Before I get into this, let me be frank: There is no magic bullet cure for a hangover. You’re just going to have to ride it out.
That being said, there’s lots you can do to prevent and alleviate the icky symptoms of a nasty hangover.
My worst hangover symptoms are usually the ones that affect my head and make my introversion exponentially heavier: I’m talking the fuzzy, groggy, moody, anxious, feelings that spread over me like a thick, smoggy haze over a city. Physical symptoms I can usually tolerate more, but the mental ones are the worst.
My Tips and Tricks for Preventing and Alleviating a Hangover
- Drink water.
You knew I was going to say that, right?! We all know this, don’t we, that a hangover is primarily based on just how dehydrated your body is. But all too often we wait until the next day, after we’re dehydrated, to replenish ourselves with water.
When I’m having drinks with friends, I chug a glass of water here and there in between cocktails. Then, before I go to bed, I drink at least 2-3 pints of water. Just chug those babies back. I also drink water throughout the night: every time you wake up, reach for the glass of water by your bedside and take 3-4 big gulps. Just get that water into your belly.
- Just say no to shots.
Draw the line at shots. Don’t do ‘em. Not even one. The difference between a hangover, and a please-kill-me-now hangover can be caused by shots. Make no shots a personal rule.
- Don’t drink sugary drinks.
That whole beer before liquor, never been sicker mantra is lies – all lies. Alcohol is alcohol – it’s all the same chemical formula. It’s the amount of alcohol we drink and the stuff we add to alcohol that makes us sick, primarily the high amount of sugar. If you like cocktails like mojitos or old fashioneds, ask them to be made without the simple syrup. Drink dry wine, not sweet, fruity stuff. Don’t drink gin and tonic, try it with soda (it actually tastes better IMO). NEVER drink coolers. Find ciders that are made only with apples, with no extra sugar added.
- Try going out earlier and coming home earlier.
This might seem fuddy-duddy, but it’s actually nice to go out a bit earlier in the evening. Then you still get a decent night’s sleep and don’t lose your entire day to the hangover. I’m so over this wait at home until 11 pm and then go out.
- Don’t make any big decisions the next day.
Remember: You’re not yourself the next day, so don’t expect too much of yourself. And especially don’t make any big life decisions the day after a night of drinking.
- Find a way to sweat the next day – but not too much.
High intensity exercise will give you a good sweat in a short window. I’d avoid lying in the sun all day or sitting in the sauna – you want to sweat out a bit, but not get yourself even more dehydrated.
- Don’t eat garbage at the end of the night.
Keep a healthy delicious snack at home in case you have the munchies. Your body is already in a state of confusion (“Why are you drinking all this poison!?”) – don’t confuse it more by eating pizza, fast food, or poutine at the end of the night. You’ll be glad you didn’t in the morning.
And as always, drink responsibly! Have fun my friends!