Unlike fine wine, hangovers do not get better with age. Come Monday morning you’ll be going in to work looking like something out of the Walking Dead with eye bags for days and smelling like a fish market. Don’t be that guy. Prevent the impending doom with these simple hangover life hacks.
So far there has been little research into the causes or cures for hangovers but with what research there has been done we have compiled this list of useful remedies.
In this article, we’ll cover hangover prevention tips backed by since.
so without further ado, lets get straight into it.
1.Opt for dried fruit instead of a kebab and chips.
We’ve all collapsed on to our beds after a long night of drinking with the feeling of pure joy and relief. But, when you felt as sober as a nun an hour ago in the club you now realise you’re absolutely trolleyed and your whole world is turning clockwise.
How do you increase the rate which alcohol is broken down in your system?
Load up on dried fruit like raisins, apricots and prunes when you get home and increase your alcohol break down by up to 80%.
Dried fruit is full of fructose which helps out your liver in processing alcohol as suggested by a study back in 1991. That way when you get in to bed and your room is doing a 180 you can say goodbye to a tactical chunder and reach for the raisins instead!
Perhaps you’ll sober up quicker and come morning you’ll have prevented a bad hangover.
Lighter foods like these are easier to digest as well. Fatty, greasy foods that you crave at the end of the night are no good for your delicate stomach.
2.The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice
We all know the darker the tipple the tastier it is; don’t get me started on rum, red wine, whisky etc. But save your-self the headache and stick to lighter drinks or spirits which contain less congeners (by-product of alcohol that gives you a stinking hangover).
Congeners are the contributor of most of the taste and smell of alcoholic drinks. This is why when you get a whiff of what you drank the night before the next day it can make you feel instantly sick.
Generally speaking darker coloured drinks contain more congeners so if you’re planning on a binge – you’ve been warned.
Stick to lighter coloured drinks to prevent the worst hangovers.
3. Sick of feeling sick? Try ginger.
Hangover nausea is the least sexy ‘will they won’t they?’ story. People would think you’re a yoga teacher with all the deep breathing you’re doing to fight it off.
There are anti sickness medications around. However, your doctor is not allowed to prescribe this for hangovers.
Alcohol does all kinds of messed up stuff to your stomach. The toxins damage and inflame your stomach lining leaving you in a bit of a fragile state. Go old school and use ginger. Have yourself a herbal tea or grate some into whatever you’re eating.
Ginger is often prescribed for women with morning sickness and is an effective remedy for hangover nausea as well.
Another option is sipping on sugary drinks to increase blood sugar levels. Or even better; put a bit of honey in your tea. Honey is full of fructose and a natural and unprocessed source of sugar.
4. Cut the caffeine
You have to be at work in twenty minutes but you haven’t been to sleep yet. Your fermented brain makes the decision to knock back three espressos like they’re tequila shots. Here’s why that’s a moronic idea:
Caffeine works by blocking the adenosine receptor in our brains. Adenosine is molecule that our brain nerves use to slow the brain down and induce a sense of calm. Caffeine blocks this and therefore makes your brain more alert.
Drinking coffee will speed up your heart rate and triple those hangover shakes you have after drinking. If you’ve ever measured your heart beat after a night of drinking it will be significantly faster.
If you’ve ever had anxiety about what you may or may not have done the night before, a racing heartbeat will not help this trip down memory lane.
So you’ll be a jittery mess with actually no more energy than before. It will also save you ten trips to the bathroom because caffeine is a diuretic (causing you to pee more fluid than you consume). This will dehydrate you and make it even harder to fight off the filthy hangover.
5. Your mum was right. Drink more water
Just like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic. Once you break the seal who knows how many times you’ll be in and out of the bathroom (or behind a ford focus on the street in some cases).
Every gram of alcohol makes you pee an extra 10 millilitres. This is going to make you dehydrated which is actually responsible for most of the hangover symptoms you feel the next day.
If you can remember, grab some H2O with every drink you order even if it may not look too cool. You’ll have the last laugh when you wake up feeling glorious.
No one likes waking up with a mouth as dry as the Sahara Desert. Not to mention the pounding headaches directly caused by dehydration.
6. Pace yourself – it’s a marathon not a sprint
If you want to make it past pre drinks then make sure you’ve lined your stomach with some grub.
When you drink on an empty stomach, alcohol starts to build up in your blood stream within 90 seconds. Big rises in blood alcohol concentration are a major contributing factor to the overall hangover symptoms.
If you drink excessive amounts in a short amount of time, there’s a backlog of alcohol that sweeps around your blood stream and destroys a lot of the cells it comes in contact with. Your liver is only capable of breaking down a certain amount of alcohol within an hour.
Try having a glass of milk to line your stomach or a shot of olive oil can also help.
