No matter how much you enjoy a big night out, one thing we can all agree on is that hangovers are rarely a great experience the next day. One phrase we’ve heard used and always stuck with us is that hangovers are effectively borrowing happiness from tomorrow. It makes sense, as you definitely feel like you’re paying something back the following morning!
If you don’t want to cut down too much on the drink, but don’t want those happiness repayments to be quite as high the following day, these 10 tips will help you to plan out your sessions in a way that should make the next day quite a bit more manageable.
1. Ensure You Never Drink on an Empty Stomach
The cardinal sin of drinking, unless you plan to sleep through the entirety of the following day, is never to do so on an empty stomach. It appears elsewhere on the site too, in features that don’t deal with hangovers specifically. Essentially, if you don’t want to get out of control, and don’t want to feel terrible on the following day either, you should go out of your way to eat some kind of meal beforehand.
Ideally, you’ll eat as usual throughout the day and potentially bring your main meal forward if it interferes with the timing of the party or night out. The food will slow down the metabolisation of the alcohol. At the time, that means you don’t feel as drunk as quickly. In hangover terms, it means the alcohol doesn’t get a chance to do as much damage as it potentially might.
2. Avoid Mixing Drinks
The chances are you have a favourite drink, and it makes a lot of sense to start and finish on the same one. You’ll know better than we do which drinks you have the most tolerance for, so we’re not going to suggest a specific drink. Instead, we’d encourage all our readers to focus on a single drink. If you’ve mixed them in the past, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about when it comes to the horrendous headache the following day!
3. Clearer Drinks Tend To Work Better
Again, your personal experience probably has you nodding your head for this tip. Typically, clear drinks result in reduced hangovers. There’s also the critical fact that they tend to be lower in calories too if you’re after side benefits. Go for light beers over dark ones, white wine over red and vodka over whisky, as long as you won’t miss out on your favourite drink in the process.
4. Cut Down to Singles If You’re On the Spirits
Okay, we know that this tip might sound like ‘drink less’ which is obvious, even by our standards. However, it’s easy to lose track of what you order as the night progresses. It, therefore, makes a lot of sense to commit to singles all night. As with the food tip, it means you stay less drunk for longer, while also ensuring that you don’t have a massive price to pay the next day.
5. Give Non-Alcoholic Drinks their Time to Shine
Its often not until the end of the night when you can’t physically stomach more alcohol that you turn to the soft drinks. However, if your priority is avoiding hangovers, they should make an appearance much earlier. Most people say to alternate between an alcoholic beverage and either water or a soft drink. If you can do that, you’ve done well. It doesn’t always work out that way. In those cases, just try to remember to have one occasionally, or consider setting a reminder in your phone.
6. Ensure You’re Not Taking Anything that Interferes with Alcohol
Even something as simple as ibuprofen or paracetamol can react negatively with alcohol, making hangovers worse than they need to be. If you’re on any medication, ensure you’re clued in on any side-effects that alcohol can cause. Once again, we’re not here to tell you to drink less, but if you’re setting yourself up for hangover failure by drinking, it might be best to put it off until another time.
7. Refuse the Idea of Sleeping Through It
When hangovers are at their worst, it can be tempting to sleep through it. However, your metabolism performs noticeably more slowly while you’re asleep. In effect, by sleeping through, you’re just putting off the results and you’ll still feel groggy, even if you rise in the afternoon. Hopefully, the hangover won’t be too bad if you’ve followed these tips, so it’s often better to get up and power through.
8. Try to Remember to Have Something to Eat Right Before Bed
Eating ahead of drinking is always a great idea, but even if you missed that part, all is not lost. A pint of water and a snack can do wonders for your mood the following day, as it’s something else for your body to use in the fight against the effects of the alcohol on your body.
9. Treat Yourself to Something Stodgy
We all know the cravings that often accompany hangovers, and there’s nothing wrong with giving in to them. Your body generally knows what it wants, and if you have a craving, the chances are that your organs will make full use of being satisfied to speed along the recovery process. Even if it means going against a diet or meal plan, a one-off won’t do too much damage and can make you feel worlds better.
10. Water is Your Best Friend for a Few Hours
The effects of alcohol manifest primarily through dehydration, and there’s an obvious solution to that. Take on as much fluid as you can, as soon as possible. The more water your body has to work with, the quicker you’ll start to feel better. Sports drinks are always a good choice too, as the electrolytes lost through exercise could also do with a top-up after a heavy night of drinking.