5 Evidence-Based Ways to Prevent a Hangover

As soon as the clock strikes 5 on a Friday afternoon, the weekend is officially here. For some that means spending time with the family, for others it means heading to the beach, but for some it means only one thing- party time. After a long and stressful workweek, the best way to unwind can be with a drink (or a few) with some friends. But that can also mean a nasty hangover the next day. With the help of Dr. Atli Arnaron and this Authority Nutrition article, we’re breaking down some of the best evidence-proven ways to cure and prevent a hangover.

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  1. Drink plenty of water. Alcohol is a diuretic meaning that you will pee more than if you were drinking an equal amount of water. Because of this, excessive drinking can contribute to dehydration. Dehydration isn’t the main cause of your hangover but it can add to symptoms like thirst, headache, fatigue and dry mouth. Dr. Atli Arnaron suggests drinking a glass of water between drinks, and one big glass of water before going to sleep.
  2. Get enough sleep. Although some people feel like the sleep well after a night out, alcohol actually impairs your sleep quality and duration. And if you were up to late partying, your whole sleep cycle is disrupted. Getting lots of sleep after drinking can help you body recover and lessen symptoms like fatigue and irritability. If you’re unable to designate enough hours to sleeping, maybe going out in the first place isn’t such a great idea.
  3. Eat a hearty breakfast. Hangovers can be more severe in those who have low blood sugar, contributing to symptoms such as weakness and headache. A healthy breakfast will refuel your body with vitamins and minerals and can help maintain your blood sugar levels. So those late night drunk munchies are totally valid!
  4. Try taking a supplement. Inflammation occurs so that the body can repair tissue damage. Many hangover symptoms are actually thought to be caused by low grade inflammation. That’s why reaching for that bottle of Advil can help. There are some plant-based foods like red ginseng, ginger and prickly pear that have been shown to alleviate hangover symptoms.
  5. Avoid drinking too much whiskey, cognac and tequila. When alcohol is produced by sugar-fermenting yeasts, side products called congeners form as well. It has been found like alcoholic drinks like whiskey, cognac and tequila, with high amounts of congeners seem to increase the frequency and intensity of hangovers. Stick to colorless drinks like vodka, gin and rum for a better morning!

All of this being said, the best options to avoid a hangover is to drink in moderation. But everyone deserves a little fun once in awhile! A lot of people enjoy going out and drinking despite the consequences the next day. Now you’re armed with some of the top tips (from a doctor!) that will help prevent those nasty next day feels.  And if you’re one of the lucky 23% that appear to not get hangovers, cheers to you!