Hangovers are undoubtedly one of the absolute worst parts about drinking. Let’s get real—no one agrees to a night out thinking about the discomfort that might follow the next morning. That throbbing head, sensitivity to light, nausea, fatigue, dizziness—a bad hangover can leave you out for the count for a whole day.
Whether you have something important to do the next morning or you simply don’t want to go through the unpleasantness of a hangover, you might look to different remedies or ways to avoid getting a hangover altogether. Let’s take a look at one tried-and-true solution, and then some other popular remedies (that might or might not have an effect at all).
Here’s how to avoid a hangover:
Drink in moderation—or not at all
This is definitely not the solution many want to hear, but it’s also the only solution that has been proven to work. The truth is, if you don’t drink at all, there’s no way you can get a hangover! Even if you do imbibe, the less you drink, the less awful your hangover will be in the morning (if you get one at all).
Of course, most of us aren’t not going to cut all drinking, parties and nights out altogether to avoid a headache here and there. There are some other methods to try, too. Let’s see which ones actually help.
Eat something before, eat something after
This is one we’ve heard before and, luckily enough, it does help you avoid a hangover in a few ways! Drinking on an empty stomach spikes your blood alcohol levels faster and higher. Without any food or water in your stomach, the alcohol you drink gets to your liver right away. Having something hearty to eat before you go out puts a buffer between the alcohol and your liver and can help your alcohol levels rise slower and less dramatically.
Eating and drinking water throughout your night out can also help keep your blood alcohol levels down.
Most of the uncomfortable symptoms of a hangover are actually caused by an imbalance in blood sugar levels. Eating after the night out (for example, a hearty breakfast) can also help diminish some of the effects that might bring you down.
Drink Lots of Water
Hangovers can be caused due to dehydration, so the easiest way to avoid a hangover is to drink more water throughout the evening. A good rule of thumb is that for every drink you have, you have an 8oz glass of water afterwards. And, after you come home from a night of drinking, have a glass of water before you go to bed. You may end up having to go to the bathroom a lot, but it’s a lot better than having a hangover the next morning!
Look for “clarity”
Ever heard that one? While sticking to clear liquors won’t relieve you of hangover symptoms, it actually might be able to lessen some of them. During the fermentation process, toxic chemicals called congeners are naturally produced. These congeners, especially methanol, are suspected to cause more intense hangovers. Generally speaking, congeners are more common in darker colored liquors, such as cognac and whiskey. That said, this rule of thumb isn’t always right. Tequila, for example, is also high in congeners and isn’t always dark in color.
Sticking to clearer liquors might help you have a less terrible hangover sometimes, but only if you compare it to having had the same amount of dark liquor. If you drink a lot of clear liquor, you’re still going to have a bad hangover, unfortunately.
Get some sleep
This is another one that won’t actually solve your hangover, but it will help with some of the symptoms. Fatigue is often part of a bad hangover, and to an extent it’s due to sleep being bit tougher to get “deep” into while under the influence. Making sure you have plenty of time reserved to sleep and get some rest can help you feel better the next day. If you have to wake up early for whatever reason, a night out without a disruptive hangover might be a problem.
The only true way to completely avoid a hangover is to not drink at all or to only drink a little. Nonetheless, applying these tips and remedies, you might be able to get through the night and the following morning with a slightly duller headache. Now that you know how to avoid a hangover, you’ll be able to enjoy drinking without worrying about being sick the next day.