If you’ve had a long week and want to get pissed ASAP, think again about how you’re going to feel the next day. Make sure you eat a good meal first and save yourself the embarrassment of calling your Ex at 8 30pm.
7. Damage Control – get your vitamins in before it’s too late
It’s so simple and actually the easiest hangover cheat. Even simpler than rummaging around for dried fruit in the cupboard is popping a couple vitamins before and after sleep.
Drinking does so much damage to our antioxidant system which contributes to feelings of lethargy, tiredness and sometimes full on ill.
Taking multivitamins before bed can help counteract the some of the damage done by ‘reactive oxygen species’. These are by-products produced by the breakdown of alcohol.
Invest in a mash up of Vitamin B, C and E to help produce antioxidants. Set a reminder on your phone so that you remember to take them before sleep and they can start to work over night.
There are some really effective products on the market at the moment and designed specially to combat the symptoms of hangovers. That way you only have to take them when you know you’re going to have a ‘biggy’.
8. Hair o’ the Dog
Although not really a hangover cure, there is something to be said for delaying your alcohol levels dropping.
Hangovers peak when your blood alcohol concentration levels reach 0.
So naturally, one way to avoid this is to keep your levels above 0 and stay drunk for longer. With this in mind I mean Bloody Marys with a Sunday roast not Strongbow on the tube to work on Tuesday.
It can be remarkable the effects of having a drink on your hangover although depending on what sort of night you’ve had it can take a lot of courage.
10. Sleep deprived?
It can feel really nasty when you’ve gone to bed 3am onwards and you jolt awake at 6am. Other than feeling grossly unfair it also makes you feel like a horrendous troll for the rest of the day.
Sleeping when you’re drunk can cause a disrupted sleeping pattern where your body tries to shock you out of a deep sleep into a lighter, shallower level of sleep. This is why in the morning any external influences like light or noise can wake you up very easily.
All the previous hacks should help with having a deeper more natural sleep but you can also make sure your room is the right temperature and lightness before you drink.
That way you’re a little less likely to fall asleep at your keyboard.
11. Do you lift?
Make sure you hit the gym twice a day, every day for an hour each go.
That’s really unnecessary and also really boring. But there is research that would suggest the healthier and fitter you are the easier your hangover will be.
You can also do a bit of light exercise (keep hydrated) the next day, essentially sweating out the booze. Maybe first apologise to whoever is next to you for the stench exiting your pores.
12 . Liquor before beer you’re in the clear, beer before liquor…? Oh whatever
Whatever rhyme you remember your dad telling you when you were a preteen is now irrelevant. Basically the general idea is to not mix your booze. This relates back to the congeners thing we talked about earlier.
Different drinks have different amounts of congeners. So if you start with wine, stick with wine even if your mate is buying a round of jaeger bombs.
They also have different chemicals in them so ends up being a really bad cocktail in your stomach.
13. Stay away from fizzy
Fizzy drink mixers speed up the rate alcohol is absorbed in to your system and so will get you too drunk too quickly, increasing the likelihood of a nasty hangover.
This is tough because we all love gin and tonics, vodka and coke etc. not to mention fizzy tipples like beer and cider.
Try instead vodka with orange or apple juice to help slow down and pace yourself, it will be worth it in the long run.
14. When things get really bad
Of course if nothing else works you can take painkillers to help with some of those gnarlier symptoms like a throbbing head or aching joints. But you do have to be careful with what pills you pop.
Ibuprofen / aspirin is the most effective and is an anti-inflammatory drug. However they can be rough on your stomach so you would have to weigh up the options with that one.
It’s important to make sure you only take the recommended dose or it could cause complications.
15. What goes around comes around
After a big night you will want to replace the lost salts in your body. It’s important to put back in to your body all the things you have lost.
Isotonic drinks will help replenish the salts and sugars you have lost on your night out. Dioralyte sachets are also a good method for replacing salts and minerals.
Berocca also contains a variety of vitamins and is realty good for quenching your dry mouth but a lot of scientists have said there’s little benefit.
These electrolyte solutions go a long way in replacing lost salt and potassium but a good old fashioned recipe of chicken soup could also do the trick.
16. It gives you wings…. And heart palpitations
Avoid caffeinated drinks like red bull or monster as they contain ten times more caffeine as soft drinks.
Red bull and vodka (or Vodbull) not only acts as a diuretic so you’ll be losing too much fluid and dehydrating but it will also massively increase your heart rate.
If an early night and a deep sleep are what you require for the next day then good luck dosing off with vodbull pumping round your veins.
Or if you’re feeling fancy and feel inclined towards an espresso martini, maybe ask for a decaf.
17. Don’t be a div
If you are going ‘out out’, drink responsibly and look after yourself. After all, these are hangover preventions; they’re not going to stop you from taking it too far.