Nope, none of those things are going to happen today. You feel like you’ve been pummeled with a frying pan while riding a rollercoaster all night long...before crashing face first into the bottom of a birdcage. Your mouth is dry and your tongue, toxic. Nausea makes every little noise and ray of light feel like utter torture. You moan and clamp a pillow over your head, but that’s not before you realize that you don’t see your purse anywhere near your bed, where you usually dump it before climbing into bed after a late night. It must be near the front door, right? You bolt out of bed to check. Nowhere in sight. You must have lost it last night. Scheisse.
There’s not much anyone can help you with when you get so sloshed that you lose your wallet, your shoes, and your dignity during the course of the night, but we can offer some advice on how to prevent that throbbing hangover. Here is a list of things that you can do to help alleviate the effects of a night of unadulterated hedonism.
Hangover Prevention Tips:
First off, hangover relief actually starts the night before. Overdoing it with alcohol causes dehydration and vitamin deficiencies. Plan your night well, take care of yourself the following morning and your day will be a brighter one.
1) Food. Before you drink, make sure you have a good meal in your stomach. Carbohydrates such as pasta and bread help absorb the alcohol in your stomach, thereby slowing the rate at which it enters your bloodstream. Food is key to the start of a good night of drinking. It is also ideal that if you're drinking heavily, you snack during and after you drink.
2) Avoid caffeine. The caffeine in energy drinks, coffee, and anything else that contains caffeine dehydrates you and will contribute to a potential hangover. This goes not only for before you start drinking, but while you drink too, so no Red Bulls and vodkas for you.
3) Limit sugar. One cause of a horrible headache hangover is sugar. Alcohol spikes your blood sugar levels, so be very careful about consuming sugar before and while you drink. That means that you need to limit sugary drinks, including those mixed with fruit juice.
4) Drink lots of water. This is extremely important. Booze dehydrates. With each drink, you effectively lose more water than you take in--and that leads to all sorts of problems, like a searing headache. Make sure you drink about 1 cup of water for each alcoholic drink, and that includes beer too. If you forget to drink water while you’re drinking, drink as much water as you can before you go to sleep.
5) Take vitamin B and C before you start drinking and then take those vitamins again in the morning after you get some food in your stomach.
6) Stick with one alcohol. Just don’t mix different types of alcohol. It’s ugly. But if you must, remember: “Beer before liquor never been sicker."
7) Keep track of your drinks. We all have our limits, and it's important that you figure out the maximum number of drinks you can have before you’re sent over to the dark side. Always stick to that number and you’ll avoid a lot of pain.
8) Drink light colored alcohol. The darker spirits have more impurities and that equals a bigger headache.
9) 3 hours after drinking, take aspirin and drink coffee. After you finish drinking, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen and aspirin. The next morning have a Coke or coffee. This particular tip comes courtesy of neurologist Dr. Michael Oshink. In January 2011, he revealed the results of his research project on headaches and alcohol in rats. The combination of caffeine and an anti-inflammatory was found to be the best remedy to prevent a hangover. Oshinky recommends that ideally, caffeine and painkillers be taken roughly three to four hours after alcohol consumption, as this is when levels of the headache-inducing chemical acetate are at their highest.
10) The next morning, drinks a lot of water and eat plain carbohydrates like pasta or crackers. When breaking down alcohol, your body pumps out lactic acid and other byproducts that impede the production of glucose and electrolytes, hence that familiar weak, woozy feeling you get when you're hungover. Sports drinks like Gatorade replenish those reserves. Drink a sports drink or eat an orange to raise your blood sugar levels and replenish your electrolytes. Take a nap. Drink more water and eat some protein when you wake up.
1) Mongolia: Pickled sheep eyeballs in tomato juice
2) Russia: The banya, or sauna, for a quick session, followed by a flailing with birch leaves.
3) Ecuador: Oregano tea
4) Italy: Espresso
5) Germany: Pickled herring wrapped around a pickle or an onion
6) Poland: A glass of juice from either sour pickles or sauerkraut
7) United States: Prairie Oyster, a drink made with tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, a dash of hot pepper sauce, and a raw egg yolk.
8) China: Strong green tea or water with lemon
9) Mexico: Menudo, a soup made with tripe (the lining of a cow’s stomach) and usually spiced with garlic, onion, chiles, cumin,and oregano.
10) Korea: Haejangguk, a soup which includes pork spine or cow bones, coagulated ox blood, cabbage, and vegetables.