Of course the ideal thing is to not drink at all, but come on—most of us like to enjoy a healthy night life from time to time. Some of these tips are scientifically proven and some are simply tried and true.
- If you know you are going to the club and will be drinking throughout the night know what to order. While you may like to sip on a little cognac in the evening at home, it may not be a wise choice for nights you overindulge. Darker liquors are higher in congeners and are known to increase the intensity of your hangover. Liquors high in congeners are brandy, whiskey, red wine, tequila, bourbon and cognac. Go for colorless liquors such as vodka, gin or rum. Vodka being the best choice, as it has very minimal traces of congeners. Also do not overindulge in bubbly drinks, as they are absorbed more quickly.
- What to eat before, during and after. Drinking on an empty stomach gets you drunk quicker. Before you drink is the perfect time to let yourself eat fried and fattening foods. Fatty foods, such a nice big steak, stay in the lining of your stomach much longer than healthier alternatives, so as long as you drink slowly your body will have time to process the alcohol and by products. After you have been out awhile , order an appetizer to split with friends or when you get home have something easy like a bowl of soup before going to bed. The next morning a big breakfast is a must. Alcohol can make your blood sugar low. Some people, prefer a big diner style greasy breakfast, but actually that was better for the night before. Go with some light and healthy comfort foods. Eggs are a good choice because they contain cysteine, which breaks down acetaldehyde, a toxin in your body from drinking the night before. Foods high in potassium are good too, such as potatoes, bananas, leafy greens, sun-dried tomatoes and dried fruits.
- The experts say drink water, and I agree for the most part. A good rule of thumb is a glass of water for every drink you order, but drinking plain water the morning after hurts my head, however it helps tremendously if I have on hand a bottled water that has been frozen overnight and is super cold. If not, I personally prefer lots of Kool Aid, Gatorade and iced coffee. Also ice cold milk, chocolate or plain, which is also high in potassium. Tea, especially ginger tea which is good for the stomach, can be comforting.
- Take it easy. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, in fact, sleep in. Take ibuprofen the night before or the next morning after you eat. Soak in a Jacuzzi or tub, just don’t let the water be too hot and make sure you are feeling better and well hydrated. Reason being is that hot water also dehydrates, which can bring about more dizziness, maybe even causing you to pass out. A cool shower can be refreshing as well. Take the day to relax in bed and watch TV until you are feeling better, and once you are better try to get out of the house. Fresh air and light exercise will help you get a really good night of healing sleep later. I would avoid anything too strenuous, maybe just a light walk or if you still feel horrible, go treat yourself to a massage.
And finally–notice I never said take a “hair of the dog”. I know people swear by it, but I personally think it promotes dependency on alcohol over time.