Everyone knows the best way to avoid that Sunday hangover is to avoid alcohol all together. But for those situations where you find yourself overindulging ever so slightly, we have the tips and tricks to help avoid waking up with a throbbing headache, dry mouth and just wanting to stay in bed all day.
Try these tricks next time you're planning a night on the tiles!
BEFORE YOU DRINK
- Take those multivitamins: According to Jason Burke, MD, who is an anesthesiologist who has treated over 20,000 (where have you been when I need you) "A big misconception is that hangovers are entirely about dehydration. But the main issues are inflammation and oxidative stress. And it's much easier to prevent a hangover than it is to deal with it the next morning. Antioxidants help mitigate the damage, so pop an extra multivitamin or drink acai or pomegranate juice before you go out."
Load up on the carbs: We know that the last thing you want to do before a night out is to feel bloated and gross, but this can majorly help you with your hangover. Hangover's aren't only to do with what you drink, but what you eat. Make sure you eat something containing carbs, fat and protein before your night out.
Rest: Although this is something that is also a cure for after a hangover, before is also just as important. Sleep prior won't save your hangover but it'll improve your immunity and get your body ready for a night of heavy drinking.
WHILE YOU DRINK
- Skip champagne: The bubbles in champagne may accelerate the absorption of alcohol so you get drunk faster. This can cause major hangovers.
- Grab the Powerade: Instead of drinking water between each glass of alcohol, opt for hydrating drinks such as Powerade or coconut water. They replace your fluids and electrolytes which are what you lose when you drink.
- Skip the cigarettes: Researchers found that when 113 college students documented their alcohol intake, smoking habits and hangover symptoms every day for eight weeks, they discovered that when students drank heavily, smoking majorly increased the severity of a hangover.
- Stick to the clear liquor: Clear liquor has fewer toxins than the dark ones like whiskey and rum.
- Mix with juice not soda: Kovacs another hangover expert explains ""OJ won't help you avoid a hangover—unless you drink it instead of a 14th beer." Fruit and vegetables juices contain vitamins so are always better for you than soda.
- Wash your hands throughout the evening: When you are drinking, your immune system doesn't work so well so if you're exposed to something like the flu you are more likely to become infected and have a major reaction - therefore meaning a longer recovery. Not what you need when fighting a hangover!
- Treat yourself to some expensive drinks: "I only drink high-end gin and vodka," Dr. Burke says. He swears that the top-shelf alcohol is filtered to remove impurities and toxins which can ease your hangover.
- Dance the night away: Distract yourself from the booze and have a wee boogie on the dance floor - therefore making it difficult to be holding a drink in your hands.
BEFORE YOU SLEEP
- Don't overdo it on the water: Although hangovers can happen when your body gets too much bad liquid and not enough water, Kovac says that drinking water by the gallon can put your body under a lot of stress. So when you get home, opt for a glass of water and then have one sitting next to you while you sleep to avoid waking up with dry mouth (no thanks).
- Use a sleeping mask: Getting sleep after a night out is extremely crucial and alcohol often disrupts the second part of your sleep. Use a mask to minimise sleep disruptions and attempt to get the best sleep possible.
- Take some panadol: Dr. Burke says: "If I really overdid it, I take an Advil before I go to sleep and possibly one more multivitamin." Anti-inflammatory drugs directly attacks the inflammation that alcohol causes. But avoid painkillers that contain acetaminophen because these can seriously damage your liver and kidneys.
THE MORNING AFTER
- Do not follow the rules of "the hair of the dog": Experts agree that drinking again while suffering from a hangover is one of the worst things you can do. It only delays a hangover that is worse than the one you have already got.
- Go for eggs: Eggs are the perfect food to eat when suffering from a pounding headache after a night of drinking. They contain cysteine which helps break down the headache causing toxin which comes with consuming alcohol.
- Drink sparking water or Sprite: Researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in China analysed the effects of 57 different drinks on alcohol metabolism and found that Sprite and regular soda water help speed up the body's alcohol metabolism which helps speed up your recovery and gets all those alcohol nasties out of your system.
- Avoid herbal teas: In the same study, they also found that herbal teas make your body process alcohol more slowly, so your hangover can last extra long.