If you drink alcohol, you’ve no doubt experienced the dreaded hangover. But drinking does not necessarily have to lead to a hangover, there are several options available to avoid one. Here are eight simple tips you can use to avoid a hangover:
If you are only drinking to keep up with friends or coworkers at a business function, there are many nonalcoholic options available to you. Any soda, mixer or energy drink served over ice with a splash of cranberry or grenadine can pass for a mixed drink and you’ll be at your best to make the best impression. Works well for designated drivers as well. No alcohol = no hangover.
The primary cause of your hangover is dehydration as alcohol is a diuretic and promotes urination greater than the amount of liquid you are drinking. When you are dehydrated, there is literally less volume (water) in your blood and more alcohol. To avoid (or lessen the effects of) a hangover, drink a full 8 ounce glass of water for every alcoholic beverage that you drink. Doing so will keep your body hydrated and help minimize the effects of alcohol to your bloodstream.
Eat BEFORE You Drink
Never drink on an empty stomach as the alcohol will be drawn into your bloodstream very quickly. Eating BEFORE drinking will slow the process as your stomach is digesting food and slows the absorption of alcohol. Foods high in carbohydrates and moderate fats are best at slowing absorption. Eating while you drink is moderately helpful, but eat real food, not salty peanuts and pretzels that are there to make you thirsty and drink more. Eating after you drink is not helpful as the alcohol has already been absorbed and is flowing through your veins. This would be a good time to hydrate – drink more water.
Drink Vodka, White Wine or Light Rum
Clear liquors are your best choice as dark liquors have higher concentrations of congeners, a natural toxin that is formed as alcohol is fermented. Clear alcohol contains fewer or no congeners and may help reduce the negative effects of drinking.
Avoid Sweet Drinks
Sugary drinks made with sweet juices or mixers will be digested and absorbed more rapidly. If you must drink sweet, fruit and umbrella style drinks, ensure that you alternate each one with a non-alcoholic drink (water).
Avoid Mixing Liquors
Mixing different grain alcohols may increase your risk of a hangover. Mixing beer, wine and hard liquors (like shots with your beer) will increase the percentage of alcohol consumed leading to greater levels of intoxication. Mixing liquors may also irritate the lining of your stomach.
Avoid Well Drinks
Well drinks are made with cheap alcohol and cheap alcohol contains more impurities that lead to hangovers. Stick with the good stuff (call or top shelf drinks) and you’ll notice a vast difference the next day.
Drinking alcohol faster than your body can metabolize it puts you at a much greater risk of both intoxication and for a hangover. Slow down, socialize and order snacks and enjoy your night on the town.