After a night of heavy drinking, if you're lucky enough to have found your bed, waking up isn't the most pleasant experience. That throbbing head, the vampiresque fear of daylight, that dry mouth... when celebrating with a drink and good company, we often forget the near future that awaits us. When the words, "I am never drinking again," echo through your head, you'll wish you'd thought of preventing the hangover rather than needing to apply cures. You can always take drastic measures, such as going through a total detox - if you choose to do that, then I strongly recommend the effective Total Wellness Cleanse - but there are times when that's just not possible. In those cases, what do you do?
Here are some tips and ideas on how to keep that hangover to a minimum or (possibly) completely out of the picture:
- Do not drink on an empty stomach. Eat something before you go out or engage in drinking. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream quite quickly; the rate at which this happens depends on the type of food that is in your system. Carbohydrates and foods that contain a high fat percentage slow the absorption down. The ideal situation would be that you eat something small with each drink.
- Try to avoid sweet drinks. Like the famous 'Bacardi Breezer' or heavy liquor (such as vodka) mixed in with fruit juice, the sweet taste masks the taste of alcohol, which easily tricks you into thinking you haven't had as much to drink as you actually have. Also to avoid are carbonated drinks, as carbon dioxide speeds the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.
- Alternate with non-alcoholic drinks. Why do you think the French dine accompanied by a good glass of wine and a big glass of water? The French drink quite alot (wine), but are rarely seen completely hammered. Try to drink water and/or other non-alcoholic drinks in between alcoholic beverages; it will make a big difference in the amount consumed at the end of the night.
- Take your vitamins. After you come home from a night out, take a good multivitamin that contains Vitamin C or pop some Vitamin C tablets. Vitamin C helps your body break the alcohol down.
- Always have water nearby. Ever wake up after a night of drinking and feel absolutely dehydrated? The main ingredient of a hangover is dehydration (which also has a hand in those massive hangover headaches). It would help if before going to sleep, you drink plenty of water, and then keep a bottle next to your bed to drink from at any time you wake. Stay away from coffee or tea; those are diuretics and dehydrate you. For each cup of coffee, you need two cups of water to get back on the same level of hydration.
- Try to eat something before jumping (or crawling) into bed and upon waking up. Here are a couple of options:
- Banana, as it contains B-6 and potassium. B-6 is claimed to be a good hangover killer, and the potassium could use some replacement after a heavy night of drinking. (Your body loses potassium due to the alcohol's diuretic effect.)
- Fruit juice, simply because it rehydrates you, fills your vitamin supply right back up, and energizes you.
Do not eat heavy or fried food; this seems to be a commonly-used remedy, but it will only irritate an already-upset stomach, and considering most fried foods don't contain that many vitamins, I'd say, leave it be. Heavy fried food will just weigh you down, and when it contains salt, will further dehydrate you. What your body needs now are light, healthy foods.
- Get out. You might not feel like it, but get out and take a walk--nothing too strenuous--in the woods or by the sea, somewhere with fresh air and calm; you obviously don't want to plunge into a foggy city with honking traffic.
These tips should help you on your way to a less dreadful morning after. Of course, the best prevention is care. If you wish to prevent a hangover, drink with taste and caution, and most importantly, enjoy your time! It's a lot less fun with your head down the toilet bowl.