Drinking is an enjoyable experience, which, sadly, is marred by the hangover the next day. It seems that the price you have to pay for the fun and party you had the night before, is by waking up to a terrible morning with a splitting headache. There are many home remedies for a hangover (most of which don’t work), but the simple step of choosing the right alcohol may prevent you from having to wake up with a hangover. There are some things you may want to keep in mind before going on a drinking binge, and choosing the right alcohol may help you avoid that nasty headache tomorrow morning.
- Know your limits. When you start getting that pleasant feeling of slight inebriation that means alcohol has already leeched into your system, you might want to consider cutting back on drinking. The number of alcoholic beverages it takes to reach intoxication differs from person to person, so you have to know your own personal limits. Most people should limit their drinks to three in two hours, and no more than five a night. Women and people of Asian descent should consider drinking less, because they have lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down alcohol.
- Keep your drinks light. The lower the alcoholic content of your drink, the less drunk (and consequently, less hung over) you will get. If you don’t aim to get wasted beyond recognition, you can choose drinks like beer or wine. Remember, the hang over comes from your body’s inability to metabolize the excess alcohol in your system – minimizing this lessens the chance of you getting a hangover.
- If going hard, keep it light. If you still insist on choosing to drink hard liquor, remember that the more congeners in your drink, the worse your hangover the next day. Congeners are chemicals formed in the fermentation process, and a simple rule to follow is that the darker the drink, the more congeners it will have. Clear drinks like gin and vodka have the least congeners, while darker drinks like bourbon, scotch, and whiskey have the most.
- Don’t mix alcohols. If you’ve started the night with one alcohol, stick to your choice. Mixing different drinks together will give you a great night, but a horrible hangover the next day. If you insist on drinking more than one type of alcohol, remember this rhyme: “Liquor before beer, never fear. Beer before liquor, never sicker.”
- Keep hydrated. A big contributor to the hangover is your body’s dehydration (alcohol is a diuretic). Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking water or any other non-alcoholic beverage between drinks. Eating greasy foods may help by coating your stomach and slowing the absorption of alcohol. Try not to drink on an empty stomach.
The best drink is still no drink at all. This is the sad truth that you have to face. Alcohol leads to hangovers. This is because your body’s metabolism can’t keep up with having too much alcohol in your system, leading to the awful feeling you wake up to in the morning.