By:Â Michele Wolfson
Nothing rings in the New Year like a holiday hangover, right? WRONG! While it's awesome spending the night drinking champagne and other tasty libations, the aftermath is often brutal. You know what I'm referring to- your head is pounding, your muscles are aching, stomach is hurting, room is spinning (the spins are the worst) --- it's all fun and games until the next morning!
This time of year, celebrations are in full swing- so how do we manage to prevent dealing with a dreaded hangover? Here are some useful tips and strategies to avoid a hangover:
- PACE YOURSELF: I know things are merry and bright with mistletoe door adorn doorways and booze flowing out of bottles like they are going out of style, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to drink at a slow and steady pace. If you get merry too quickly, you will feel ill later on in the evening.
- DRINK WATER: Keep yourself hydrated with water. I have a friend who wakes up the day after a party looking fresh and ready-to-go and I know she had more to drink than me and another person combined. I asked her what her secret was and she said that she always has a glass of water in between her alcoholic beverages. I did some research and learned that alcohol has a double-drying effect as it draws water out of your body in addition to replacing the fluids you would usually be drinking. Drink plenty of water during party season to rehydrate your body. Coconut water also works when it comes to preventing a hangover.
- BEWARE OF THE TOP OFF: It can be very tricky to count how many drinks you've had when someone comes over and tops your glass that is already half full. This happens all of the time, especially to people who are trying to pace themselves and often have glasses that are at the halfway mark. In order to prevent overdoing it without realizing it, try to be aware of your drink and how many times it's been topped off that evening.
- DON'T GO TO THE DARK SIDE: Or at least, be leery of going to the dark side if you are embarking on a night of heavy holiday partying. Darker alcoholic beverages contain higher levels of congeners, which are chemicals that can cause headaches and other hangover symptoms. Mixing even one dark drink in with your set can tip the balance, so perhaps steer clear of drinks like whiskey, bourbon, dark rum, etc.
- TRICKS FOR YOUR MIX: Maybe you want to go to the holiday party, but you just don't feel like getting plastered- totally understandable. I know what it's like, the pesky person shouting out "Come on, just one drink!" and you feel like you want to avoid these kinds of jibes all night. This is the solution- When getting your own drink, ask for tonic water, soda, lemonade, cola, or your favorite mixer on its own. When receiving a drink, allow the presumption that you're having gin and tonic, vodka and soda/lemonade, white rum and coke, or other alcoholic preference.
- EAT WELL: Food helps your body handle the alcohol better. You're a dummy if you drink on an empty tummy. I typically crave greasy food post drinking, but try to avoid heavy, fattening food that will stress your liver out even further. The ideal food to begin with is fruit, especially watermelon, strawberries, and kiwi fruit (high in useful anti-oxidants and vitamin C to help your body stay fighting fit) and yogurt (replaces the good bacteria in your gut that the alcohol is killing). Follow this with some carbs, especially if it's the morning after.
- BE THE DESIGNATED DRIVER: If you decide you really do not want to drink, consider acting as the designated driver. This gives you a reminder and an excuse - you really cannot have "just one drink". And be strict. If you're driving, don't have anything alcoholic to drink. It is far too easy to go over the limit and few people actually realize how much even a small amount of alcohol impairs their driving.
- KNOW THYSELF: Know what your drinking limits are and stick to them. When I mix red wine, beer and tequila, I get a mega hangover the morning after. If something does not work for you, don't do it.
- AVOID SMOKING: Sometimes smoking is the culprit for a nasty hangover. The more cigarettes you have, the worse you feel later. If you don't smoke, choose an area away from the smoke. It also makes sense not to sit in bar corners where the smoke remains longer. Central areas are better.
- DANCE, TALK, SING: Involve yourself in an interesting activity; don't just sit there gulping down the drinks. You get way too plastered that way. If you are singing Christmas carols or Auld Lang Syne, it will reduce the chances of you dropping off to sleep, which is instant nausea when you wake up. Singing and dancing is a good thing!
Do you have any Holiday Hangover tips that didn't make the list? We want to know about them! Please comment below and inform our readers how else they can avoid a hangover this season. Remember everyone, be safe!Â
For more great holiday tips, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)