stuff is filtered the most to remove more impurities and toxins, as well as the psychological affect of nursing your drink for longer when it cost an arm and a leg.
Get on the dance floor. Not only are you burning some of them cals that you’re drinking, but it’s harder to hold a drink when you’re throwing shapes on the dance floor. But, be careful to have a water at hand to rehydrate when the inevitable happens and you break a sweat.
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Hair of the dog isn’t a thing and should be avoided at all costs. It only delays the inevitable of an even heftier hangover.
How do you like your eggs when hungover? Hopefully poached- there’s less chance of it upsetting your stomach with heavy grease. Eggs are a great source of cysteine, which helps to break down the headache- causing toxin produced when you’re digesting the alcohol.
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Sprite is your best friend. Researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University found the Chinese version of Sprite, as well as regular soda water, to speed up the body’s metabolism of alcohol. Quicker metabolism means less time exposed to the nasty chemicals produced when alcohol’s digested.
Flush your herbal tea down the toilet. They might make you feel the epitome of health throughout the week, but when trying to swerve a hangover, they actually prolong them.