The hangover is the dreaded result of a heavy night out – and there are a huge number of supposed remedies from salty food to flat coke. But prevention is always better than cure, so make sure to follow our simple top tips when you’re out drinking to avoid the hangover all together.
Don’t drink on an empty stomach
Try to eat normally throughout the day and then have a small meal or a healthy snack before you hit the party. It will slow down the rate at which the alcohol is metabolised. But don’t eat too much – as you’ll get bloated and it could spoil the evening.
Also, make sure to avoid bar snacks like crisps and peanuts as they’ll just make you thirstier.
Don’t mix your drinks
Switching from spirits to wine and then to beer is a recipe for oblivion – and a thudding headache the next day. Choose your drink of choice and stick with it as much as possible throughout the evening.
Drink clear-coloured drinks
Clear-coloured drinks will minimise the effects of a hangover – try vodka and a mixer like lemonade or cranberry juice or even a gin and tonic. Red wine is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the morning after – along with dark spirits like whisky, brandy and rum. Clear coloured drinks are also more likely to be lower in calories than wine or beer, so they’ll benefit your waistline and well as keeping the hangover at bay.
Stick to singles
Watch the size of the drinks you’re ordering. It’s easy to underestimate how much you’re knocking back. While it might be tempting to go for a double measure – especially if the deals on offer in the bars seem too good to miss – choosing a smaller measure will stand you in good stead the next day.
A ‘small’ glass of wine in a bar or pub these days is often 175ml – and a large is 250ml, which is actually the equivalent of a third of a bottle of wine!
Have a few soft drinks
Order a non-alcoholic drink between each alcoholic one. This works particularly well if you are drinking spirits, as you can simply order the mixer without the spirit, and no one will ever know!
Give your liver a helping hand
A daily dose of Milk thistle - a herbal supplement that detoxifies and protects vital liver functions - during a party season will do wonders. Your liver needs all the support it can get!
Check your medications
Before hitting the town check the label of any medication you are taking to ensure it doesn’t react adversely with alcohol. Many medications are fine to take whilst drinking – however, this doesn’t mean that they won’t contribute to a bigger hangover the next day. If you are on any medication that doesn’t mix well with drinking, consider whether the alcohol is worth the bad head the next day.
Don’t sleep it off
If you have overindulged, when you get home stay up for a while and find something to do. Your metabolism slows down when you're asleep, so your body takes longer to dispose of all that alcohol – this is how hangovers happen.
Snack before bed
Have something to eat before you go to sleep. A slice of wholemeal toast and honey is ideal. Honey contains potassium which helps to counteract the effects of the alcohol.
Prevention is always better than cure
A wise saying when it comes to booze. Pace yourself to stay in a merry mood and when you are drunk just stop! Budgeting for the night ahead is a good way to make sure you pace yourself – just take enough money to cover a reasonable number of drinks. Also, don’t feel you need to keep up with your friends, everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to alcohol. If you know that one or two drinks leaves you feeling a like tipsy, moderate your drinking accordingly.