If you love to drink, hangovers may be hard to avoid, but there are a few preemptive things you can do to keep them from ruining you.
The holidays are associated with a lot of things, among them, drinking. A lot of drinking. As we get older and our hangovers begin to get stronger and more debilitating, getting through this time of year is a lot, especially if you wish to continue drinking with other people. Is there a way to stop hangovers before they happen? It’s a complicated answer.
While there are no direct ways of preventing a hangover, there are ways of lowering your odds if you pace yourself and hydrated. Cosmopolitan spoke to some health experts who shared some more obscure tips. Here are some of our favorites:
Do some prep before you drink
Before you go out, make sure to be ready. Work out during the day, burning off extra energy and the need to de-stress. Before you head out, have a filling meal; this will delay your body’s speed when absorbing alcohol (Can You Prevent A Hangover By Eating A Big Meal?). Another less pivotal yet still important factor is who you hang out with. If you want to pace yourself with your drinking, go out with friends who won’t push you to drink more.
Once you’re out, try your best to drink slowly. This is difficult but it’s the most reliable way of staving off a hangover, giving your body enough time to process alcohol. According to medical experts, your liver takes up to one hour to digest each drink. An easy way to keep track of how much you’ve consumed is to add a cocktail emoji to your notes app.
Have a glass of water per drink
Drinking water is pivotal when preventing hangovers, hydrating your body as the alcohol does its best to dehydrate it. While it’s difficult to limit yourself to having one drink per hour, drinking a glass of water per drink is more reasonable. It also keeps you busy and gives you more time to pace yourself.
Steer clear of shots
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Experts recommend sticking to alcoholic drinks with low ABV percentage (alcohol by volume). These drinks include beers, wine or mixed drinks, especially if these are sipped leisurely and not chugged. Shots tend to contain higher volumes of alcohol, resulting in worse symptoms of hangovers for a lot of people.
When it comes to preventing a hangover, the key is to slow down the process as much as you can. By keeping yourself active and doing stuff like dancing, playing a board game or doing something else, you’ll cut the time you spend sitting down and drinking without breaks.