Shove this in your face before you pass out.
Once we hit drinking age, most of us learn the rules about how to avoid a hangover pretty quickly: don’t drink too much, avoid bubbly wine (it makes your head hurt more), pace yourself, have a glass of water between alcoholic drinks, and definitely don’t drink on an empty stomach unless you want to wake up next to your friend’s toilet.
But sometimes, all that goes out the window, especially if you’re a girl who likes to drink. Or your ex shows up at a party with his new girlfriend.
But don’t worry. The good news is, if you eat (and drink) the right things before you stumble into bed and pass out, you can seriously mitigate the damage.
So the next time you feel the need to throw caution to the wind and toss back spicy margaritas like there’s no tomorrow, here’s what to remember if you want to wake up bright-eyed the next morning…
Fatty foods are your friends.
It’s all about that red meat. Well, maybe not all – but it helps. Fat is good at preventing alcohol absorption, which can be helpful even after you’ve had a few drinks. Sure, it’s better to have a burger before you start drinking, but having it before you go to sleep will help too.
Loyola University alcohol research program director, Elizabeth Kovacs, Ph.D., recommends having a meal with protein, carbs and fat before your first drink. But if you’ve already started drinking, it may not be too late. And you don’t have to have a full-on burger and fries meal. Anything with fat in it is good. Even a glass of whole milk or a teaspoon of olive oil is better than nothing.
Juice it up
While Kovacs warns that just drinking juice won’t help you avoid a hangover, it’s definitely a better choice than sugary soda. Pomegranate and acai berry juice are especially good ones, because they’re high in antioxidants, in particular the antioxidant reservatrol, which is key for keeping a hangover at bay.
Next up are any juices containing dark leafy greens. A pre-bed green juice packed with nutrients and vitamins will replace some of the lost minerals and electrolytes from a big night on the drink and help to ease your pain in the morning.
Pop some pills
It’s commonly believed that dehydration is the cause of a hangover headache, but University of Colorado, Boulder, researcher Boris Tabakoff says it’s more likely due to inflammation.
“High levels of alcohol in the brain have fairly recently been shown to cause neuro-inflammation, basically, inflammation in the brain,” explains Tabakoff.
So pop an ibuprofen before bed, along with your green juice and protein-packed snack. Add a multivitamin for good measure and you’ll be in even better shape tomorrow.
Don’t go overboard with the water
Another common myth is that you should drink as much water as you can before going to bed drunk. In fact, Kovacs says drinking a bunch of water isn’t such a great idea. It stresses your body, and also causes you to be up and down in the night, running to the bathroom. A good night’s sleep is vital to feeling good in the morning, so follow her advice and drink one glass of water before bed – two at the very most – and then keep a full glass next to your bed in case you wake up thirsty, but resist the urge to guzzle any more than that.
Now that you know what to do if you’ve had one too many, how about mixing up some fun alcoholic fruit shots? Or perhaps you’d like to try blowing these adult boozy bubbles at your next bash? Just be sure to wash down some ibuprofen and a glass of water first – and have some red meat and antioxidant-laden juice on hand to stave off that nasty hangover the next day.
GIFs via giphy.com.
Comment: What’s your fave thing to eat when you’re drunk?