Drinking 101: How to Avoid a Hangover
It is inevitable: in college, you will be drinking during one point or another. I know a few lucky souls who claim they “never get hung over”. I think this is an outright lie and physically impossible. But there are some major things to do before, during, and after drinking to make sure you avoid a hangover (as much as you possibly can). We all know there’s nothing worse than sitting in your Politics class at 10 a.m., wanting to vomit all over your Converse sneakers… which you couldn’t even tie this morning… Take a look at our comprehensive guide on how to avoid a hangover:
Before the Night Out:
- Eat a hearty and healthy dinner with protein (meats and/or nuts) and good carbs (whole grains, etc.). Many people think when you drink on an empty stomach you get drunker more easily. This is the case, but having food in your stomach disperses the alcohol throughout the night (instead of all at once) and allows your body to metabolize harmful toxins.
- Take a B complex vitamin to prevent damage to the liver (it helps your body break down the alcohol a bit better).
- Gulp down a spoonful of olive oil. I know it sounds gross, but it coats the stomach with good fats. If you can’t stomach the idea, drink a glass of milk or milk thistle to coat your stomach.
- Drink water!
Try to stick to one type of liquor throughout the entire night (e.g. have only beer all night, or white wine). Hangovers are worse with the type of alcohol consumed. The darker the drink, the worse the hangover! This is due to the congeners in the alcohol.The order of alcohol from lightest to darkest is the following:
Don’t mix your drinks!
- Drink a lot of water (at least 1 glass of water per drink/shot) the best to drink is coconut water, as it gives your body electrolytes.
- Add ice to your drinks.
- Eat peanuts (something salty) to slow down your alcohol absorption. Tip: if you feel like you’re getting way to drunk way too fast, try to swallow a teaspoon of salt.
After (But Before Bed):
- Drink more water (have a bottle waiting for you next to your bed).
- Pop another B complex vitamin.
- Try to eat a banana; it will give your body vitamin C and potassium.
- Drink Gatorade, Vitamin Water, or the best option, Pedialyte (yeah, that stuff for little kids).
- Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
- Do not take a pain killer of any kind (this can insanely damage your liver)!
The Morning After
- Drink a cup of tea (preferably ginger tea) with honey. Honey contains fructose, which helps get the alcohol out of your body faster. The tea gives you the bit of caffeine you need, without harming your stomach (like coffee).
- Drink more water! Water is your friend.
- Eat a hearty breakfast.The best option is eggs and whole grain toast or saltines.The eggs have cysteine, which fights off free radicals in the liver. The nausea and fatigue will be reduced with the complex carbs.
- Drink a glass of orange juice, Pedialyte, vitamin water, or ginger ale if you have an aching stomach.
- Put a cold compress on your head (drench a wash cloth in water then put in the refrigerator for 10 minutes).
- Take another B complex vitamin.
- If you need to take a pain killer the morning after (and only the morning after), your best option is Alka Seltzer (aspirin based). The worst thing you can take is acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) because it goes through your liver.
Still hung over?
- For lunch, have some Chicken Noodle Soup or Tomato Soup, which helps replace salt lost during your wild night out.
- Get to bed early to make up for all that sleep you lost last night to replenish your body and mind.
You can also check these weird hangover cures from around the world, if you want to experiment a little!