Many of us enjoy the buzz you get from drinking alcohol, but the incessant hangover you can suffer from the next day often feels like a cruel punishment. It can stop you from carrying out the plans you had for the day and may even prevent you from turning up to work. But if you drink smart you may save yourself from this unwanted headaches and feelings of tiredness. Here are some tips that will guide you through what to do: before your drink; while you drink; and the morning after, that will help you cure a hangover.
Tips to do before you drink:
1. Drink lots of water
In order to wake up feeling fresh the day after you drink, it is important to make sure you are not dehydrated before you start drinking. Drinking alcohol blocks the production of a chemical called vasopressin. This helps our kidneys send water straight to the bladder instead of absorbing water into your body. In fact, drinking alcohol can mean that you expel up to four times as much water as usual. This can lead to dehydration which is the main cause of hangovers headaches and dry mouths. So before you start drinking make it your aim to drink a lot of water; you can drink up to eight glasses a day.
2. Eat greasy food
Food helps to slow the absorption of alcohol. In particular, if you eat a greasy meal before you drink, the fat will line the walls of your stomach. This will help slow down the rate at which the alcohol reaches the blood stream, which means that it takes longer for you to become intoxicated. You can also drink a full glass of milk or a shot of olive oil may help.
Tips to do while you drink:
3. Try not to mix
Different types of alcohol have different chemicals including different levels of congeners. This is why different alcohols have slight different effects. If you drink different alcohols at the same time they can end up mixing badly. By sticking to one type of drink you will minimize your chances of winding up with a thumping headache the next day.
4. Take it slow
It is important to pace yourself when drinking. The NHS recommends that men should not drink more than 3-4 units of booze in one day. For women the recommended amount is 2-3 units. A beer is approximately 2-3 units while a glass of wine is about 1.5 units. It takes approximately 1 hour to break down 1 unit of alcohol and this is why you should not drink too fast. If you drink too fast, you do not give your body time to break down the alcohol and this is when you can start seeing unwanted side effects. If you leave a gap between drinks you allow your body to process the alcohol and this in turn will lessen you chances of getting a hangover.
5. Drink Sprite
In a 2013 study published in the journal Food and Function, Chinese researchers found that drinking caffeine-free soda helps the body better metabolize alcohol. It does this by speeding up a person’s ability to process aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). ALDH is believed to be the cause of hangover symptoms. So drinking fizzy drinks while you drink alcohol will have you ward of a hangover.
6. Keep drinking water
It is well-known that alcohol is a diuretic. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., a consultant at the Mayo Clinic recommends us drinking 16-20 ounces of water before going to bed. He also suggests us ordering a glass of water with every beer we drink to replace fluids we will lose when we drink.
Tips to do the morning after:
7. Get some rest
Getting some sleep will help your body recover. Staying in bed for an extra hour or two will help your body get the rest it needs. You may need to postpone any plans you have for your day. However, if you need to work, you better take an aspirin and show up.
8. Keep drinking water or juice
You still need to keep your body hydrated. Replenishing your body with water or fruit or vegetable juices will help restore your body to its desired equilibrium. One restorative drink is lemon juice added to warm water.
9. Eat toast or cracker
Toast or crackers are a great food to eat if you have been vomiting the night before. Dr. Hall-Flavin says that carbs can help boost your blood sugar levels the morning after.
Under normal circumstances, when your blood sugar levels are low, your liver will kick in and produce more glucose from stored carbs. However, if you have been drinking too much, your liver will focus on metabolizing the alcohol instead. As a result, you will have low blood sugar levels and have feelings of irritability and tiredness.
10. Drink coffee and take an aspirin
In a 2010 study published in the journal PIOS ONE, it was found that caffeine in coffee and the anti-inflammatory ingredients of aspirin reacted against the chemical compound of ethanol (pure alcohol). Ethanol brings on headaches because of the chemical acetate.
However, it is important to be aware that coffee does dehydrate. It will however cause a spike in adrenaline, which will give a false energy boost. Be careful when drinking coffee and taking painkillers at the same time.
11. Take a shower
Taking a cold shower will help to freshen you up and liven your senses. You may also like to try switching between cold and hot water. But be careful when doing so as you may shock your body which could do more damage.
The endorphins release when you exercise to enhance your mood. It will also help to burn off the calories you gain when drinking alcohol. However, make sure that you drink water when exercising so you don’t become more dehydrated. It may take some willpower to get moving but it will surely help make your body and mind feel better.
We have gone through 12 tips that will help you to wake up without the dreaded hangover after a night of drinking. So remember these suggestions when you hit the bar next time.
Featured photo credit: Rinse Daily via rinsedaily.com