You and your friends plan to party this evening. Whether it’s to celebrate the end of the workday, the work week, just hanging together or a special occasion, alcohol is on the menu.
But what if you enjoy a little too much of the adult beverages? Don’t want to suffer the next day? Follow the tips below to find the method that will help you alleviate the dreaded hangover.
What NOT to Do
Let’s start with a list of the things you should absolutely not do if you want to feel better after a night on the town. Especially if you want to sober up in a hurry, avoid these common hangover misconceptions.
- Drink a Bloody Mary
Who knows how the myth of drinking a bloody Mary to cure a hangover got started, but it isn’t very logical. True, alcohol can deplete nutrients and the tomato juice, even the celery stick, can replenish those. But more alcohol? You feel bad because you already drank too much. Adding more is not the solution.
- Sweat It Out in a Sauna
Alcohol dehydrates you, another reason why you feel lousy. Sweating in a sauna will dehydrate you more, which can be dangerous. Skip the sauna and drink fluids that are good for you, preferably water.
What about sweating it out through exercise? If you’re up for it, a little light exercise can help you feel better. But the alcohol still dehydrated you, so you should drink before, during and after the workout.
- Rely On Coffee
Even if you feel you need your coffee to function every morning, it’s a bad idea when you’re suffering from a hangover. The caffeine narrows blood vessels and raises blood pressure, which can make you feel even worse. Still feel you need your coffee fix? Try a little bit, then wait 30 to 60 minutes and see how you feel.
Is There Really a Way to Avoid a Hangover?
Many factors can contribute to your hangover. Congeners, the substances that create the taste and aroma of liquor, are the latest culprits science is exploring.
But the bottom line is hangovers are caused by drinking too much. To avoid a hangover, know your limits. Some people only need a single drink to feel the effects the next day. Most of us can get by with between 2 to 4 drinks consumed slowly throughout the evening. Once you’ve had an appropriate amount of alcohol, consider calling it a night and having fun without going overboard. Want to avoid a hangover altogether? Try having fun without alcohol, I promise it can be fun and you won’t have any regrets the morning after.
Whatever your limit is, stick to it, no matter what your friends are doing.
What Cures Actually Work
If you really want to know how long it takes to sober up, there are plenty of ways to track your BAC. But if you want a next-day remedy – ignore the myths, and try these hangover cures:
- Drink Clear Liquids
Replenish lost liquids with water or a nutrition drink without caffeine or too much sugar or sodium. The frequent urination caused by alcohol is what leaves you dehydrated. Replacing lost fluids and electrolytes will not only make you feel better, but it will keep you healthy.
- Eat a Light, Nutritious Breakfast
Yes, another myth is to eat a high-fatty one, but more than likely, your stomach can’t handle it. A vegetable omelet, including asparagus, may be what your body needs. If that’s too much, try bland carbohydrates, like toast, crackers or pretzels. If you can add honey, it will help raise your blood sugar, which usually goes down for people who drink too much.
Sleeping it off will give your body what it needs — rest. Consuming too much alcohol can really do a number on your body. So if you have nowhere you need to be, sleep in!
The best cure for a hangover is to use common sense and not get too drunk in the first place. An ounce of prevention goes a long way when it comes to drinking. If you do find yourself reeling after a night, though, follow the tips above so that a hangover doesn’t drag you down.