By Tori Taylor, June 4 2019 —
With summer weather in full swing, it’s hard to not end up on a patio, drink after drink in hand. If that sweet, sweet vitamin D is raining down on me and margaritas are $5, I have the self control of a kid in a candy shop. It’s not difficult to end up more tipsy than intended. However, for every up, there is also a down. Waking up the morning after a night — or day — of social drinking can be hell. This summer, don’t let your hangover get the best of you. Here are a few tips to ease your throbbing head and queasy stomach. Let’s have our cake and freaking drink it too.
The first trick to avoiding a hangover is the most obvious. Drink less. I know this may not be a crowd-pleaser, but there is definitely something to be said for deciding on your own personal last call and sticking to it. Deciding to switch your drinks to water or mocktails after midnight can make an enormous difference the next morning. And, to be honest, the only difference it’ll likely make to your evening will be laying down to sleep in a bed that isn’t spinning.
Pick your poison:
We all have opinions on which types of alcohol will lead to the worst hangovers. And each person seems to have a slightly different belief. But there is an actual science behind this, other than personal experience. According to the American National Institutes of Health, the key is to avoid congeners. Congeners are toxic by-product chemicals that occur in small traces during the alcohol’s fermentation process. Different spirits have different levels of these chemicals. Studies have shown that congeners likely increase the intensity and frequency of a hangover. Vodka, gin and rum contain almost none of this chemical. Tequila, whiskey, cognac and bourbon contain some of the highest amounts. Knowing this, you may decide to choose drinks that have a lower congener percentage if you want to feel alive the next morning.
Alcohol is a diuretic. It will make you a restroom-frequenter and you’ll end up dehydrated by the time you fall asleep, especially if you’ve spent any time with your head in the toilet. Prepare a bedtime water bottle and chug that bad boy before you close your eyes. You can also alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water during your evening out. Adding electrolytes — any sport supplement company will have these available — to your water bottle before bed can be a true godsend.
Brunch. Always brunch. Eating a good breakfast can save your dragging ass by lifting your blood sugars back up and getting your metabolism going. Blood sugar can be lowered after a night of drinking and low blood sugar is a huge contributor to nausea, headaches, fatigue and moodiness. An eggs benny with hash browns can help replenish the depleted minerals and vitamins that are responsible for the sorry state you woke up in.
Hair of the dog:
While at brunch, grab a mimosa or a Caesar. This theory has been called “hair of the dog.” Based on how many people swear by this method, it’s worth trying out. It’s actually a solid theory, according to science. The methanol in alcohol begins to convert to formaldehyde as you experience a hangover. But, if you drink a small amount of alcohol the next morning, it may be possible to stop or slow this conversion, preventing the production of formaldehyde and allowing the methanol to leave the body. It should be noted that this method, while potentially effective, may lead to some unhealthy drinking habits and shouldn’t be used regularly.
Summer festivals and patios tacos are equally fun as a sober participant. Alcohol is never needed. But if you choose to imbibe, make sure you do so responsibly.