The older you get the harder it becomes to deal with a hangover, at least for some of us, like myself for example. I certainly am no spring chicken anymore and can’t have five cocktails in a night like back in the first year of university and have no trace of it the next day. And if you are like me, very often even a few glasses of champagne will be reminding you of them the whole next day, making you feel sick, irritable, have a headache, have no energy and killing your day so to speak. I am not much of a drinker myself, but every now and then I do enjoy having a couple of cocktails, yet it seems impossible to avoid the next day punishment over and over again. So I thought maybe I am simply not doing it right? So I did some research around it, learned a few tricks and thought it would be useful to share my findings with you!
Rule #1 Eat A Good Meal BEFORE Drinking!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but more often than not you will start your night out with a drink. Think about it, when in restaurants, they always ask you what you want to drink before they take your food order. Automatically many of us always order wine right away and by the time our meal arrives we are done and ready for the next one. Instead you should begin having alcohol after you’ve eaten a full meal, sticking to water till then.
In fact the more you eat, the more time it will take for the alcohol to affect you, so eat a big meal! This happens because food helps to slow the build up of acetaldehyde in your stomach, and it is the exact substance responsible for causing hangovers.
Moreover, eat something fatty, ideally carbohydrates such as pizza, pasta, bread, as fat also tends to slow your body’s absorption of alcohol, hence prevents hangovers. If you are trying to eat clean and healthy then oily fish such as tuna, salmon or trout are a good alternative.
Rule # 2 Have Some Olive Oil!
Just a thought of having to eat a spoon of olive oil on its down turns your stomach inside out, but many European cultures use this technique for centuries as their anti-hangover go to method. Technically, it is the same principle as eating oily fatty foods before drinking. The fat in olive oil also slows down your body’s absorption of alcohol.
If this method is too gross for you, you can always put a little extra olive oil into your salad, or dip your bread into it. In my culture (Ukrainian) it is recommended to eat a piece of bread with loads of butter on it, the more the merrier!
Rule # 3 Drink A Glass of Milk!
While milk may not be your usual start of a Friday night, you may think about drinking a glass of milk as your before going out ritual. Milk is believed to help stop hangovers as it creates a coat on the stomach lining, which in turn helps to decrease the amount of alcohol that gets into your bloodstream. There is no scientific evidence that this method works, but many use it and swear by it. In the worst case milk is good for your bones and skin and a good source of calcium, so no harm in trying it it!
Rule # 4 Take B Complex or a Multivitamin!
You should already be taking a Multivitamin if you care about your health, but even more so if you are planning a big night out. When you drink alcohol your body ends up using lots of vitamins and nutrients to absorb and metabolize alcohol. Moreover, alcohol tends to destroy your essential B vitamins, depleting your body of them and giving you a hard time next day. You can do a huge favour for your living by stocking up on these vitamins the day of your upcoming drinking outing. Take Complex B vitamins or a Multivitamin for best results.
Vitamin B is also found in liver, meat, milk and cheese, so if you have no vitamins handy then opt out for the options in the menu that contain those types of foods.
Rule # 5 Drink Lots of Water Before, During and After Your Night Out!
Drinking a big glass of water before will lessen the speed of your body becoming dehydrated. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it dehydrates you and makes you urinate more often. Ever wondered why bars and clubs tend to have big bathroom line ups? Dehydration is the major cause of hangover symptoms like feeling sick, thirsty and having a headache. Taking breaks from having cocktails and having water is essential for feeling good the next day. Again, it keeps your system hydrated and makes it easier to restore your water supply for the next day. So drink LOTS of water before, during and after a night out!
Rule # 6 Go for Non-bubbles Vs Bubbles and Be Careful with Champagne!
I don’t like this rule, because champagne is usually my drink of choice on a night out. I love how quickly it uplifts me and goes straight to my head. Well that is precisely the reason why you have to be careful when drinking sparkling wine and Champagne. Multiples studies have shown that the effects of bubbles in alcohol increase the speed of intoxication making your body work harder by absorbing alcohol and leading to worse symptoms of a hangover the next day.
So if you are like me and love champagne, by all means indulge in it, but stick to only one glass. Then toast with a different type of alcohol for the rest of the night. Just have a glass of water in between and take a break to avoid the negative effects of mixing.
Moreover the drinks that believed to be the cleanest and least likely to give you a hangover are clear liquids. So always go for soda or water mix with your cocktail vs a colorful one, such as sugary cranberry juice or even worse coke. Also choose vodka or gin over dark liquors such as cognac, rye or scotch.
Hope this can help you feel good next time. I sure am going to try all these recommendations this upcoming weekend!