Annihilate the Hangover: What to do Before, During and After Drinking!

We’ll admit it: drinking can be a lot of fun. Whether you’re sitting at a beach sipping a pina colada or doing social distance shotskis with Andy Cohen in your own living room, having a few drinks with your friends, even if it’s just on zoom, can lead to some really fun nights. But then the next morning arrives. 

Once that hangover sets in, we’ve all promised ourselves that we’re never drinking again. And yet, we find ourselves mixing another cocktail just a few days later. It happens. But, if you’re going to drink, there are some steps you should take to reduce your chance of a hangover. 

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your body has plenty of water to keep it functioning well (even when you’re not). Simple tricks, like having a glass water bottle you love, will remind you to drink water and chase away that awful hangover (don’t worry, a different kind of chaser).

Prevent the Hangover Before You Start Drinking

Eat a Good Meal

If you’ve ever started drinking before you eat dinner, you know firsthand that an empty stomach can make you drunk faster. This isn’t just a myth. When your stomach is empty, the alcohol gets absorbed right away and hits your bloodstream quicker than it would on a full stomach. When there is food in your stomach, you don’t get drunk as quickly because your body must break down the food and absorb the alcohol. Eating a big, hearty meal is the best way to prevent a hangover the next day and ensure that you’re not going to start acting a fool after two White Claws. Try to indulge in foods like pizza or cheeseburgers, or if you’re not in the mood for something that greasy, focus on foods with a lot of nutrients like eggs or avocados. Pro tip: Sushi is NOT a good meal choice pre-shotskis.

Set a Limit For Yourself

This is a lesson in self-control. If you set a strict limit for yourself on the number of drinks you’re planning to consume, you can greatly reduce your chance of being hungover the next day. But, we know how it goes. Sometimes you get caught up in the fun and indulge in a few more drinks than you were planning. Try to stay aware of how much you’re drinking and stick to your limit the best you can.

Make Plans for the Morning

A great way to get yourself reigned in and in bed at a reasonable time is by planning for the next day. If you plan to do that Ryan Huffington workout with a friend the next morning, you’re way more likely to stop at one margarita. This is a good way to hold yourself responsible for how much you drink and how late you stay up.

Drink Lots of Water

Water is the key to saving yourself from a hangover. Alcohol dehydrates your body, which is partially why you feel horrific after a night of drinking—headaches, fatigue, you know the drill. Drinking water before you go out for the night can help keep your body hydrated. We like to almost obsessively carry our bkr bottle with us everywhere we go anyway (if you have one you understand this), but it’s especially important before drinking. Having a water bottle with you is a great way to remind yourself to sip.

Avoid a Hangover Once You’re Out 

Choose Lighter Colored Liquor

Although this isn’t a surefire way to keep your hangover at bay, drinking clear liquors may help. When alcohol is fermented, something called congeners (biologically active chemicals) are produced, which are associated with hangovers and other negative effects. Dark liquors tend to have a higher number of congeners, making your hangover worse the next day. A study printed in the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research journal found that people who drank dark liquor over clear were 33 percent more likely to experience symptoms of a hangover the next day. In short: skip the whiskey, stick to vodka.

Avoid Sugary Mixers

You know this, right? If you don’t, much like alcohol, sugar can cause dehydration and inflammation when consumed in large amounts. If you’re mixing alcohol with sugary drinks like soda or juice, you’re basically doubling your chances of getting dehydrated—and you’ll definitely feel the effects of that tomorrow. Try replacing soda with soda water to reduce the chances of a bad hangover. Whatever you drink, don’t forget to keep drinking water throughout the night.

Don’t Close the Bar Down (Figuratively, for now, obviously)

Nothing good happens after midnight. The longer you stay up, the more you’re going to drink. Set a time limit for yourself and stick to it. When it is safe to venture out, you don’t need to be there when the lights come on. Calling it earlier also gives you time to eat a snack and gulp down more water before your head hits the pillow for the night. 

Drink Lots of Water (Part 2)

We can’t say it enough—drink water. For every alcoholic drink you have, you should have a glass of water at the same time. This will reduce the dehydrating impact that alcohol has on your body and prevent you from getting too drunk too quickly. Keep your bkr beside you during that zoom birthday extravaganza, and when you’re able to go out again, make sure your favorite glass water bottle is full on the kitchen counter so you see it and sip it when you come home.

Say Goodbye to Next Day Hangovers

Get Enough Sleep

People love to say, “Just sleep it off,” when their friends have a hangover. Easy for them to say. But, there is some truth to this advice. Sleep helps your body recover from the day and gets you ready for whatever comes next. Allow your body time to process the alcohol and get itself up and running again.

Eat (Carbs, Anyone?)

Food can soak up any alcohol left in your stomach and provide your body with energy. As a result, it’s super important to have a good meal even if your stomach’s feeling a bit off. Eggs are one of the best hangover foods because they contain an amino acid key to flushing out toxins. Carbs are also a good food to eat after drinking because they can increase your blood sugar—something that alcohol reduces. This is why you might feel a little shaky the next day. Pair your eggs with a few pieces of toast, and you’ll notice a difference in the way you feel.

Third Time’s The Charm: Drink Water

TL;DR. Most important hangover annihilation tip: drink your water. Before, during, and after you drink anything and everything else. Reach for your hydration game changing 32 oz water bottle before you go out (if we ever get to go out again) and right before you go to bed. Velcro yourself to your water bottle (not literally, but you get it right?) and sip way more water than you do alcohol. That’s the tea.