In a culture where drink is integral to both work and play for many people the hangover can be an all too frequent reality. There are many novelty preventions and cures, most of which work to varying degrees. However, the best way to avoid a hangover is to not drink. Unfortunately any amount of alcohol may leave you feeling some ill effects. If you are going to drink (and no one is being judgmental here) it is worth heeding the following advice.
Avoidance Over Cure
Avoiding a hangover so far as possible certainly has benefits over ‘curing’ one. By the time you have got to the stage where you need a cure it is too late: You already have a hangover, your body is playing catch up and the pain and nausea won’t yield until it has full recovered naturally – 24 to 48 hours later! In this case eating well and drinking water will help, but will still be too little too late, especially if you have a busy schedule. If like many working people you can’t afford to have a stinking hangover, you can’t afford to get one!
The best way to avoid a hangover is to moderate your drinking and to eat and drink water whilst you are drinking. Try drinking one glass of water for every alcoholic measure you have. One problem with drinking beer is that it is not associated with eating as wine is. Well, as has been explained in elated articles, this is changing – as will your attitude to drinking beer have to if you want to be fresh in the morning.
Fats and carbohydrates are the best thing to eat to avoid a hangover. A good pasta and meat meal, or a curry with rice should do the trick. That Kebab on the way home feels appealing for a reason – though there may be healthier option! Be sure to get your vitamins – taking a daily supplement in the morning, every morning and eating 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day should suffice. Taking vitamins or eating fruit in the morning to prevent a hangover will not have the same effect! Eat frequently throughout the time you are drinking: A selection of cheeses meats and savoury snacks to hand will help.
Hangovers are accumulative, meaning that if you drink for several nights in a row your hangover will get worse, leading eventually to a poor state of physical, and possibly mental, health. This often occurs as a result of trying to compensate for one hangover by drinking alcohol again – the ‘hair of the dog’. This is not a cure (and certainly not a prevention!). To avoid bad hangovers building up try to have three days off the drink per week. Learning to say ‘no’ to colleagues and friends may be difficult at first, but note how many of them have days off drinking a week: You are not obligated to drink daily.
Drink low alcohol drinks so far as is possible. If you can go for a 4% beer over a 5 or 6% beer try to do so. If you are going for stronger beer then obviously drink less of it. You may think ‘it’s only 1% more’, but experience will tell you that 4 or 5 strong ‘export’ beers leave a much worse hangover than the same quantity of ‘weaker’ beers.
If you are a beer lover savour your beer and try several different new beers in half pints from a pub with a good range. There is no need to drink as many beers as is possible and you will gain more from drinking in moderation in terms of taste experience.
Obviously the less time spent drinking the better, so try and do something else in your evening, like watch a band, go to the cinema, or visit an art gallery, and don’t drink until after you have been to the gallery.
Finally, drink one or two glasses of water before you go to bed and sleep well – you will need 8 hours or more before waking!
The Next Morning
So you’ve done all you can in terms of prevention and you still have a hangover! Well, hate to say we told you so, but if you drink you may well get a hangover.
At least you tried and if you followed the above advice have you noticed that you don’t feel nearly so bad as if you hadn’t?
So now, the routine is much the same as the night before (only without any more beer): eat well (a fry up is ideal: eggs tomatoes and fatty meat all help), drink plenty of water and make sure you get your vitamins. Finally, as beer is high in sugar you may be lacking it, which will affect the frontal lobe of your brain causing nausea and even unwarranted fearfulness. In short as beer floods your body with too much sugar, your body responds with chemicals to neutralise it, but it goes way overboard and you end up having far too little sugar in your body. The best way around this is to drink tea, Cola (which seems to the do the trick especially well) and eat sugary foods. Remember though, that in this instance extra sugar will not act as prevention to a hangover – only as a cure!
Finally – try not to drink again for a day.