Tis the season for celebrating~ 5 Tips for Avoiding a Hangover
Let me state right away: I am not a healthcare professional and this is not to be taken as ACTUAL MEDICAL ADVICE. And this post is intended for folks 21+
But I am is a veteran adult beverage consumer who understands the pain that comes the day after you have ‘Just one more round’! So why not share a few tips I have learned over the years to help get ready for a big night out. This is about prevention people, it’s about making a plan and being prepared.
Because let’s face it folks… there are times when we go on celebratory overload and indulge in one too many cocktails. Especially this time of year. Between football season, the impending holidays and the end of baseball season (sorry Paul) we are inundated with reasons to celebrate.
Take last night for example… Paul and I dipped into a new bottle of artisan chocolate vodka I recently received and it was soooo good, a little too good in fact. It was so smooth we had 3 shots under our belts in no time. Sometimes common sense goes out the window and the madness sneaks up to bite me in the butt… and inspires me to write rambling blog posts like this!
So the obvious way to avoid a hangover is just don’t drink, but that kinda defeats the purpose of this post (not to mention my entire blog) so we will just turn a blind eye to that option.
~ Hydrate ~
H2O is your friend folks. We should already be drinking a ton of water each day, half your body weight in ounces, to stay properly hydrated. Google it, the internet says so. But alcohol naturally dehydrates the body so you really need to step it up to avoid a pounding head ache the next day. Start early in the day and drink water steadily all day. Electrolytes are great too, just avoid ones with too much sodium. Grab the ones designed for kids, they tend to have more good stuff and less crap.
And don’t stop there, keep drinking water between cocktails to stay ahead of the hydration game.
~ Eat Early & Eat Right ~
Now I realize your night out may start with dinner or appetizers but chances are your first adult beverage is getting served along side those culinary delicacies. Which means… yep, it’s too late to help the hangover situation. I’m not saying it is bad to eat while cocktailing, just be sure to eat a solid meal BEFORE drinking… like a few hours before. Something with a little protein and healthy carbs.
If I know we have a big night out I start early with a filling lunch, a club sandwich with soup or a chicken and rice bowl, then grab a light but healthy snack shortly before we hit the bar. Bananas are your friend, they have this magical stuff called potassium that your body is going to need the next day. Make a quick protein shake with nanners, peanut butter, Greek yogurt and almond milk. I like to go easy on the dairy, it doesn’t always play well with others later in the night.
Snacks while drinking are good but keep in mind your judgement might be (most likely) impaired and there is no guarantee those chili cheese fries are going to stay put the next morning. Skip the greasy chili/cheese and snack on plain fries instead. And if you still feel barfy in the a.m. give peppermint oil a try to settle any nausea.
~ Get Moving ~
OK folks, I am not saying go kill yourself at the gym (this blogger hasn’t stepped foot in one in years) unless that is your usual thing. In that case you know wayyyy more about how your body reacts to exercise and booze. But for the rest of us slightly sedentary creatures… take a walk on your lunch hour, or maybe grab your friends for a little pre-night-out jaunt around the park on Saturday afternoon… just get your booty up off the couch to get the blood flowing.
And don’t be afraid to walk part of the way to and/or from the bar. Just be safe people. If you can’t make it from the bar to the john without swaying, chances are you might end up road kill. Find an alternate way back to your casa.
~ Skip the Preservatives ~
Unless you are doing shots like a frat boy, most people are mixing their hard liquor with processed, pre-made mixes or sodas. These things are generally not good for you. It is like any other processed food product; if you can’t read half the ingredients on the bottle, chances are you don’t want it.
The same goes for cheap booze, it is typically less filtered and has more crud in it. Most of us can’t afford top, top shelf liquors but at least buy the best you can afford. I can tell you from experience cheap vodka hurts the next day.
This is where excellent communication skills come in handy. Talk to your bartender, they are your gatekeeper for the evening. Are you in desperate need of a vacation but the closest you will get is an awesome margarita? Find out if they hand-mix their cocktails and if not, learn what goes into a ‘skinny margarita’ and request it on your next outing.
Better yet, ask them to make you a one of a kind martini. No mixers required!
I have talked to a lot of bartenders in my time and they appreciate creativity; make friends and challenge them. Unless they are 3 deep on a Friday night. In that case, keep it simple and go back on a slower weekday night to chat them up.
~ Avoid Mugshots ~
The bestie and I really deliberated over the title of this last category. ‘Pace Yourself’ was the original idea, then I realized that was just silly. Or maybe not silly enough…
My advice, take it easy so you don’t lose control. Because it won’t matter how well you prepared, you will feel like crap the next day.
Just remember once you pass that sweet spot between ‘This is my last one’ and ‘Oh, is that for me?’ it is all downhill from there. After that you end up with a bunch of drunk selfies with total strangers. i.e. mugshots And you can’t erase social media, the internet is forever. Posting your drunk mug is almost worse than texting your ex, almost.
Here is your PSA: Drink responsibly; call a cab, have a designated driver, Uber it, call your ex if they are sober… Just don’t be that asshat who thinks they can get behind the wheel of a car. Someone will get hurt… maybe not the first time, but someone will then you will have to live with it forever. So be smart and plan ahead if you know you won’t be making good decisions at the end of the night.
Oh, and don’t get arrested. FOR.ANYTHING!