The hangover: humanities’ oldest and greatest enemy. This unfortunate combo of a headache, stomach pain and general yuck is, more often than not, the end result of a great night out. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right amount of planning and preparation, every Irish man and woman can wake up fresh as a daisy, liver intact.
Here are six ways you can prevent a hangover.
1. The Three R’s
Rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Make sure you’re well rested before setting out for a night on the town – you never know where your feet, your mates or your drink might take you. A hangover is your body’s way of letting you know that it’s not doing so great and it’s all the more likely to strike if you don’t take care of its needs before piling on the pints. Needs like…
2. A Full Stomach
Lining your tum with some pre-drink chow is a sure-fire way to slow down the rate of alcohol absorption throughout your body during a night out – alcohol being the prime cause of any hangover. Alcohol dehydrates you. It makes you fall over, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, but when you eat alongside all those effects take longer to come into play.
It’s doesn’t have to be a gourmet three-course feast – although it can be if you like. Italian, Indian, local pies; get hearty grub from around the world delivered from Deliveroo.ie or simply throw some bread in the toaster. Your body will thank you for it by the time the sun comes up.
3. A Single (Type of) Drink
Mixing is a dangerous game. There’s no exact science to the process, but having spirits then cider, beer then a cocktail or any some such combination is said to almost guarantee a hangover by some studies.
Your safest bet if you’ve got work in the morning is to pick one flavour of alcohol and stick to it for the duration of the evening, whatever your favourite may be. Be sure to choose high-quality brands too, especially when it comes to spirits and liquors. You will definitely want to avoid drinking toasts and games to stay on the right track. The cheaper the drink, the more likely it is you’ll regret it later on, sulking in a hot shower and piecing back memories of the night before.
4. Pacing via Water
The number one symptom of a hangover is a pounding headache and the number one cause of that pounding headache is dehydration. If you allow yourself more than one drink during a night out, let the second be a pint of crystal clear tap water. A prime strategy is one pint booze, one pint water and so on. You’ll be making plenty of trips to the bathroom, but so what? When tomorrow rolls around you’ll roll out of bed happy and healthy as can be.
5. The Three S’s
Sleep, salts and silence. A big part of dehydration is the salts your body loses during the process. There are plenty of pills and tablets that can help with that, namely Alka Seltzler. Lucozade and other sports drinks contain salts these days too, as well as vital electrolytes and sugars.
Refill your body with the good stuff where possible, get a decent nights sleep and dream sweetly, happy in the knowledge that hangovers are a thing of the past.
6. Not drinking alcohol at all
You can follow everything on this list and still feel terrible the day after drinking. The fact is, alcohol is a poison and isn’t good for you if you drink more than a few units. The only guaranteed way to avoid getting a hangover is by not drinking at all!