How to Avoid a Hangover?
In the midst of a holiday party season or just out of curiosity, you may be wondering how to avoid a hangover. It’s not fun to wake up dizzy, nauseous and confused about what exactly happened last night — especially if this state is caused by having drunk a bit too much the day before. We all know that the best way to avoid a hangover is, first of all, to limit the amount of drinks that you consume. But whether it’s the excessive enthusiasm of your family members or your friends’ Christmas party, it’s very easy to get a little carried away. In this article, we’ll focus on how to prevent a hangover before it comes.
How to avoid a hangover?
Before consuming alcoholic beverages, make sure that you drink enough plain water. While drinking alcohol, don’t forget to have a glass of water. Alternatively, switch between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks during the night.
You should give up an additional glass of dark rum, cognac, dark whiskey, brandy or bourbon, as they all contain a large number of chemical compounds called congeners. Congeners are naturally found in some alcoholic beverages. They’re often a byproduct of fermentation and they can hinder the metabolism of alcohol in the body.
This means that we digest such drinks not as quickly as other types of alcohol and this can affect our hangover. Homemade alcoholic beverages, as a rule, have an extremely high content of congeners. Instead, opt for drinks with a lower content of these chemicals. Drinks with an average number of congeners include whiskey and white wine, while vodka and beer have even fewer of them.
Champagne and prosecco are classic holiday drinks. If you want to prevent a hangover, you should avoid them. Research by the University of Manchester shows that bubbles in alcoholic beverages, whether carbonated drinks or carbonated mixtures, accelerate the rate of alcohol absorption as they cause the stomach surface area to expand.
It makes sense to eat every time before you start drinking alcohol. Firstly, alcohol irritates the intestines. Secondly, food somewhat slows down the absorption of alcohol. Choose meals that consist of whole foods, including proteins (eggs, meat, fish, beans and legumes), wholesome fats (avocados, nuts, seeds, dairy products and extra virgin olive oil) and some vegetable fiber (vegetables, berries, whole grains and legumes). Proteins and fats delay the emptying of the stomach, so they can slow down the absorption of alcohol.
Fruits and vegetables are a source of electrolytes, so they help to cope with the imbalance caused by alcohol. They enable you to maintain liver health. Plus, they’re a source of antioxidants that can help overcome some part of the damage caused by alcohol.
Unfortunately, the idea that you can eat specific products to prevent a hangover is just a myth. There is no food that could help avoid a hangover. However, some products contain key nutrients that are necessary for alcohol metabolism, such as magnesium and group B vitamins. If your micronutrient stores are low, alcohol can deplete them even more and thus worsen your hangover. To help your body absorb alcohol to the fullest, choose such foods as dark chocolate, green leafy vegetables, almonds and seeds, as they’re all rich in magnesium. Foods that are high in group B vitamins include beans, legumes, whole grains, eggs, meat and fish.
Vitamin C is good not only for maintaining a strong immune system. It can help your body absorb alcohol but its supply often gets depleted when you drink spirits. Restocking it can help your body handle alcohol a little better.
The restorative power of sleep is well known. Sleep as it is won’t do you any good if you’ve drunk too much. However, getting enough sleep will let you feel better. Research shows that sleep is necessary for us to stay energetic during the day and be able to concentrate our attention on specific tasks. It has also been proven that sleep plays a very important role in regulating our emotions and also helps to consolidate memories. However, the more alcohol you drink, the worse you sleep. If you want to sleep better, giving up alcohol can be the first step.