Prepare today, party tonight! Research estimates that 25 to 30 percent of the population doesn’t suffer from hangovers after drinking. To all of you...
Research estimates that 25 to 30 percent of the population doesn’t suffer from hangovers after drinking. To all of you: We hate you. Er, we mean, we love you—will you go out and grab us a Gatorade? And a DVD from Redbox? The sun is blinding!
But hangovers aren’t inevitable for the other 70 percent of us. If you take the right precautions today and tonight, you can wake up tomorrow without a seismic headache, flip-turning stomach, and a wish that the world really had ended on December 21.
1. Place a Water Bottle on Your Nightstand before You Go Out
Before you flop under (or on top of) the covers, chug 16 to 20 ounces of water, Robert Swift, M.D., of Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies tells MensHealth.com. May we recommend a lock-top water bottle instead of an open glass, so that you don’t knock it all over your laptop in your drunken stupor? Not that we’re speaking from experience . . .
2. Drink What You Want
Some people think that dark-colored liquors will make them more hungover. These liquors have more cogeners—chemicals and ingredients other than alcohol, which contribute to a hangover, the story goes. Research is mixed, but most studies have found no effect on liquor type and hangover or inebriation level. It also depends on how much you drink. There might be a difference at lower doses, but drink 10 vodka martinis and you’ll still wake up feeling more Belushi than Bond.
3. Don’t Trust the Appetizer Package
This one’s a no-brainer—eat! Food delays gastric emptying in the stomach, which allows you to process alcohol more slowly. The slower you process alcohol, the better your body breaks it down, Dr. Swift says. Since you’ll probably beeline to the open bar, then hit the appetizers, make sure to eat before you head out.
4. Respect Your Tolerance
A University of Missouri found that people with high alcohol tolerances are less susceptible to hangovers per unit of alcohol. However, since these people drink more, they were actually more likely to be hungover after a night of boozing. The lesson: Your iron stomach will only get you so far.
5. Tip the Bathroom Attendant
Why? Because you’ll be there a lot—and that’s OK. The standard advice to drink a glass of water with every drink is a rule even on a night of heavy drinking, Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic tells MensHealth.com. Dehydration is a major hangover cause, so chugging water puts you one step ahead.
6. Take the Supplement That Works
Most hangover pills work because of the placebo effect. But Tulane University research showed that students experienced half the hangover symptoms after taking an extract of prickly pear cactus versus a placebo. Look for a supplement that contains Tex-OE, the extract used in the study, and swallow 1,600 IU 4 hours before you start drinking.
Additional research by Brittany Risher and Leigh Cole
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