12 Ways to prevent a hangover
We get it - sometimes your social life calls and a few drinks are in order to stay happy and healthy. Unfortunately, the hangover that follows can leave you feeling pretty rough. But don't reach for the hair of the dog just yet; there are better ways to prevent and deal with a hangover. We've got 12 tips to help you out next time you've over-indulged.
#1. Match your drinks
Drinking plenty of water can help to relieve the pressure in your head that can cause pounding headaches after a big night out. The dehydration caused by alcohol shrinks tissues around the brain (1), but by matching each alcoholic drink with a glass of water, you could avoid a headache entirely, or at least reduce its intensity.
#2. Go lighter
Did you know that the darker the drink, the more congeners it contains? Congeners are substances which are produced during fermentation and they're found in larger quantities in darker drinks like rum and red wine. So opt for healthier tipples like white wine, gin or vodka instead to reduce your hangover.
#3. Blow the budget
More expensive booze usually goes through a much more involved distillation process, which means it contains fewer congeners, diminishing your risk of a hangover the next morning.
#4. Skip the bubbles
Prosecco, champagne or spirits with carbonated mixers will be more likely to lead to a hangover - that's because the bubbles actually cause alcohol to be more quickly absorbed by the body (2). Stick to still mixers such as fruit juice or enjoy your spirits neat.
#5. Pack in some potassium
When you're dehydrated your body loses electrolytes as well as water - it's the reason why sports drinks are so popular amongst runners. Snacking on foods rich in potassium, like spinach and bananas, can help your body to recover from the effects of alcohol and avoid a hangover.
#6. Get outdoors
Forget that fry up and get outdoors instead to banish your hangover. Oxygen causes our bodies to break down the toxins in alcohol more quickly, and a workout could even get those endorphins flowing to boost your grumpy morning-after-the-night-before mood!
#7. Scramble some eggs
Did you know that the taurine found in eggs can reverse the liver damage caused by a night of partying and drinking? Try your eggs scrambled with plenty of vitamin-C rich veggies - we like onions, peppers and spinach.
There's no scientific evidence to prove that yoga will get rid of your hangover, but the meditation and breathing exercises practised in yoga can help get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing around your body, relieving stress and making you feel more like yourself. Not to mention, Sunday morning yoga is a pretty great way to relax and set yourself up for the day ahead.
#9. Drink with dinner
Drinking on an empty stomach means your body will absorb the alcohol much faster, so it's important to eat a healthy, carb-rich meal before you start drinking. Having a full stomach could even help to keep your blood alcohol count lower (3).
#10. Boost breakfast blood sugar
Alcohol causes blood sugar levels to drop - a glass of fruit juice for breakfast can help to give it a boost (4). Foods with a high-glycemic index can also be helpful. We recommend a couple of slices of French baguette with some almond butter - yum!
#11. Pop a multivitamin
Drinking alcohol depletes the body's nutrient levels, particularly nutrients such as folate and vitamin B12, which is why we often feel so exhausted after a night out drinking. Pop a multivitamin to replenish your nutrient levels and leave you feeling brighter.
#12. Settle your stomach
We've all been there - an upset stomach after a night out is no fun, but drinking ginger tea can help. Ginger can help to settle the stomach and has long been used as a remedy to fight nausea (5). So sip a warm mug of ginger tea as you browse Netflix and you'll soon start to feel better.
There's nothing wrong with drinking in moderation, but make sure you don't overdo it. A little of what you fancy now and then will ensure you're healthier and happier - a hangover 6 days out of 7 won't!
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