When I was younger I didn’t know what a hangover was – if anything, after a night of mischief and mayhem, I was still intoxicated when I rolled out of bed and I usually went about my day without any issues. As I’ve gotten a little older, my body doesn’t agree with alcohol as much as it used to and I have learned to honor it by adopting the philosophy of moderation.
I have calmed my ways – I have a child, I have work and contracts to fulfill and responsibilities. All in all, I feel I have a pretty good balance going on… but there are times when a person regresses into their old ways and decide to throw caution to the wind. Maybe your sister comes into town after not seeing her for a year, or it’s New Year’s and a few Long Island Iced Teas sound fabulous. Whatever excuse you have to drink the night (or day) away, it sometimes happens that after “celebrating” for a night, a person wakes up in agony and wants to punch the sun in the face. It happens to the best of us. So what can we do to AVOID a hangover? What should we stay away from and why?
What to Drink and Not Drink
First and foremost, if you want to avoid a hangover the best way is NOT to drink anything at all. But where’s the fun in that? Sometimes you just want a cosmo without knowing why (don’t lie fellas, we know you love it). If this is the case, then at the very least KNOW what you are drinking.
Drink the light stuff
Things like vodka, white rum, light beer, gin and grain alcohol can really make a difference the day after. Keep in mind if it is cheap or if it is mixed with a bunch of sugary-syrupy mixers, it could still have a negative effect on you! The thing with drinking the lighter spirits is they have less congeners in them (often a culprit in killer hangovers). Congeners are particulates which are picked up during the aging process which gives certain alcohol, like red wine or bourbon, a darker color. These are no-nos – especially for those whose livers aren’t quite what they used to be!
Stick to one drink/type of alcohol for the night
If you are starting with vodka, stick with vodka throughout the night. Or if you fancy a gin, stay with gin. Do you best not to mix, unless you are starting with hard liquor and ending in beer – that’s OK to do. Beer before liquor…you get the idea.
Don’t mix your drinks
This is where Long Island Iced Teas will get you – they have many forms of alcohol in them and their sugar content is high. In fact, I’ve had many similar experiences with Margaritas… Too many of these and you may sprain your liver!
Stay away from the Darker Stuff
Red wine, bourbon, dark rum, brandy, whiskey, and some tequila have high levels of congeners in them. Congeners are often attributed as a big part of the cause of a hangover.
Too Late – I’m Hungover. Now What?
Let’s say you do everything right and you are STILL hungover…the best thing you can do besides drink tons of water, eat some greasy food or try to sleep it off is to take a pill (just make sure it is the right one).
Aleve liquid gels, according to vinepair.com, are one of the best things you can use to get rid of that pounding headache. Some people even say it helps with nausea! One to two tablets can last you 12 to 24 hours (unlike Advil and Tylenol) while simultaneously carrying less heart and liver risks. Sure, there are some pills made specifically for hangovers, but they often leave you feeling queasier (if there is such a thing).
Another thing you can do BEFORE getting into a heavy night of drinking is by taking prickly pear extract a few hours before you drink. It can lower your day-after symptoms by up to 50%…and let’s be honest, when you have to pull it together and be the adult in your household, that 50% LESS headache and tummy upset can come in handy.
Regardless of what libations you choose to frequent for the evening, keep in mind that drinking in moderation is an awesome hangover prevention method, second only to abstaining from alcohol altogether!
Remember to be an adult, and take an Uber if you find yourself over the legal limit to drive. There is no shame in keeping yourself and others safe. In fact, you can have a free ride on us by putting in this code after downloading the app on your phone: janam2042ue
Wishing you many drunken merry evenings without the negative side-effects!