It’s here! It’s here! Party night is upon us and we can’t wait to get sipping. Or guzzling. Or rowdily cheers-ing everyone you meet! Whether it’s New Year’s Eve or any other celebration, or even drowning our sorrows to make them disappear, we’re all set to go bottoms up. What we don’t want, though, is the booby prize that comes after a night of hard drinking. So how do we make sure to avoid the dreaded hangover?
We’ve already crowdsourced The Best Hangover Cures Ever. But how can we avoid the nightmare that is a hanging over the toilet in the first place? Well, yes, we realize we can just designate ourselves Designated Driver or go ahead and enjoy this wonderful Non-Alcoholic Wine. And we need to know when enough is enough (here are The Signs You’re Too Drunk). Now let’s talk about sidestepping the evil consequences of being a bad girl and drinking booze all night long.
Top 4 ways to PREVENT a hangover
Aside from abstaining entirely from the pretty bubbly beverages inevitably served during your celebration, here are ways to prevent or lessen the affects of alcohol.
Hydrate. Dehydration is one of the most well-known side effects to mass alcohol consumption, which for men is five or more drinks, while women is four or more. It is important to drink a lot of water prior to “tying one on.” It is also a good idea to alternate between your alcoholic drink and a glass of water or other non-alcoholic beverage. This diminishes the overall effect of the alcohol. It also slows your drinking pace, which leads to a lower alcohol level in your bloodstream.
Eat, eat, eat. Having a big hearty meal full of carbs and proteins in your stomach helps gives the alcohol something to absorb into, dampening the effects of the alcohol and trapping some of the alcohol before it reaches your bloodstream.
Take Vitamin D. Alcohol depletes vitamin D in your system, so it helps to have plenty of it in your system prior to drinking.
Stick with clear alcohol. Clear liquor has fewer congeners, which are byproducts/toxins produced during fermentation, which have been shown to increase the severity of hangover symptoms.
Okay, so you are reading this AFTER the big night out, now what?
Now, you don’t need any finger wagging. What you need now are some easy solutions, ones you can digest. And here they are.
Top 4 ways to TREAT a hangover
Work it off. If you are feeling up for it, a short, but intense workout will sweat out some of the remaining toxins in your body.
Sleep it off. This is always one of the best ways to treat a hangover. It allows your body to heal itself and right itself internally. If you are able to sleep and rest the day after heavy drinking, be sure have water nearby for easy access in between naps.
Flush it out. Seems basic, but the solution to pollution is dilution. Your body is made up of mostly water, so it makes a certain amount of sense that you must replenish and flush your system of toxins with water.
Eat it away. Load up on eggs and bananas. Eggs contain cysteine, which may help break down toxins in the body and bananas replenish the body with potassium which was lost during the drinking the night before.
Former CEO of Fisherman’s Hospital and and long-time Keys resident, Kim Bassett has more than 25 years experience in nursing and hospital administration. Kim now serves as president and CEO of Steward Norwood Hospital in Massachusetts.